Event Date: 29 April 2016
Performing Arts Studio 5
The University of Winchester
Winchester SO22 4NR
Lisa Alexander – Personal address and collective witness: short acts of gifting and poetic agency Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe, BIOS, Athens 2015
The impetus for Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe arose in a particular moment during the summer of 2015 just following the Greek referendum. Voting followed capital controls and widespread political and media scare-mongering – despite this Greece voted a resounding όχι to the stringent austerity measures for bailout. A clear outcome did not accompany the negotiations with the troika however. It was a time of stasis, uncertainty, frustration. In this context I sent out the provocation. Selected artists were asked to respond with an action, idea or form of a love letter – a frame of witness and expression that approaches another in the moment – to be performed in Athens at Bios. The missive could be in any format – but it had to be 15 minutes or under and conceived for live presentation – in person, by a nominated performer or on video. A personal address whose reception would be shared in the moment. Everyone involved covered his/her own expenses and Athens-based artists hosted visiting artists.
In a small way the event sought to step out of the frame of crisis, to exceed the language of financialization through the multiplicity of shared, singular poetic witnessing. It was a call to being, a coming together. Framing the act of participation or presence in an act of gifting was integral. The process spoke to recent thought on social agency and the commons that in part inspired the provocation sent out to the artists.