A cuppa with ancestors

"Come in, take a seat, the kettle's on : I think we should have a quiet word;
But be careful what you say about my choices 'cause it takes less than a minute for an agitated, unsettled cup to overflow...
and then you will accuse me again of being libertine, rebellious, angry, simpering and unnatural".

A one minute video dedicated to the deviant, extravagant, whimsical, insolent, indocile, irritable, naughty, talkative, incoherent, depressed, chatty, simpering, flirtatious, unconventional, irascible, impulsive women interned in Sant'Antonio Abate mental hospital during Italian Fascism. Women who have not been able to "fulfill" the roles of mother- housewife- fieldworker as imposed by the oppressive patriarchal society.

Note:
Obsolete domestic equipment was used to produce this short video in an ordinary living room and led by only one person who assumes all the roles: director, performer, camera operator, editor, photographer. This video is presented as an example of simple but still complex in its production video; short vs long duration; steady camera and fixed compositional frames vs multiple different angles and smooth camera work; one person-led vs crew; home vs studio production; As a former dancer, cross-disciplinary artist who can't afford the conditions/technology/equipment for a so called " high production value" output, had never been a real limitation even if I am aware that my work can't access certain contexts of video art and screendance. Imagination, adaptation, and new strategies are constantly emerging and they become the elements which will define what is the real value of a work. "A cuppa with ancestors" aimed to challenge personal boundaries during the making process, searching for an organic synthesis between the different elements of creation.

  • Fenia Kotsopoulou
    Director
  • Fenia Kotsopoulou
    Writer
  • Fenia Kotsopoulou
    Key Cast
  • Fenia Kotsopoulou
    camera
  • Fenia Kotsopoulou
    editing
  • Fenia Kotsopoulou
    sound design
  • Project Type:
    Experimental
  • Runtime:
    1 minute
  • Completion Date:
    March 3, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    Greece
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
    digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Festival International de Vidéo Danse de Bourgogne 2017
    Lyon
    France
    September 16, 2017
  • BIDEODROMO FESTIVAL 2017
    Bilbao
    Spain
    September 12, 2017
  • CONTEMPORARY VISIONS | VIDEO ART IN LOOP
    Milan
    Italy
    June 15, 2017
    World Premiere
Director Biography - Fenia Kotsopoulou

I am a UK-resident, Greek-born cross-disciplinary artist (performance (art), dance, video, photography) holding an MFA in Choreographing Live Art from the University of Lincoln (UK), ) a BA Honours in Dance from the National Dance Academy of Rome (Italy) and a BA in Italian Language and Literature from the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki (Greece).

Over the course of the last four years, video making and photography became a dominant and persistent component of my artistic practice. All my inspiration comes from the daily life, encounters, observation of interpersonal relationships, abandoned places, gender politics, feminist approaches on female subjectivity and identity. Pivotal topics of recent projects include the body as gathering place of emotions and site of transformation, personal and collective memory, fragmentation, construction and deconstruction of female identity, performativity of documentation and different uses of personal archives. In search of an holistic way to express my vision, and based on a rhizomatic approach of making art, I collaborate with artists from different fields and different cultural backgrounds.
In the past few years, as (dance) performer, producer and visual practitioner, my works and the work of close-collaborators have been shown at a wide array of festivals and art platforms, encompassing the fields of dance, experimental performance, live-art and video-art.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I constantly explore new perspectives, theories and tools for understanding and

critically thinking about the Body and Performance; I experiment on an

interdisciplinary basis within a rigorous conceptual framework in order to develop

skills in different fields like technology, curatorial practices, advanced somatic

practices, research and documentation : which all contribute to the formation of the

more holistic artistic practice I desire to expand.

I draw my inspiration from everyday life experiences, encounters and events. I

consider everything as possible source of inspiration, from the mundane to the

extraordinary. Consciously or unconsciously there are many aspects to daily

experience, often small or overlooked, which work their way into my creative work,

either as seed or influence. I try not to observe a boundary between Art and Life,

preferring instead to see them as one and the same thing, enabling me to draw

influence from a wide and varied range of sources.

Living in several different places Greece, Italy, Germany and the UK has benefited

my outlook and practice as I've gained multi layered experiences, insights from the

different cultures I've been a part of. Travelling and living in abroad, formal training

and studies, daily life and encounters are taking the form of a ToolBox I use in my life

and my artistic practice.

My artistic work is an attempt to develop a unified, fluid, hybrid and expressive

personal language, using vocabularies induced by performance, dance/instant

composition, technology, video, photography and site specific improvisation, in order to

transliterate emotional states present in and generated by situation, architecture and

somatic experience. Specifically, I am interested in exploring the synthesis of somatic,

spatial, and visual to create new coherent expressions.

Pivotal topics of recent projects include the Body as gathering place of emotions

and site of transformation, personal and collective memory, fragmentation,

construction and deconstruction of female identity, performativity of documentation

and different uses of personal archives. In search of an holistic way to express my

vision, and based on a rhizomatic approach of making art, I collaborate with artists

from different fields and different cultural backgrounds.

Observation, experimentation, fusion, critical reflection, movement research and

analysis, are the main tools I use in order to keep enriching and challenging both my

practice and my somatic experience.