THE LOCKDOWN in Athens was a time which also saw to a lockdown on culture and art. For artist Panagiotis Voulgaris however, the ‘B6’ code doubled up as a means of combining exercise with art: By going out and walking/running on Lycabettus Hill, near his home, he also found the opportunity to create some art interventions/installations in nature. Made of paper tape, and ephemeral in character, these interventions lasted as long as his walks on Lycabettus hill did, and were destroyed immediately after. Like beacons of freedom, they captured the sun’s rays and played with the light, until it was time to go home. The interventions however were well documented through photographs and film, and so live on, nowadays in the confines of Fokianou art space, where they have been presented in the exhibition ‘B6’, currently running its last week. Visitors get to witness a piece of Lycabettus Hill, its nature and sounds, plus the installations created there, which have been transported into the art space.
“The interventions on Lycabettus Hill were created from November 2020 to February 2021, when I would use the ‘B6’ code in order to go and walk or run on Lycabettus Hill. During these walks I found some areas of artistic interest there. I would make these works with paper tape, and then would continue my running, would return in order to document via photographs how these works changed during the day. These works lived as long as I was walking or running, so some would last only 45 minutes, while others would last 6 hours which was the longest period” explains Voulgaris. “The idea of creating ephemeral works in public spaces has always been part of my art-making process, however during the lockdown these were the most ephemeral works that I had ever made”, he adds.
Via a series of photographs and videos, together with light effects and recordings of the sounds of Lycabettus, the documentation of these art interventions have been presented in the one room of Fokianou, as an art installation comprising of hanging photographs, reminiscent of mobile sculptures in space. Flora from the hill has also been added, together with light effects and sound recordings of Lycabettus Hill’s nature, such as the tweeting of birds. In another room, one encounters ‘The Slope’: an installation made of 25 kilometres of thread which criss-crosses the room, suspended in mid-air and held in place with hooks on the walls and floor. In its path, again pieces of foliage may be found, while a snake-like light lies on the floor. The threads are the colours of different grasses (yellows, greens, ochres, orange), and they change appearance according to the light of day. They create a sense of aerial perspective, seeing as the ones closest to the viewer are bolder in colour and appearance, while the ones in the distance are more faded. Many viewers enjoy sitting under the installation and viewing the criss-crossing threads from this perspective.
As the pandemic is gaining force once more, and many of us are wondering what restrictions will be put into place in order to curb its course, artistic interventions such asVoulgaris’s, presented in ‘B6’, remind us that where there’s an artistic will, there’s a way that it will manifest itself. And they are another example of how in conceptual and minimalistic art practices, even the simplest of mediums, can be used to make eloquent artistic statements.
- ‘B6’ is on display at FokiaNou Art Space till the 6th of November 2021, Open Wednesday to Saturday, 17.00 0 20.00. FokiaNou Art Space is on 24 Fokianou St, 7th Floor, Pagrati. Metro: Evangelismos.
- ‘Art Scene Athens’ is written and run by artist/journalist Stella Sevastopoulos, who moved to Athens from London, in 1994. Since then, she has been following the Greek art scene, writing about it, but also exploring her own artistic practice. For examples of her art you can also visit her online portfolio