LAUNCHING CEREMONY | MARINA GIOTI
23/07/2021 - 26/07/2021
Tarsanas Shipyard, Hermoupolis, Syros
Site-specific audiovisual installation presented as part of the 9th Syros International Film Festival (SIFF), Off Season.
Conceived by filmmaker and visual artist Marina Gioti
Friday, July 23, 21:00
Live music performance by May Roosevelt
24-26 July | 21:00-23:00
Admission is free, on a first come – first served basis
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Although humans live their lives and build their institutions on land, they seek to understand the course of their existence through the allegory of a sea voyage. If a shipwreck represents the end of a vessel’s life cycle, the launching or christening signifies its “birth” and represents the other most significant milestone in a ship’s life. Traditionally, the ship naming and launching ceremony constituted a blessing practice that called for the good fortune and safety of the new ship, its crew, and passengers. The ceremony is held at a shipyard when a new ship is ready to sail out once its construction has been completed. The master of ceremony (a “sponsor” in nautical terms) is usually a woman who, acting as the ship’s godmother, breaks a bottle of champagne to bless the ship with luck in the presence of important guests. Such grand ceremonial launchings are not so common in our days anymore; when they do happen, they take place quietly, without mobilizing large crowds.
Launching Ceremony, conceived by filmmaker and visual artist Marina Gioti, is a site-specific installation that focuses on this initial milestone, the ceremonial launch of a new vessel. Centrepiece to the work is a new film that consists of a montage of mid century archival footage from Greek and international newsreels. By playing back memories of past launching ceremonies, the work aims to bring an intentional anachronism face to face with the present, in order to awaken spirits of the island’s anthropogeography through a nightly reactivation of Syros’s historic Tarsanas Shipyard in Hermoupolis.
The work takes-over the shipyard over the course of four evenings in July (23-26 July), projecting filmic presences from times past that set the stage for visitors to gather in the quiet of the night and experience a period of collective waiting. This waiting period leads to a hopeful act that is the beginning of a journey. Thessaloniki-based composer and thereminist May Roosevelt composes the film’s score, which will be performed live at the day of the opening, July 23rd, 2021 at the Tarsanas Shipyard, Hermoupolis, Syros.
The Launching Ceremony site-specific audiovisual installation in public space is commissioned by the 9th Syros International Film Festival (SIFF), Off Season, and is taking place with the support of NEON Organization for Culture and Development.
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