Mystery 112: Dual Theatre, Or On Friendship, a work by the distinguished artist Maria Papadimitriou, which includes a series of open fiction art workshops for – and with – the residents of Elefsina, will be presented from 22 January to 29 February.

A project by the distinguished artist Maria Papadimitriou that includes a series of open artistic workshops of fiction for – and with – the residents of Elefsina. At the ELAIOURGIKI space, participants young and old will have the opportunity to gain knowledge, experience, skills and awareness of the wide range of practices and techniques associated with art production.

Maria Papadimitriou settled in the city from the very beginning in 2018, in order to cultivate friendship relations and to get to know the place, its history and its inhabitants better. Over the years she has met and established friendly ties with important collectors of special interest living in the area, women, craftsmen, artists, amateur creators, volunteers of the Thriasian Field and members of various ethnic associations. In fact, during the pandemic, in order to maintain physical contacts with the city’s inhabitants, the artist, together with five Eleusinian women friends, founded the “Eleusinian” group, which developed continuous activity.

The central axis of the work is the most precious thing we have today, the concept of friendship and the very people the artist and her collaborators have met, discussed and connected with over the years. The encounters, dialogues, exchanges, contexts, obsessions, differences, material traces and fantasies they shared, emerge as a crucial paradigm and precondition of creativity itself. For Maria Papadimitriou, artistic practice presupposes active citizens who are not external observers or spectators but participate themselves as co-creators, co-inventors and co-promoters who craft ways, processes and events of a shared course in the vast web of everyday practices. The artist is distinguished for her ability to activate collaborations, associations and collective activities that directly link art to society. For this reason, her work is characterized by an intense social interaction and inter-activity with a primary interest in the place and its people. In this context, the artist and the curator will continue the investigation they started in 2018 at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Thessaly into the territorial archive and the geological unconscious of the region, where myths, archaeology, industry and everyday life coexist through complex relationships, interweavings and temporalities.

The establishment of the workshop Mystery 112 is the culmination of the relationship that the artist has developed with the residents of Elefsina and the institution of the European Capital of Culture over the last six years. An open workshop of fiction that focuses on “in-work” artistic and plastic activity, not only for but above all with the inhabitants of the city. The starting point is the social and cultural expansion of artistic practices and the cultivation of interpersonal relationships through artistic activities, combining workshop creation with an anthropological approach to culture. In this context, a review of the collective artistic projects that have been disseminated in our country since the late 1990s and in which the artist has played a significant role will be attempted.

During the workshop, a number of artist friends, writers and creators from various fields who have collaborated and interacted with the artist in previous years will present their work and engage in conversation with the participants and residents of the city. Another reference to the importance and pleasure of friendship that leaves its mark on life and creation itself. At the same time, the ELAIOURGIKI space will also function as a permanent exhibition space, offering an open creative experience and dialogue. At the end of the meetings, the workshop can also function, on occasion, as an artistic hub with special events and happenings.

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