Art History Research Programme: Artistic Studio Practice

Art History Research Programme: Artistic Studio Practice

The inaugural “Residency Programme for Academic and Curatorial Research of Contemporary Greek Art” organised by “The other Arcadia” Foundation (Athens) in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art (London), commenced on 21st March and ended on 30th April 2022.

The first resident to travel and spend time in Athens was Hannah Forman and was selected by a committee consisting of:
Deborah Swallow, Director, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Anna Somers Cocks OBE, Founder of the “Arts Newspaper”, Elisabeth Plessa, art historian-curator, Alastair Sooke, art critic and journalist and Daphne Politi, Head of Residency Programme, The Sotiris Felios Collection.

Hannah Forman spent 6-weeks in Athens, where she engaged in more than 40 meetings with artists and leading art professionals living and working in Greece, while also had the chance to engage in extended conversations with Sotiris Felios. During her stay she also travelled to the island of Kerkira to attend one of the Collections’ exhibitions. Based on her proposal, a bespoke programme of visits, discussions and exhibition tours was designed, centring around the intersection between law and the arts, literature and art, contemporary documentary, film, and art theory.

Hannah’s experience culminated into a written essay due to be published in a printed bilingual publication.

Excerpt from Hannah Forman’s essay:

Retrospectively, I must admit that there is something in the essence of Greek hospitality, as I encountered it, which confused for me the nature of my presence in the studios of the artists I met. I was both writer and guest, at-once neither of those things and altogether blissful in that limbo. It felt impromptu and unrehearsed despite the fact that it was, of course, not. A warm confusion: not left in the dark nor thrown out into the cold yet not entirely forthcoming either. A string of immediacies which are hard to write because even now, some months on, they remain, in my mind, manifestly and ineluctably immediate. I thought about, and quickly discarded, the notion that this consistent and casual warmth was some kind of defence: it is hard to build a text around a conversation who’s content and syntax were so elegantly un-calculated; as though we carefully placed our feet so as never to find the centre. The most important things were said, but not spoken (never prescribed) and this kind confusion denied language for something more material; the work perhaps, or maybe the rooms themselves. The something, the confusion, the warmth; is the work and the space it inhabits, and this thing said that what happened in these rooms, in my time there, was curious but it was circumstance and not language which rendered it such.

The Sotiris Felios Collection Residency Programme for Academic and Curatorial Research of Contemporary Greek Art is funded by “The other Arcadia” Foundation and is supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.