Erotikon / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE
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Erotikon

Kiriakos Hadjiioannou

18-20 JAN 2019
 
Exhibition Hall
A variety show that presents an ode to eros, or whatever remains of it. Balancing dexterously between theory and lived experience, poetic language and the emancipated body, “Erotikon” invites us to imagine eros differently.
Tough times for falling in love! To what extent has our understanding of love and eros changed in an era of social media and dating apps? How have our erotic and sexual selves been transformed by the contemporary environment of imagification and new modes for mediating human communication? Can we still imagine alternatives, or have we become entirely reconciled to the versions of eros that saturate the media?

Kiriakos Hadjiioannou poses ripe, unanswerable questions concerning the diachronic nature of erotic phenomena. This installment of his choreographic study “Higher States” envisions a contemporary symposium devoted to eros. Using a series of analytical tools and methods, such as song, philosophical discourse, movement and gesture (movement’s primordial trace), Hadjioannou attempts to construct an erotic meta-vocabulary, a language that can give physical shape to unexplored aspects in the field of everyday human relationships. A multi-modal variety show, an “ode” to eros—or whatever remains of it.

credits

​With: Katerina Drakopoulou, Stelios Georgalis, Myrto Grapsa, Kiriakos Hadjiioannou, Lara - Joy Hamann, Jost Von Harleßem, Nancy Papathanasiou, Maria Sideri, Bernhard Siebert, Nancy Stamatopoulou, Urs August Steiner, Margarita Tsomou

Produced by: Onassis Stegi

Partner: Tanzhaus Zürich

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Philosophy has always had a tense relationship with the phenomenon of eros. On the one hand was its romantic conception, and on the other its philosophical dimension, as an ideal place of encounter with the Other. Plato’s Symposium emphasizes the deep “theatricality” of philosophical thought and even today can provide motivation for us to approach the ideal, cognitive dimension of eros.

Can we still speak of eros in this day and age? What possibilities or silent social resistances are expressed through the topic of eros? “Erotikon” imagines a broad spectrum of meanings for eros and love, presenting personal and intimate experiences, calling on memories, offering moments of consolation. Its creators imagine a sort of “Manifesto of eros in troubled times”—which, drawing on Roland Barthes’ Fragments of a Lover’s Discourse, uses bodies and music to construct a contemporary vocabulary of love: “heart,” “body,” “presence,” “dependence,” “insanity,” “jealousy,” “sex,” “suicide,” “depression,” “pain,” and so on.

Kiriakos Hadjiioannou has appeared at the Onassis Cultural Centre before, at the 2nd Young Choreographers Festival in 2015, with the work “Or Who Owns the World.” That performance was based on the 1932 German political film "Kuhle Wampe", with a screenplay by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Slatan Dudow and with music by Hanns Eisler. Both the theme of the film and its adaptation for stage treat pointed social problems and issues, trying to give a substantive answer to the question of how contemporary political action and thought take shape in artistic practice.
 
Kiriakos Hadjiioannou graduated from the State School of Orchestral Art and holds a masters degree in choreography and performance from the Department of Theatrical Studies at the University of Giessen (Germany). A multidisciplinary artist, he divides his time between teaching, research, and choreography. His works combine elements from various artistic realms, transgressing monolithic, inflexible understandings of the art of dance, as in his triptych "Higher States", which treats transcendent mental states and which was awarded the June Johnson Dance Prize (specifically for “Hyperion,” "Higher States" Part 2).

Beyond his collaborations with educational institutions abroad (La Manufacture – Haute école des arts de la scène, Lausanne) and the important support he receives from the Swiss Arts Council ProHelvetia for his choreographic research, Hadjioannou continues to experiment as a performance artist, both in his own works and in collaborations with visual artists, cinematographers, and other choreographers of international repute. He then incorporates these experiences and experimentations into his own writing, which at times tends toward cinematographic and artistic performance (“Or Who Owns the World”) and sometimes toward a kind of futuristic ritual, which aims to uncover repressed or unknown aspects of physicality.

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