Walk with Maria Mitsopoulou (I)

ENCOUNTERS WITH DER NöK. OPENING A DESIRE PATH.

“A performative walk, actions and interactions through Treptower Park for voyeur spirits.
Desire paths emerge as shortcuts, have gaps or are entirely lacking.
Inside Treptower Park there is a Soviet War Memorial (mausoleum), the Spreepark (an abandoned amusement park built during the DDR era) and the Karpfenteich Lake, where stands a strange sculpture from 1907, called Der Nök vom Meeresgrunde (Otto Petri).
Der Nök is a water ghost who lives on the ground of the lake and he/she wants to own everything beautiful which comes near the water.
Inside the forest there is also a wooden playground, some strange buildings and the ghosts of Iraq.
Additionally you could experience A Welcoming ritual, an 1 month report: Notes from home, and A different kind of cruising.
If we are lucky we might meet a fox, a squirrel, a rabbit, and look some trees into their eyes.
Arriving in a new place there is always a procedure of making space, fitting in, is a procedure of observation, adaptation, transformation, redefinition and challenging.
What is a safe space? What is whiteness? What is a trigger warning? What is home? How belonging is realized?
All and none of these questions will be approached.
A desire line, a social trail, an animal track, a bootleg trail will be followed.
An organic architecture of concepts and Stories of Otherness, in a world of bondage”.

Maria Mitsopoulou

Interview

AT
Since how long do you live in Berlin?
MM
Not so long.

AT
Living in Berlin has influenced your research?How?
MM
Living in Berlin definitely has influenced my research, my research is extremely connected to the places I inhabit and the conditions I experience. Taking in consideration the economical crisis that is occurring and the effects of it in a material, psychological, political and cultural level, for first time, in Berlin, I experienced a change towards the reading people did on me. I try to reflect upon this by my current work.

AT
In your statement you describe how you investigate the dynamics that lead to narrative processes opposing to the notion of what id defined identity. You use mostly your body and the performance. Do you think that the structure of Berlin can be useful as indagative toil for this kind of practices? How?
MM
I feel that we have a lot to learn from identity and post identity theories, which enable the creation of devices for aesthetic and political experimentation. Post identity politics enable us to see beyond binary oppositions and I think any place could be useful for this. In any place we have to dialogue with the local culture (dominant and alternative) learn, adopt, negotiate and imagine/fight for other possibilities of being. The difference is that some places are much safer than other, but this also depends on what is our position in them each time. Someone could say, Berlin is a safe space. I know people that would disagree.

Biography
Maria Mitsopoulou

After her studies in the Academy of Arts in Thessaloniki (Greece), she moves to Valencia (Spain), where she attends the Academy of Arts. In 2004 she moves to Barcelona where she obtains a Master in studies and projects for the visual culture at the University of Barcelona.
From 2006 till 2008 she is coordinator of the XIII BJCEM Biennial. Since then she focuses her work on the creation of events and workshops for gender politics, feminism and identity. She takes part to the first and second edition of Muestra Marrana – Festival of the post-pornographic cinema, and she is part of the direction of La Culo magazine (feminist queer review, Barcelona, 2009).
She lives in Berlin, place that has encouraged her research about the migrant community, questioning about the meaning of home, community, identity and belonging has in our time. And about the way the global circulation of culture, individuals and capitals show in the era of migrations. Very interesting the elaboration of a personal cartography that underlines the places of intellectual expansions and the places of cultural resistance.
She analyzes the dynamics that lead through narrative processes opposing to the notion of what is supposed to be called identity.
Her language is mostly body and performance.
The performance has the purpose to draw and redefine the limits between private and public, allowing a consideration about human relations, sex, artistic productions and visual representations.
She considers the artistic practice not only a staging and exposition, but also a useful and constructive process of production and collaboration between individuals and groups.

To know more about:
www.alom.hotglue.me
walkwiththeartist.wordpress.com

Photos: Art & Tours, Walk with Maria Mitsopoulou, 21-22 September 2012, Berlin