Public Performance | Performed Video [03:00] | Sound
© Maria Paschalidou 2012

Akademia Platonos, a neighbourhood close to the city of Athens and a region of many contradictions but also manifestations of solidarity, forms the geographical and social terrain of the Symposium performance and video installation. Reflecting on the political connotations of the picnics in Akademia Platonos, during the economic crisis in Greece, I orchestrated a participatory live event. This staged action-picnic held at the archaeological park of the Plato’s Academy on Sunday, 30 September 2012 and was accomplished with the contribution of twenty-seven invited participants and myself. For the realization of the performance, members of creative and social collectives were invited to participate as representatives of the image of collectiveness in that specific moment of time. Those individuals, men and women, were of different backgrounds including workers, educators, students and activists.

The performance was recorded to form part of the Symposium video. Thus, the video does not serve as a documentation of the performance; it is a ‘performed video’ in which fragments of the live event are used in combination with text and fictitious settings to create new narratives. Particularly, the video presents only a few selected fragments of the public participatory performance and includes fifteen chosen phrases from Albert Camus’ novel The Stranger (1942) in the form of subtitles.

Symposium provides a space for a contemporary conversation on the absurdity of ‘togetherness’ and ‘otherness’. It reflects the meeting points of imagery and language referring to the 'familiar' and 'unfamiliar', the ‘present’ and ‘absent’, the ‘domestic’ and ‘other’. The conceptualizations and practices employed for constructing the visual subject of this project are based on symbiotic relationships of performance, literature (language), images and politics.


- Tolerance(s), “Art and Culture vs Xenophobia”; Serafio Cultural Center, Athens, May 2021 and at Ås Art & Music School, Norway, June 2021.
  Organized by: Artifactory, Ås Art & Music School, Municipality of Ås, Norway and Baumstrasse -Dromos me dentra. Curators: Eleni Mouzakiti and Kostas Ioannidis
- Maria Paschalidou, “Symposium”. Photologio, online magazine. Available from: Photologio (February 2021)
- Visual Dialogues, Onassis Cultural Centre. Plato’s Academy, Athens, 4 December 2012 – 10 February 2013
- Symposium, Public Performance. Archaeological Park of Plato’s Academy, Akademia Platonos, Athens, 30 September 2012


Paschalidou, M. 2014, Installation as a space of re-making, participating and meta-commenting, presentation, Fine Art Practices/Photography Research Group Conference, School of Arts; Art, Design and Humanities, De Montfort University, delivered 26 June 2014.

Paschalidou, M. 2014, Decentering the visual subject: Participation as an art practice, lecture, MA Photography Guuset Lecture Program; School of Media and Communication; Art, Design and Humanities, De Montfort University, delivered 25 March 2014.