Elpida Fragkeskidou answers some of our questions about her inspirations, the best part of being an artist, and more.
What’s your background?
Currently, I live and work in between Athens and Nicosia. I graduated from Athens School of Fine Arts (Sculpture department). My focus is concentrated on composing landscapes, while sculpting materiality, memory, temporalities and identity. I specialise in installations of experience, with characteristic property of nowness, with a relation to archaeology and excavation by its processing and the outcome. In 2017, I studied at London at Middlesex University as an Erasmus exchange student.
I have participated in group exhibitions in Athens and London. Exhibited at A.Antonopoulou Gallery in Athens, Back to Athens|International Art Festival, Athens School of Fine Arts, the Italian Embassy of Athens, the Numismatic Museum of Athens, ENDROSIA, Nicosia; ME THEN Showroom,Athens; We Are Bud, Athens; Islington Arts Factory, London; Archeological Museum, Delphi; and Italian Cultural Institute, Athens.
I was an intern at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Greece, in the Curatorial and Communication departments. I have participated in the Art Athina International Art Fair Educational Programs, various workshops, projects and as a production assistant at Athens Biennale 2018. Recently I worked as an assistant at Hot Wheels Athens Gallery and I was working as part of the core team at Onassis AiR, an (inter)national artistic and curatorial research residency program and space. Third part is based on bodies and languages.
What does art mean to you?
Art is an other form of communication. The way we see things, the way we communicate all forms of the inside with the outside and the opposite. Bodies, identities, objects.. all kind of relationships, I would say. The systematic relationships among diverse phenomena, not for substantive identities among similar ones…
How did you start making art/Why do you make art?
I was 4 years old. The teacher of the elementary school told my mother that I was really good on painting and creating ideas. I was 6 years old. The teacher of the primary school told my mother that she have to start doing something about it. And she did.
What inspires you? What are your biggest influences?
Material cultrure, communities and museums are full of myths throughout historicity, but what happens in a new heat wave of myths that are based on today’s culture and society? Public space, seems like a museum that is not. Influences can be found in between public spaces, languages, bodies, different cultures and systems. I’m interested in philosophy, history, archaeology and queer history and how all these can create a new place, a new artefacts of an imaginary civilisation that can be found temporal in space and language. This year I am going to integrate the work name "The trilogy of the Apocalypse", based on 3 different shows. Now i’m working for the first part of the third show - also in a residency that i’m taking part in Phytorio in the end of August for a month. Third part is based on bodies, language and objects. Disciplines and people change, and in doing so their interpretations change, and thus, for them, objects and collections change. «Loss and discovery are both a place and a non-place where liquid and contradictory identities can meet different destinations and to interact with the complete isolation of time.. and an apocalypse might unfold all we known apart from it».
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
Maybe being an artist! The best thing, is that you can see different stories inside objects, sounds, images, visuals and all the forms that can be found. Storytelling, has patterns that an artist should have wore while we are creating the chains that combine the history itself.
What gives you the most joy?
The audience. The audience, while visiting the handcrafted - spatial manifestations/landscapes that encompassing multiple imagined, tactile and symbolic properties. The way they interact with it. The way the play, and they don’t even know it. People and things interact to create identities, Daniel Miller, said. Also, the sculptural objects negotiate how time is layered through space, place and memory, inviting them to rethink the way we perceive and experience temporalities. I remember in 2019, with Lost and Found show, they had to make a wish at a giant rock of this place - non place and people came after like «The wish I made is here, is real! The rock made it!» So…the ways that «remnants» are encoded stored and retrieved though intellectual and emotional processes, forming memories..from past to future.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
Is there a best piece of advice? Advices change through time. We might got some day an advise that didn’t actually worked out, but now actually it does. I would say, to be real to ourselves and to others.