Alexandra Pampouka

Surrounding elements

What brings you to Lympia? To what extent do you think that your work is coordinated – thematically and aesthetically– with the general philosophy that frames the Xarkis Festival?

What brings me to Lympia is my love for villages, nature and the need to participate in collectives. I found this year’s Xarkis Festival theme “Return to the Roots: Environment and Society” very familiar to my interests, artistic practice and concerns. Our tradition includes practices that can be applied today, even in combination with new technologies, and contribute to a more sustainable way of life. In my artwork I mainly use natural or reused materials, incorporating traditional techniques as well as digital media. The themes I am concerned with are the relationship between man and nature, ecology, tradition, kitsch culture and ritual. I try to make my works – as well as my daily habits – have as little impact on the environment as possible. The aim is always to improve the quality of our lives. That’s why we don’t idealize the past, but ideally we should keep the elements that will help us improve the present and the future. This perspective falls in line with the general philosophy of Xarkis and that is why I am happy about the cooperation.

How did the inspiration for the theme of the workshop you are proposing come about?

The inspiration for the workshop is the reflection on “how we consume”, whether this is about materials or information. The pace of our daily life is so fast that we don’t have the opportunity to process, to consciously choose what we really need. The reflection emerged mainly during my participation in symbiotic workshops/activities held in villages – far away from big urban centres – and often resulted in a visual artwork or triggered discussions. During these activities I had the time to realize how stressful our everyday life is, as we receive too much information (e.g. from social media, the environment, etc.) without having time to digest it. We often think about what we will do next and forget to experience the present.

Who is this workshop for and what is it about?

During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to take a conscious walk around the village, observe the surroundings, and choose to isolate certain elements. They will be invited to collect objects, photographs, sounds, etc. and then process them to create individual or collective works. The workshop is aimed at people who would like to engage in this process of walking around, observing, creating a project and seeing how others perceive and capture stimuli from the surrounding environment. How does the “outside-in and inside-out” ultimately come about?