Transparent yet mysterious; Empowered yet objectified; Private yet public; Present yet absent; Connected yet isolated; Certain yet uncertain.
This is who we are: “the Absent Girls”, in memory of all the women before us.
Concept & Art Direction: Elli Papakonstantinou
Playwright: Christina Ouzounidis
Translation into Greek: Margarita Mellberg
Translation into English: G.Carbone, E. Papakonstantinou, E. Dermitzaki
Music Composition: Nalyssa Green, Katerina Papachristou
Scenography: Myrto Lambrou
Visual Art Advisor: Mary Zygouri
Movement direction: Valia Papachristou
Technical Director: Charikleia Petraki
Technical Assistant: Korina Kotsiri
Trailer: Charikleia Petraki
Assistant to the Director: Ero Lefa
Photography: FLP Athens, Sophia Manoli, Μariza Kapsabeli
Cast: Nalyssa Green (vocals/keyboards), Serafita Grigoriadou, Gemma Hansson Carbone, Valia Papachristou, Katerina Papachristou (vocals/keyboards/bass), Sophia Manoli
IRCAM/Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR) 03.03.2021
Romaeuropa Festival (IT) 13-14.10.2020
O.FESTIVAL (NL)24- 25.08.2021
Νational Theatre of Genova [Eccellenza al Femminile Festival](IT) 15-16.10.21
Feather Dusting/Future Lusting (UK) 24-26.06.20
Electric Dreams Online Festival (UK/AU) 27 – 28 & 30.07.2020
Female Symbols and Urban Space – AMAZONE (BE) October 2020
Città Delle 100 Scale Festival (IT)19.10.2020
MOT Festival (MK) 25.11.2020
Currents New Media (USA) 24-25.6.2021
OFF Europa Festival (GER) 21.10.2021
Produced by ODC Ensemble
With the Support of
the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports | Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet) | Embassy of Sweden in Athens
Under the auspices of
Club for Unesco Piraeus and Islands | Greek General Secretariat for Gender Equality
DIRECTOR ’S NOTE
“I had just started rehearsing for a physical performance of the “Traces of Antigone” when the lockdown came. I decided to keep on working with the help of technology and so we met on a daily basis thinking that the lockdown wouldn’t last long and that we would soon go back to physical.
I soon realized that the containment of the performers’ bodies in the digital windows, was in direct dialogue with the theme of the piece, the canonization of gender identity, womanhood and domesticity. My objective here is to explore a new aesthetic language using means that I hadn’t used before and regenerate a new format that supports the live and ephemeral nature of theatre art.”
Theatre of Seclusion – Manifesto
Women@home attempt the impossible
What is “theatre of seclusion”?
It is a live-streamed performance developed, designed and executed in seclusion in the many different homes of the artists, who join forces to create one unique audiovisual experience, a cinematic concert in synchronicity. Theatre of Seclusion comes with a set of rules and restrictions:
- We rehearse, develop and execute the whole piece in quarantine with the help of digital platforms.
- We are allowed to use only the props, musical instruments, set environment, costumes and technical means found in our homes when quarantined; no add-ons later on! Our home is the set. Public space and home space merge into one. The tagged names on our windows name us and reconfigure anonymity and objectification.
- We work in seclusion from our homes like women before us. Are we trapped, safe or emancipated? It is up to our viewers to tell, as we grand them permission to invade our most intimate worlds. Zoom into details, zoom out to the galaxies.
- We all use the same basic technology to weave this new-age audiovisual embroidering in synchronicity.
- We invite viewers to interact with the performance and thus be propelled to the public agora.
“I loved that piece and am most grateful to you for bringing it into English and other languages. It is socially powerful and wonderfully experimental. It moved me and allowed me to feel most grateful for feminist art projects that link our rage with solidarity. A million thanks!”
Judith Butler, American philosopher, writer and gender theorist
‘’It’s powerful. It’s very powerful. The Greek feeling for tragedy, and the way it is translated in our time, is very, very powerful. …Elli Papakonstantinou takes in her hands the box of Antigone and crushes it. She puts in it everything has become mythological and she destroys it. She explores the fact of breaking a Myth. What is left?’’“It’s powerful. It’s very powerful. The Greek feeling for tragedy, and the way it is translated in our time, is very, very powerful. The way it is translated in the reality of gender violence, a strong negation of the identity of a human being.
Marco Ranaldi, www.Sipario.it, 21 October 2020
“Our sincere congratulations! Amazone nominated the ODC Ensemble as the “laureate hors catégorie” for the “Traces of Antigone” The curators, Els De Vos (University of Antwerp) and Hermès Roland (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and the director of “Amazone Awards” were so impressed by the concept, the content and the esthetic quality of “Traces of Antigone”, that they even decided to create a special nomination.”
The Amazone Award Jury Committee
Contradictions such as those exposed by this reversal of the gaze are central to Traces, which presents women as “Transparent yet mysterious; Empowered yet objectified; Private yet public; Present yet absent; Connected yet isolated; Certain yet uncertain.”Yet, even in the midst of an equalizing pandemic, the piece reflects on the particular burdens that women must bear, from Antigone on. Ouzounidis’s modern-day Antigone is “just a girl,” a schoolgirl of thirteen. Yet her affective and physical world is already marked by the traces of gendered and domestic violence—the disappearance of women, the objectification that the piece constantly and paradoxically foreground.“
Barbara Fuchs, Professor, English Department, UCLA, USA (extracts from her expected book)
“It’s great to watch a Zoom show that actually looks good. This a serious and often exciting exploration of the uncertain world in which young women live; it’s full of stunning images, the result of careful, classy work by a great company.”
Mark Courtice, theatre critic, ReviewsGate
“You are breaking open some walls! Respect! Pipilotti Rist comes to me. Bright colours, close-ups!”
Mieke Renders, director of Trans Europe Halles Network, Sweden
“Even though it is a time-synchronous performance, it is a different beast than live performance in a full sense of the word. The entire project is very timely, and it offers a take on this whole situation that is sorely missing from the public discourse, at least here in the US.”
Prof. Branislav Jakovljevic, Department of Theater and Performance Studies, Stanford University, USA
“That was extraordinary. A fascinating visual kaleidoscope and a very compelling examination of female identity. Bravo!”
Douglas Kennedy, writer of the international bestsellers The Big Picture, The Pursuit of Happiness, Leaving the World and more; ex director of the Peacock Theatre in London UK
“I don’t know how to thank you. I was immersed in a very intense experience; you managed to get into the woman and gender themes by abandoning all stereotypes and any form of conditioning to get to the deep sense of the human being beyond gender, digging into the language that defines us but at the same time can also destroy us, if used without intelligence. […] Technically I think it is a really complex work, you have done an incredible job pushing the potential that the video has made available to you with sensitivity and intelligence, without being crushed by the medium but looking for a new one!”
Tamara Malleo, journalist, Teatromania – Telelombardia, Italy