Artist in residency: Eleni Tsompanidou

My name is Eleni Tsompanidou. For the past 7 years I have been living, studying and working as an artist in Groningen, but I originally come from a small village in the northern part of Greece. My everyday life experiences and my background are two important aspects that often inform my research and work. By observing the self both in an individual but also in a collective way within a society I try to form an understanding about the world around me, not in an effort to find absolute answers but with the intention of exploring the questions.

Coming from a more religious and traditional background I grew up in a setting where rituals played an important role. Although I have been many times critical about the close mindedness and proselytism that can often accompany these types of acts, after living for many years in a society that has removed any such traditions, I find myself in a constant search of them. Not as a system of belief, but as a way to relate to the world around me. What could be the place of traditional rituals into our society and what changes are needed so that they can become once again relevant? In a fast paced society where change, freedom and inclusivity play an important role what is the type of ritual that can allow us to connect to our history and roots while it is reflecting our position in the now?

During my residency, starting in November, I will be exploring the topic of death rituals which is a topic that feels both personally but also collectively very relevant at this moment. In a society which seems to have no space or time for negative feelings what is our way of dealing with grief? My goal is through an interactive and collaborative approach to explore rituals as a way to create space for the inevitable feeling of loss in our everyday life.

The exact dates and more information about the events related to this project will follow soon.

Selection of works made by Eleni Tsompanidou