May 12 2018

A tribute to Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven aka Baroness


72 Salaminos str.
104 35 Athens

curation: Fil Ieropoulos

Who is Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven?

One of the most unknown figures of the dadaist scene, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven aka the Baroness, whose work started being discussed in 2002 and was widely made available in 2015, is for some the “grandmother” of performance art. Combining groundbreaking language, provocative performance and a bohemian lifestyle, the Baroness is one of the most eccentric figures of 20th-century art.

The multifaceted work of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is of great interest both as a point of artistic reference and as a very good example of pioneering female writing and activity, largely silenced by the canon of American-European art history for about a century. The Baroness is one of the few women in the field of sound poetry, do-it-yourself aesthetics and the deconstruction of modernist language canons. The Baroness writes poems and at the same time she physically performs them, merging poetry with voice, performance and the visual.

What is Dada?

Apart from the fact that Dada was an art movement that began in the beginning of the 20th century in Zurich, one cannot give a definition of what Dada is, exactly because Dada “invited, or rather defied, the world to misunderstand it and fostered every kind of confusion” (Hans Richter, dada art and anti-art, 1965). A confusion that was only a façade, since some of its goals were to provoke and to deconstruct structures, to create a fuss and to look at art, be it performance, poetry, sculpture, film, collages, painting, clothes or any other form of artistic expression from a totally different perspective. Dada was characterized by playfulness, silliness even, a refusal to be serious but at the same time taking its “unseriousness” very seriously, in terms of publications, engagement to do events and to keep questioning itself and other forms of art and expression.
What does a Dada workshop mean nowadays? This year we celebrate 100 plus 2 years from the opening of Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in 1916. By facilitating a workshop, we do not only pay tribute to the art that was created in the last century, but also remember what Dada was/is about, create new Dada artworks and re-define what Dada could mean in this era. Dada is a well of ideas. Dada did not live and die in the 20th century, but Dada can be in our way of thought, in our way of creating art, even today. So delving into the Dada of the past could be a form of unarchiving and reappropriating Dada in a current framing.

Spoons in hair, Wings on glasses, Sounds on notebooks is the third event of #TextMe_Lab. The Lab aspires to transform ATOPOS space into a research centre with a series of lectures, discussions, workshops, performances and small exhibitions. All events focus on hybrid languages arising at the intersection of text and other artistic media. Programming themes include: 20th century visual poetry, spoken word performance, the relation between poetry and sound art, and contemporary linguistic phenomena, such as internet pop-culture and new media, and the relation between words and screens.


Saturday 12 May

17:00-20:00 – Hands-on Dada workshop with Alex Demetriou

Alex Demetriou (aka Tsoli) is a curator and performer who operates between Berlin and Athens. In 2016 Alex co-curated the LGBTQI Outview Film Festival, Gender Fest in 2017, and was a member of the DIY performance festival Sound Acts in 2015 and 2017. Alex works as a translator and subtitlist in film productions and festivals such as the Berlinale and the Berlin Porn Film Festival.

20:30-22:00 – Talk about the Baroness by Sofia Bempeza and presentation of the album “Holding Tail with Mouth” (Fytini, 2016)

Sofia Bempeza is an artist and art theorist. Her work focuses on the political in the field of art, gendered identities, public space policy and the concept of labour in the context of art and knowledge production. She is a member of the board of directors of Shedhalle Zürich and has worked as a lecturer at the University of Arts in Zurich (2011-2017).

Entrance Free


Hospitality Sponsors

Supporting Creativity

With the support of
Athens Culture Net
Founding donor Stavros Niarchos Foundation

As part of
Athens 2018 World Book Capital