Victoria Square Project (VSP) in collaboration with Counterpoints Arts and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative (SNFPHI) at Columbia University, launches the first call of Station One AIR, a year-long residency programme for emerging artists to reimagine Greek identity. The selected artists, four from Greece and four from countries with significant migrant and refugee communities in the Victoria Square district of Athens, will work in teams of four, for three months, under the mentorship of Columbia University faculty, collaborating artists and curators, and VSP’s team to engage in a series of “contextualizations” of Johannes Pfuhl’s neoclassical sculpture of Hippodamia in Victoria Square.
The European and nationalist ideals represented by this sculpture stand in stark contrast to the everyday realities of the Victoria Square neighbourhood’s Greek, immigrant, and refugee inhabitants, making it a timely object through which to engage current debates about Greek history and identity. Once an upper-middle-class neighborhood, Victoria Square is now one of the most diverse areas of Athens, home to long-time residents as well as immigrants and refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
The residency programme itself consists of two cycles: end of May - July 2021, and September - December 2021. Four artists will be selected to work together for three months. Each cycle will bring together two artists from Athens and two artists from countries with communities in the neighborhood. The artists are expected to work together on a common project and engage the local community. At the end of each cycle, the artists-in-residence will present their contextualization of the Hippodamia sculpture as an installation in Victoria Square or as an exhibition in the premises of VSP or online as a virtual exhibition.
All residents will have access to Victoria Square Project’s infrastructure and receive support from its team throughout their project’s realization as well as an honorary fee of 1400 euros. Additionally, residents not living in Athens will have their travel covered by the program and will be provided with independent housing. Each team will be given a budget of 1000 euros for the implementation of their project.