Monday-Friday, 9:00am-6:00pm is a serie of two videos that explore the double symbolic of the Sea - the Sea of discovery that brings you to new horizons and the Sea of exile that separates you from your roots.
Part of the body of works "It is always summer somewhere" created during the artist's stay in the refugee camps of the island of Lesbos, both works bring together in a same narrative stories from refugees that have been coming to Lelbos since 2015 and stories from the Greeks that were forced out from Turkey in 1923 during the massive Asia Minor population exchange and seeked shelter in that exact same island. During this major population exchange, thousands of Greeks living in Ayvalik had to seek shelter in Mytilene, capital of Lesbos; while, at the same, Turks living in Mytilini were forced to migrate to Ayvalik in the span of few weeks.
These days, a touristic ferry service connects daily the two cities with identical boats leaving from Mytilini at 9am to bring Greek tourists to the Turkish side and bring them back at 6pm, while at that same moment a boat departs from Ayvalik to bring Turks visitors for few hours on the Greek side. The two boats cross path in the middle of the sea. The artist was surprised by the irony of this daily routines in the light of the historical past of the micrasian population exchange and decided to document this modern touristic population exchange by filming for a week from the port of Mytilene the time between departure of the Greek boat and the arrival of the Turkish one.
The sound of the wind dominates the soundtrack, reference to Aesop's fable "The Shipwrecked Man and the Sea" where a Shipwrecked Man accuses the sea for being the cause of his misfortune while the sea shifts the responsibility on the winds that are the ones that create the waves. However, when the Greek ferries depart from the port starts resonating the popular Greek song "Tou mikrou voria" (The Small Northern Wind) - whose lyrics were written by the literature Nobel prize and Mytilene native Odysseas Elitis - that talks in a same metaphorical manner of the role of politics in human exile.
2020 BEACON | CURATOR: CM TURNER | THE ALICE AND HARRIS K. WESTON ART GALLERY | CINCINNATI, UNITED STATES*