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You - Cocktail Party

Mixed media installation - participatory action, Theatre building of Embros, Athens, 2012

During the presentation of the project "Voices" at the Theatre building of Embros at spring 2012, we have proposed on Saturday 10 March a combined presentation of two projects: "Cocktail-party" by Panos Sklavenitis and "You" by Elpida Rikou. This presentation demonstrated similarities and differences between the two projects, bringing forth the role of voice in the construction of social relations. A sound installation of registered voices and several video recordings of an actress's performances that represented different modes of address to "you" constituted the environment for a performance resembling a "cocktail-party" where a group of people wearing earplugs narrated simultaneously the story of their lives. Finally, one more voice of a person present in these surroundings was introduced via the microphone, commenting on the whole situation from an anthropologist's point of view.

"Cocktail-party" is a project commenting on contemporary dominant forms of autobiography. Nowadays, the question of whether we are able to plan a life of our own finds an answer through a variety of websites inviting us to upload daily versions of our life-stories, reconstructing them as we please. What might happen if we find ourselves in another context and attempt to verbally construct our life story in a situation of co-presence?
A voice might not only be a sound produced by a living being but a gesture of address to you, an elementary relational form posing moral and political issues to reflect upon and discuss with different partners. The project "YOU" proposes a juxtaposition of different modes of elaboration of this elementary gesture of address.

Detailed documentation of the work can be found in the publication "Fonés/Voices", nisos publications, Athens, 2016."

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