1. CURRENT EXHIBITION
MEMORY THREADS – Maribor
A Letter to the Future, Exhibition poster. Memory Threads, Former MTT factory, Maribor, Slovenia, 2021
Danae Stratou is participating with the installation Memory Threads in the international exhibition A Letter to the Future of the EKO 8 triennial, which will open on 21 May 2021. The venue of the exhibition is the former textile factory in Melje, Maribor, Slovenia. Artistic Director: Alessandro Vincentelli.
This site-specific installation is based on the first version of the installation Memory Threads which took place in the old textile factories of PIRAÏKI – PATRAÏKI in Patras in 2020. Memory Threads – Maribor, is a site-specific installation comprising two elements, a soundscape, and a sculptural installation. The first is a sound composition blending natural and industrial sounds. The second takes the form of traces of the (now gone) textile and folding machines, created on the floor using salt, staying faithful to their original size and position as preserved in copies of the mechanical floor plan.
A new soundscape was created for this project using two existing sound compositions from previous works of the artist, combining three different elements of sounds. One coming from nature -specifically the sound of icebergs, recorded by underwater microphones, as they collide, melt and break while moving in the Antarctic ocean (from the project Icesongs, 2010). The other two sound elements are comprised of operating old-type textile machines (from the project Memory Threads, 2020), and of former workers describing the production process of the textile factory. The Icebergs songs coming from deep within the Antarctic Ocean are like voices emanating from an imagined landscape, at once familiar, alien, powerful. The combination of natures’ voice with the rhythmic, deafening sound of the working machines, remind us of the industrial revolution that was the beginning of our current climate crisis.
EKO 8 Website: http://www.ugm.si/en/eko-8/eko-8-intro/
2. RECENT INSTALLATIONS
MEMORY THREADS – Patras
The video created for Danae Stratou’s installation Memory Threads is now online, and you can watch it here:
A site specific installation by Danae Stratou, realised in one of the old textile factories of PIRAÏKI – PATRAÏKI in Patras, in the context of the wider project: “Patras, the city of factories, Rebetiko and Karagiozis”.
This ephemeral installation was realised in an old derelict and hollowed out spinning mill factory within the larger (and long abandoned) textile industrial complex Piraiki–Patraiki. The work comprised two elements: a soundscape and a physical installation. It was then documented so that the final work would take the form of a film.
The soundscape is composed of sounds of the old textile machines, such as spinning mills and looms, in operation. The rhythmic sound of the machines prevails while the faint voices of the factory’s former workers emerge in passing as they narrate the whole production process that went on in the now abandoned space decades ago.
Traces of the (now gone) textile machines were made on the floor, staying faithful to their original size and location as preserved in copies of the mechanical floor plan. Then, a layer of sieved unprocessed salt was used to fill in the traces and thus to ‘replace’ the missing machines, maintaining the original layout; the machines ‘returning’ as if in the form of salt-made ‘ghosts’.
Once the physical installation was completed it was filmed in a manner that gives the viewer the feeling of wandering through the space. The film, enhanced by the soundscape, revives the memory of the humans and the machines driving the production process in that space. The machines’ rectangular cross-sections within the linear floor space, aided by the repetitiveness in their operating sound, emit a recurring rhythm – a trace of the past that potentially enlivens the memory and activates the abandoned space. The human narratives that faintly fill the air add the ephemeral, human dimension.
CONCENTRIC VIDEOS, NIROX SCULPTURE PARK
Concentric, NIROX Sculpture Park, South Africa, 2019
Six videos were made for the permanent Water Installation Concentric by Danae Stratou at NIROX Sculpture Park, South Africa, 2019. Each of the videos takes place at a different time of day, from dusk till dawn. You can watch the videos here:
Concentric is a kinetic water installation by Danae Stratou. This is the 1st edition of the work as a permanent installation located at Nirox Sculpture Park. The lake in which it is situated is approximately 100 metres in diameter and about 2 metres in depth at the central point.Concentric utilises a simple, underwater device to turn a lake or reservoir into a subtle but powerful locus of perpetual concentric ripples. The work uses nature as a sculptural medium, expressed as waves that simultaneously radiate from the center and dissipate as they expand, marking rhythmic time through form and movement. The gentle intervention activates the landscape in a meditative manner. The work addresses the human connection with water and with our ancient magnetism/pull for perpetual motion. Viewers may sense Concentric’s presence and significance even before recognising it as an art work.
The artists’ intention is that the work will be installed in 7 different locations on the planet, their ripples extending mentally ad infinitum until they intersect at some imaginary level. Concentric combines local impact with a global dimension.
Through this work, Danae Stratou aims at raising awareness on the vital element of water in relation to the global climate change humanity is causing on Earth.