Η Ήπειρος μέσα από το έργο του Θεόδωρου Παπαγιάννη


Uploaded by ANGOR1 on 25.10.2012

Transcript:
Epirus through the works of Theodoros Papagiannis
A documentary by Aggelos Kostaras
The museum-school
We are in the place where this stone-made school
was built 50-60 years ago, in the 30’s.
It’s an unusually large school for the area
because it was built by benefactors and received substantial funding.
The yard is about 7 acres large and because the number of pupils
sank year after year, I found it a good idea to use it as a museum.
I was born and bred in this village, I first went to school here
and I thought it would be a pity not to take advantage of it.
So, I offered to contribute as many sculptures as needed
– there are about 300 sculptures and designs-
to create a second school, a museum that is,
since a museum is in essence a school, which would work
alongside the school with its few pupils.
The school still works downstairs with 15 pupils and upstairs,
on a floor measuring 500m2 plus the yard, there is the museum.
In this way, we have a twofold school.
It was a conscious act of mine because
there is a lot of discussion lately about decentralization
, but with no practical result.
So, this was a conscious act of decentralization.
I didn’t want the museum to be set up at a random place.
I was interested in exhibiting works
that have to do with this place and they would “breathe”
and function better at the place where they were conceived.
That’s how I made my decision and this museum was set up.
The role of the landscape in the artist’s visual conception
I have often wondered about the role of this landscape
in the shaping of myself, in general, and my sculpture, in particular.
I believe that this crude landscape played a role
in the crudeness of my sculpture, in the Doric style sometimes exhibited
, in this angular, sharp form that sometimes characterises my work.
I believe it is not irrelevant to the terrain of the landscaoe,
to the deep canyons, to the Arachthos River,
to the Tzoumerka Mountains that you see right across.
It is a sweet place, an amphitheatrical village,
which had fruit and other crops, although it is not a plain,
of course, but a mountainous place.
It is, however, rich in plantation, in flowers,
in all species of trees.
At times we used to collect laurel
and there are also chestnuts, plane trees, pine trees,
from which we used to make carved wood objects,
and there is a lot of stone, with which I started my sculpture.
Theodoros Papagiannis as a teacher
Theodoros Papagiannis was an excellent teacher,
a man who taught us to love sculpture, to love art,
who taught us the materials and how to work methodically.
He was almost never tired.
I remember in the workshop, when we were all tired
and at the point of giving up he would go on tirelessly
giving us instructions and urging us to keep up our work.
He was also like that during the field trips,
when he would always also show us those magnificent rocks,
which I think he carries in him as part of his birthplace,
which I also now experience here.
All these mountains, all this wild nature
was part of his work, too.
I think he has brought Ioannina and the whole area
to his work in many ways, like in the construction of the teacher
and the pupils or in some of his works showing farming tasks
or the women and men of Epirus
or the shepherds or the busts he has sculpted.
So, I believe that the works of Theodoros Papagiannis
are inseparable from this place.
He has done other things, too, but I think
the works that characterise him are those ones.
I got to know him as a teacher and we carry all he taught us in us.
I think that, as he himself has served at the School of Fine Arts
for many years, he really loves the children, the students,
all of us and he sometimes tried to push us
to the edge or even over the edge.
I consider this to be a great lesson because
at least he taught us how to work methodically
and to make an effort, tireless like him,
to continue despite the difficulties coming up.
The relation between the museum and Epirus
This museum deals with some issues that have to do with this place,
in particular, and Epirus, in general.
One of the main issues is the bread, which is inextricably
linked with the life of the people of Epirus.
Another issue is benefaction.
This village alone has two or three benefactors.
Another issue is learning, another one is the craftsman,
another one is the children’s environmental awareness.
In other words, this museum is of great environmental interest.
And that is deliberate because I believe that
the protection of nature is one of the most important things today,
which we must pass on to the young people.
There is also a part devoted to the “Epirotissa” mother,
this giant, this heroine, who was the man and the woman,
since the men would usually be abroad as emigrants,
so she had this double role of man and woman,
who had to raise the family support the household,
bring up her children, etc.
Theodoros Papagiannis and his birthplace
His relation to Epirus continues also with the museum,
of course, which he has set up in his village, Elliniko.
It is a wonderful museum and I think it highlights
not the only the place, Elliniko but also the whole of Epirus.
In this museum, through its exhibits, you can actually
see the history of Epirus and not only that of Elliniko.
Our foundation, the Department of Plastic Studies and Science of Arts
always urges the students to visit it for two reasons,
one of them being that they will see some exhibits
which will help them clarify things about relieves
and about constructions in relation to space etc.
But apart from that, they will learn what happens
in this place where they have come to study.
By learning what is happening here, you get to understand the place,
you get to realize how sometimes the masses are transformed into figures,
sculptures, how you can transmute all this motion
from the rhythm that the mountains give out into a work of sculpture.
The interaction between the museum and the place
This museum, which is almost 3 years old,
has brought about radical changes to this village.
It has brought new life and new facts.
Very often you can see buses full of people or individual visitors
coming not only from the area of Ioannina
, but also from Thessaloniki or Athens, from all over Greece,
for conferences and so on.
The museum is connected to the University,
to the Department of Plastic Arts, and this is important for the students.
It was intentionally done because a School of Fine Arts,
among other things, should also have museums.
The students must refer to museums, must see examples
of what a relief is, what a sculpture is,
what a construction is.
For this reason, I always also try to enrich the environmental aspect
with works that transmit such messages.
Every year I organize a symposium
with my students with more or fewer people.
We enrich the collection, we follow the route from the point
where the village starts to the Monastery of Tsouka
and we put signposts along the way so as to create
an original sculpture route, which will pass through the museum
and continue all the way to the Monastery.
As a result, things are now different for the village
and this is a good example of decentralization.
Creating a museum inside a school in a village,
which could be pointless, works, however, well as such.
The mere fact that the museum is in a village
and arouses the people’s curiosity to see
what this museum in this village is all about plays a positive role
and that’s how we have this turnout.
It’s not a very large turnout – the modern Greeks
do not visit the museums any more anyway, that’s for sure.
However, I am pleased that this museum created a cultural spot.
What there is to be taught in this area, if anything, is culture.
We try to keep it clean, we try for the works
to be as explicit as possible, to cover almost all issues.
Some works are mine and others are my students’
so as to make a combination of things so,
even if someone stays at the yard and does not see
the inside of the museum, they will get a clear idea of sculpture.
If someone sees this route on their way here,
even if the museum is not open, they will still get an idea
of sculpture and benefit significantly.
The childhood memories of Theodoros Papagiannis
As I said, at this school I spent my first school years.
Here I had my first experiences, my friends, my home.
Until I finished primary school, this was my world.
And, of course, after finishing primary school,
and as I was restless, I got started with my first sculptures.
I made my first sculptures from stone.
I would make the tools myself from pocketknives and so on.
That was the beginning of my sculpture.
Based on these stimuli, some people saw them
and thought it would be a pity if this boy didn’t become an artist
and that’s how I left to go to the School o Fine Arts later.
I first went to the Zosimaia School, where I briefly met Vrellis,
and then, before I even finished High School,
the Zosimaia School that is,
I was admitted to the School of Fine Arts and attended
an evening High School simultaneously in order to
complete the general education.
These first indelible memories are
what is actually depicted on these first works
which are exhibited in this place here.