Lecture performance, Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens, 2015.
Dr. Iordanis Hajjiyavusoglou, PhD in Philosophy (University of Tübingen), professor at the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Administration (Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly), examines aspects of the long-standing and diverse maritime tradition of the German nation, focusing on a specific (and unfamiliar to Greeks) artist, sailor and war hero.
The audience was led to believe that a real lecture by a professor (Dr. Iordanis Hajiyavusoglu, an invented persona assumed by author Eleftherios Keramidas) was part of the performance. All facts mentioned in the lecture were either fabricated or appropriated from a wholly different context. The main point of the lecture was a fictional man beyond reproach (an artist and scientist who resisted the Nazis) and his aggressively low opinion of Greece and the Greeks. The lecture was delivered with a derisive air and accompanied with insulting commentary, making parallels between past times and modern headlines. The aim of the performance was to give the audience a chance to examine (by way of Mimesis) how narratives are constructed and how they lead to extreme emotional response, hoping that Catharsis may follow, in the form of a first step towards critical thinking. Revealing the deception at the end of the performance was expected to offer the distance necessary for re-evaluation of the experience. More specifically, as the lecture contained obvious errors, members of the audience were expected to ask themselves if they blindly accept what authority figures (such as scientists and journalists) present as fact. A further desirable thing for them to question was how they respond to “facts” that shatter their existing narrative. And finally, in a double entendre, whether an insult they know to be faked still inflames them.
“Who´s the sailor now?” is part of the ongoing project “The Poem Begins With The Unloving Sun” by Panos Sklavenitis.
Text: Panos Sklavenitis, edited by Eleftherios Keramidas
Performance: Eleftherios Keramidas
Text by Eleftherios Keramidas