Performance Crushed Bitter Oranges by VASKOS

Wed, 07.06.2023

7:00 PM


Performance at the Pickle Bar by Slavs and Tatars

Goethe-Institut Athen invites you to the performance Crushed Bitter Oranges by VASKOS (Vassilis Noulas and Kostas Tzimoulis) at the Pickle Bar installation by Slavs and Tatars in the framework of the touring exhibition EVROVIZION.CROSSING STORIES AND SPACES by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) on Wednesday, June 7, at 19:00.
Both the residency-mentorship program and the Pickle Bar installation by the artists’ collective Slavs and Tatars are part of the EVROVIZION project. The integration of the Pickle Bar into the exhibition creates an open space for local dialogues. Before each exhibition opens, a young local professional (an artist, curator and/or researcher) is chosen to participate in the Pickle Bar mentorship program in Berlin. For two months, they are integrated into the artists’ studio and mentored in their personal projects – some of which may eventually be presented as part of EVROVIZION. Slavs and Tatars and ifa selected the young Greek curator and researcher Dora Vasilakou as a fellow of the 2022/23 Pickle Bar residency-mentorship program. Vasilakou co-curates the Pickle Bar performance Crushed Bitter Oranges by VASKOS, to be presented in Athens on June 7, 2023.

Through its diverse practice and self-organized initiatives, the active artistic duo VASKOS (Vassilis Noulas and Kostas Tzimoulis) develops hybrid actions that include performances, costume design and sound works, while combining audiovisual media and movement with doses of theatricality and sarcasm. At the Pickle Bar by Slavs and Tatars, VASKOS presents the multiform performance Crushed Bitter Oranges by VASKOS

Bitter oranges are citrus fruits originating from Southeast Asia. While visually reminiscent of an orange, they have a different, bitter taste that is almost inedible. One has to boil them and make them sweet to eat them. Bitter orange trees are very common in the neighborhoods of Athens. They are resistant to air pollution and require almost no care and water. Mature bitter oranges fall on sidewalks, rot or get trampled and crushed under pedestrian shoes or car wheels. Sometimes they are used in demonstrations as makeshift ammunition against police repression. 

The crushed bitter oranges, an image from the streets of Athens that is quite familiar, are a metaphor for, and a political commentary on the city around us that is changing rapidly, following the dictates of development, touristification of culture, optimization and intensification. A reference to a social normative model that tries to exhaust the potential of the city, its structures, its people. 

Crushed Bitter Oranges is a story about things running out, about materials being consumed, about depleted reserves and reduced endurance. As VASKOS note: “Wasted music and neon lights in the daytime. But the struggles and demands continue despite frustration, despite exhaustion. The crushed bitter oranges are bitter, uneaten, lying crushed on the city sidewalks. They dwell parasitically and ephemerally. They look funny and outdated.” But they are here.
Curated by Sabina Klemm and Sanja Kojić Mladenov, the co-creative exhibition EVROVIZION.CROSSING STORIES AND SPACES explores the current social and political situation in Europe and the idea of a European identity. A project by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), it is being presented in Athens in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Athen, and EMΣT | National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens.



Local curator: Ioli Tzanetaki
Artists present: Maria Tsagkari
Languages: ENG, GR
Duration: 30'

Crushed Bitter Oranges by VASKOS (Vassilis Noulas and Kostas Tzimoulis)
Co-curated by Dora Vasilakou
Duration: 30'