video, 5:20 min.
The contemplative flow of black and white video footage by artist Nicolas Kozakis
is overlaid with a text by philosopher and writer Raoul Vaneigem
, together forming a plea, at once poetic and political, to pause and rethink the world away from its present impasses. The striking imagery originates in the sacred place Mount Athos in northern Greece, a unique conservatory of natural beauty as well as architectural and artistic masterpieces. As a spiritual site invested in traditional human habitations and relations, it seems both a place of poetic potentiality (for instance, intense proximity to both nature and art) and of paradoxes of inequality (namely, that only men have access). Within such scenery, a lone immigrant worker builds a traditional stone house at a pace that defies the insanity of our contemporary frenetic throb, stopping at times to smoke a cigarette and meditate on the overwhelming landscape enveloped by the sea. His thoughts seem captured in Vaneigem’s words, pondering the present day capitalist enslavement to work, success, professionalism, and productivity that reduce the potentials of life to its “mere shadows.” The work reveals the need to circumvent these limitations by slowing down and rediscovering the more humane constellation of being together.