Occupy Art Project
The Occupy Art Project took its roots in New York, in 2020, when I invited about 28 artists to explore and invest in the spaces of the Consulate General of Greece in New York, as a form of physical and dialectical occupation.
Joined by a very active team of artists and curators, we aimed to question the nature and role of art in public space and public service in Greece. The beauty and aesthetics of the land inspired artists from around the country to participate. As a dual citizen living between two countries, I also wished to highlight the citizenship of artists as fluctuating and symbiotic, transformed by and impacting the communities with which they interact and work. Through this project we also examined public space as a primary locus of dialogue, including the role of artists as mediators, posing questions about how social issues walk hand in hand with artistic endeavor. The continuation of the Occupy Art Project during the pandemic became a platform to explore our need for exchange. We created a broad network of initiatives and an open dialogue about our roles and responsibilities, through existential and anthropological exploration, with public panels and discussions. Over the next few months, through “Expanded Studios,” the network of artists, curators, and initiatives in Greece, France, and the US opens this dialogue from within the studios and creative spaces. Each participant in the project introduces an artistic team and highlights new networks that move organically along the path of artistic citizenship.
Eirini Linardaki was born in Athens and studied at L.I.T. Limerick, Ireland, HDK Berlin and Marseille. She lived in France for more than twenty years. She now shares her time between the island of Crete, Paris and New York, developing projects in the public sphere. Her public art collaborations include the City of New York, the City of Newark, the City of Paris, the City of Montrouge, France, the City of Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and Chania, in Greece. “Communities are at the center of my practice. Whether I involve elderly citizens, students, schools, or residents from specific localities, their participation, journeys & cultural heritage bring us to an exploratory path together that nourishes the development of these public projects. At this time of historic global crisis, art is helping and serving people in their communities. I believe that right now in history, art is keeping pace with social change and can help youths to express themselves through projects and voice their view of the world. Sometimes persistent social issues knock on our door and enter our dreams, becoming a defining aspect of a useful artistic vision. I experience this through my research, my practice and my journey. The complexity of these environments I witnessed in various communities (Baltimore Vocational High School, Bay Ridge, Schools of Marseille, Lower East Side Girls Club) became part of my work, expressed through channels found with my students, and generated new ambitions for the youths that share these experiences with me.
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