FFF5 | Markus Öhrn

Αll that may bleed | Six scenes from Sophocles’ tragedies

Onassis Fast Forward Festival 5–Athens

6-16 ΜΑY 2018

Sun 6 May: Electra
Tue 8 May: Philoctetes
Thur 10 May: Women of Trachis
Sat 12 May: Ajax
Mon 14 May: Oedipus Rex
Wed 16 May: Antigone

Video Installations:
Mon 7 May: Electra
Wed 9 May: Philoctetes
Fri 11 May: Women of Trachis
Sun 13 May: Ajax
Tue 15 May: Oedipus Rex

National Library of Greece, Reading Room, Vallianio Building (32, Panepistimiou St)
40 minutes
Age guidance: 18+
On Panepistimiou Street, in the historical Reading Room of the National Library building, eleven Athenian women, amateur actresses aged 65 and over, form an off beat band and plunge into the work of Sophocles creating a series of dark, atmospheric performances.
Performances: Free admission with entrance tickets, on a first come first served basis.
Prebooking: infotickets@sgt.gr.
The distribution of entrance tickets begins one (1) hour before the event.

*Throughout the performances and the video installations  the audience will be standing up.
**Strobe lights will be used during the show.
Eleven Athenian women, with the instructions of the Swedish director and visual artist Markus Öhrn, form a band and dive into the work of Sophocles, presenting it as a series of seven dark atmospheric theatrical installations. Putting on center stage what is usually hidden, the macabre and grotesque element, the work approaches these plays through the lens of their heroes’ body: The body that experiences history and is crushed by it, a field of extreme violence. The body of the ruler and the weak. The body of the soldier. The body of the rebel and the philosopher.

The halls, designed by Theophil Hansen, are transformed into dark arenas where the eleven women will face the extreme moments of Sophocles’ heroes, presenting six different performances. The spectators will be able to watch the work either live on stage or through video installations within the landscape created by the previous day’s action.

Unexpected choices regarding the work of Sophocles make us rethink on our relationship with ancient tragedy today. What’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable regarding ancient drama and its presentation? How can eleven women, non-professional actresses, reach a stark and extreme expression by the means of these stories? What survives in these plays from the raw, blood-soaked dimension of the folk myth?

“…Hack this body limb from flesh.
And hack off my head. Chop me in pieces,
to save me from the horror of hope...”
                                           (Philoctetes, 1206)

Discussion | Monday 7 May | 19:00 | Will be held in English
Markus Öhrn, Director
Geli Kalampaka, Director's assistant
Yannis Leontaris, Director, Associate Professor,
Department of Theatre Studies, University of the Peloponnese
The eleven amateur actresses
Chaired by Efthimis Theou, Actor/Dramaturg


Direction, Concept: Markus Öhrn 
Costume, Mask, Sculptures: Tilda Lovell
Sound, Light: Damiano Bagli
Video: Jakob Öhrman
Dramaturgy: Efthimis Theou
Video assistant: Natasja Loutchko
Director’s Assistant: Geli Kalampaka

In cooperation with: INSTITUTET (SWE)
Commissioned and Produced by: Onassis Culture/FFF
Supported by Swedish Arts Counsil
With: Sousanna Arkouli, Depy Aslanidou, Diana Zachariadi, Youli Zachariou, Angela Iordanescu, Aphrodite Kapala, Sandy Karaiskou, Maro Karamani, Mariangela Katsikali, Lena Pampouki, Katerina Triviza

We warmly thank the National Library of Greece for kindly offering the venue.

We thank the Athens School of Fine Arts for the use of their premises for mask and costume construction and Elli Apostolaki Alexandro Garnavo and Artemi Sgourou for their invaluable assistance.

We would like to thank the following for the extracts of the translations in modern Greek:
Papadimas publishing, for Ajax, translated by Panayis Lorentzatos (edited by Nikos A. Panagiotopoulos),
Nikos A. Panagiotopoulos, for Antigone,
Kastaniotis Ediitions, for Electra, translated by Georges Cheimonas,
Bibliothèque publishing, for Oedipus Rex, translated by Minoas Volanakis,
Kostas Volakas and Eleni Papazoglou, for Women of Trachis,
Yorgos Blanas and Gavrielides Books, for Philoctetes.

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Markus Öhrn (b. 1972) is a Swedish visual artist. He graduated from the Master of Fine Arts programme at Konstfack, Stockholm, in 2008. Markus Öhrn works with video, sound installations and performances. His installations have been presented in Sweden and internationally in places such as Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm; Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; Volksbühne (Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and Arsenal), Berlin.

In 2010 he directed his first theatre performance, Conte d’Amour, that was awarded the First Prize at the Impulse Festival 2011, in Germany. Conte d’Amour was the first part of a trilogy that was followed by the performances We Love Africa and Africa Loves Us (2012) and Bis zum Tod (2014). The performances have been shown at festivals around the world such as Theater Treffen, Berlin; Wiener Festwochen; Festival d’Avignon; Festival Transamerique, Montreal; Theater Der Welt. In 2015 Markus started to work with site-specific performances in series. The first piece in this format was the Azdora project that he created for Santarcangelo Festival in Italy, where he created a Black Metal / Noise band with housewives that performed for 10 days in a row. Since then he has made an Adventscalendar for Volksbühne am Rosa- Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin – 24 different performances in 24 days, in December 2015 – and then the follow-up 11-day performance Wir sind die Guten, also at Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, in 2017. In 2018 Markus is also creating a commission work for Wiener Festwochen and Wiesbaden Biennale, called Häusliche Gewalt (Domestic Violence). In 2015 he participated at the X-Apartments project of the Onassis Cultural Centre’s Fast Forward Festival in Athens. Markus Öhrn lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

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