Helen's Dress E-Residency On Mythology, Embroidery, Performance And Gender

Published: 08.07.2020
Helen's Dress E-Residency On Mythology, Embroidery, Performance And Gender.
ZLR Betriebsimperium
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Helen’s Dress and her coat of arms designed and worn by artist Hannah Stippl during her performance. ​.
Helen’s Dress and her coat of arms designed and worn by artist Hannah Stippl during her performance. ​

© By the author. Read Copyright.

Designed for Vamvakou Revival / Stavros Niarchos Foundation. 22 – 27 June, 2020. Vamvakou, Laconia - Greece.
The e-Residency program “Helen’s Dress” was an innovative answer to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The e-Residency replaced the scheduled, same name, „physical residency“ in Vamvakou (Greece) which had to be canceled. Both the AIR and e-Residency program was designed and curated by visual artists Christoph Ziegler and Loukía Richards aka ZLR Betriebsimperium after a duo's original idea and concept. The e-Residency was realized in the frame of the project Vamvakou Revival, and was exclusively funded by Greece's prestigious Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Eight international artists and writers were selected to participate in an intensive daily program including art coaching, brainstorming, e-workshops on embroidery, narrative and performance, as well as Live Streamings open to the broader public. Each one of them developed a performance video based on the myth of Helen of Sparta, the alleged cause of Greece's war on Troy in 12th century BC. 

Helen, the mythical queen of Sparta, is a female archetype, variations of which may be found in many cultures. Her love story triggered a merciless war. The e-Residency participants worked on an updated version of the myth and addressed issues that are still important nowadays, such as misogyny, abuse, manipulation, fake news, armed conflict. 

The program’s creative exercises, artists' new work and curators' visual notes, as well as the public's feedback will be published in a digital book, to download online free of charge. 

The e-Residency blog documents the daily challenges the team encountered.

Participating artists:
Anastasia Hassiotis, choreographer and writer, Greece/ Hannah Stippl, visual artist, Austria / Amelie Spitz, Jewellery artist, (Germany) / Trisha Gupta, textile artist, USA / Aggeliki Symeonidou, Embroiderer and crafts activist, Greece/ Carla Castiajo, visual artist, Portugal / Christina Mitrentse, visual artist, UK / Anika Gupta, writer, USA.

Projects by ZLR Betriebsimperium focus on Greek thought, spirituality, mythology.

Visual notes by  Loukia Richards.on embroidery motifs, Vamvakou landscape, Mycenean symbols, Helen’s myth attributes and participants’ presentations.

Kilim from the nearby region of Tsakonia. The kilim motif is also used in local embroidery. Live Streaming.

Greek embroidery Live Streaming. Loukia Richards and embroiderer Metaxia Hantelis with a traditional design for slippers.

Helen of Covid. Dress and performance by e-resident Aggeliki Symeonidou.

Teleconference with Christoph Ziegler, Loukia Richards and the e-residents.

Artist Amelie Spitz presents her performance concept during a Teleconference.

Performance snapshot by e-resident Natasha Hassiotis.

About the author

ZLR Betriebsimperium is a nomadic art platform working with jewellery, sculpture, performance, installation and textile art. Based in Greece and Germany, which actively promotes cultural exchange, creative research, and an interdisciplinary approach to art and jewellery.