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.

Part of Eleni's work during her residency will be an interactive mail exchange within a small group of people. 

Follow Eleni's weekly process in our Facebook Page and Instagram account.

On the 18th, 19th and 20th of December there will be a presentation of Eleni's work developed during her residency period at ARTisBOOK. Eleni will be present during these days. Due to the limited capacity available on the space, we recommend you reserve a spot when wanting to visit. There will be half an hour time slots, from 12-17hs. 

You can reserve your spot via the following form: 

Eleni Tsomsanidou
Mail-art as an interactive and collaborative exploration

Mail-art can be described as an artistic information and communication experiment. An artist searches for a democratic art model in which sender and receiver are equal.

During her residency at ARTisBOOK, Eleni Tsompanidou makes use of this genre. Her subject is the starting point and it is the intention that others from the network respond to it with content. While communicating, Eleni creates a stimulating environment from which everyone could draw inspiration. She has to deal with the conditions of the outside world and she tries to organize them in a special way. In this way she expresses her own subjective feelings, but only after she has forced herself to take that outside world into account.

With her mail-art project Eleni tries to organize a chaotic collection of ideas in a coherent way. In this she brings her feelings and experiences. By making mail-art works of other artists into elements of her own work, she deprives them of their original identity. This can be experienced as a depersonalization of herself. It is a way of making the communication with herself, with other people and between other people, visible. There is work of all those others and therefore you are forced to act socially, to the outside world.

Through her mail-art project she has to bring it all together, invite people to participate, think about who you invite, how you show it, and what you point out to the audience. In this way Eleni frees art from its private and egocentric state. For her, this is what is important about mail-art and what is also expressed during her performances. By participating in Eleni's mail-art project, you give away something of yourself at the same time. Through her mail-art project Eleni is also aware of the fact that working with another person's work becomes a part of herself.

Stichting ARTisBOOK

30 November 2020

Selection of works made by Eleni Tsompanidou

Dit project wordt ondersteund door: