you: the elements is a modular farewell. Its subject: familiarisation with erotic separation - and all other types of separation - and submersion into powerful love. As the four
you: the elements is a modular farewell. Its subject: familiarisation with erotic separation – and all other types of separation – and submersion into powerful love. As the four (plus one) elements of nature and the proof and documentation of existence of a relationship are mixed with the romantic elements that reside in between, you: the elements evolves along the way into a quiet declaration of transposition, multiplicity and freedom to the open air of the individual and the different. Poetry like prayer for the absolute minimum still flickering.
Since 2007 Vassilis Amanatidis has been presenting his texts and books through performances that utilise hand-made materials, modern technology, and the synergy of other arts. As performance poetry, you: the elements is the result of a conversation between the poet, director Sophia Karakantza, and the ‘Mavros Gantzos’ (Black Hook) team. Here we observe Amanatidis’ relationship with his moving text, which – in the presence of an audience – takes on a visual dimension, while his poetry is a kind of body and voice in space. Through an overhead projector, an “Emily Brontë” and two reflecting faces, an erotically, religiously tolerant, and hybrid execution takes place, that looks like a mental lecture or a DJ set (but without the songs, with just poems and memory). With intense dedication to the imprint of the fleeting moment and the essence hidden in the fragments.
The poetry work was published by Nefeli Publishers in 2017 and received the Poetry Award of the Academy of Athens.
CAST & CREW
– Performance – Performance reading: Vassilis Amanatidis, Sophia Karkantza
– Director: Sophia Karkantza
– Music composer: Katerina Tzedaki
– Musical performance: Mariana Vogiatzi, Katerina Tzedaki
– Visual concept – costume designer: Rania Emmanuilidou
– Visual communication designer: Apostolos Rizos
– Photographer: Sofia Camplioni Photography
Starting time 19:00
Collaboration Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art
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The masterfully weaved “super-poem” is seductive as it achieves what initially seems paradoxical: despite its fragmented nature, it does not allow for anything to be removed from it. The poems that comprise it are breaths that must be taken in succession, with no back-and-forths, regularly, in order for the super-poem to retain its in-progress life. These poem-breaths speak, tell the story of the erotic phenomenon, and in it reflected an entire encased universe of images, sounds, and, very often, touches.
At the very depth of all poems, between the vertigo of the you-me contradiction, through the fragmented, in-progress formation of the poetic subject, we see the pureness of physicality. Because, besides and beyond its continuous experimentation, its technical and morphological uniqueness, its inexhaustible imagination, the book (as well) highlights the poet-performer, as he flourishes through his physicality. And this is perhaps the most important aesthetic history behind poems: the disappearance of the poetic I, and the architectural construction of its corporeal existence. Amanatidis’ poems are often, and collectively, audiovisual, dramatic, and typographic extravaganzas, which create an ad infinitum, interchanging, and evolving synaesthesia, and which only live in the context of a performance, only in the body of the performing poet.
Eno Agolli, ‘Entefktirio’ magazine, 2018
This is a poetry of clever subversion, where a work and an identity in progress keep being constructed. The poet as performer, within the performance of his poetry, directs himself and gradually transforms the initial monologue into a dialogue, calling for the incorporation of the audience into his actions. Amanatidi’s body succeeds in achieving a new dimension. That of the ritual subject balancing between the text and the poet himself. Persistently equipping the subject narrated with autobiographical elements, he moves and speaks inter-subjectively, in conquering alienation from the self and with the body as the subject that moves and gestures deliriously, ultimately participating in a linguistic, inter-textual, and supra-textual game. Standing on and participating in the events consecutively as a thing, as a body, and as “another”. Thus, while subtracting his structural and content façade, he bears himself identifying with the fluid and existing other as a body, and in feeling pain and compassion, he is transposed, changing roles and positions.
Petros Golitsis, Efimerida ton Syntakton, 2017