Das Paradies in a moment of Crisis
by Fotini Kalle
Gemäldegalerie Berlin, October 2013
Performance duration 2 hours and 20 minutes
Video duration 8’ 31’’
The performance was inspired by the painting of Roelant Savery: Das Paradies, painted in 1626.
The paradise represented in this painting consists of a rich natural environment full of birds and animals that are conquering the canvas. Centered, but in the background, Adam and Eve, next to the forbidden tree, are only barely visible. On the contrary the big brown bull dominates in the image.
The painting refers to the ideal world of paradise using the image of a harmonious nature. Though at the same time this harmony already shows signs of the fall of mankind.. The bull, symbol of power, greed, violence and sex in many cultures together with the apple in the hands of Eve, built the ground for the inevitable moment of crisis. Hiding under the colorful alteration of plant and animal kingdom, the world as we know it is about to collapse.
The idea of Paradise oppressed humanity for many centuries, either used as a tool of manipulation, or as a hunted idea of utopia. With this performance, the artist tried to make visible this crucial moment of crisis when harmony and beauty start to produce repression more than enjoyment. The time for a change has come, but body and mind still resist.
The performance was presented as the final work of a one week workshop on long duration performances with the artist Nezaket Ekici and organised by the International Summer Akademy, KlangKunstBühne, Universität der Künste Berlin.
Fotini Kalle was born in Athens in 1978. She lives and works in Athens and Thessaloniki. She studied painting in the Athens School of Fine Arts and Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London with a scholarship from the Alexander S. Onassis foundation. She has exhibited her work at Diverse Universe Performance Festival, Estonia 2015, Month of Performance Art, Berlin 2014, 2cd Biennale of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki 2009, and other. She also followed seminars in Europe and the USA reflecting on the idea of the body as a cultural vehicle, the concept of utopia, the importance of the space and the object in live art. She is currently conducting a PhD research concerning the performance art pedagogy and its affiliations with the “political”, at the School of Visual and Applied Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She holds a scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation. Her work ranges from video to installation and performance.