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If she wasn’t an artist, Lydia Venieri could have been a philosopher or a poet. In fact, she has a unique way of combining all these attributes, knowing no boundaries whether she speaks or creates works of art. “What does Greece mean today to an expatriate Greek like me, or maybe to anyone?” she wonders. “I think that distance helps me realise that there is no ‘today’, that Greece is timeless. The ancient Greek heroes and basically the heroines, firmly based on the common sense and humanity –which doesn’t necessarily define other cultures– are absolutely contemporary. It’s what people love, what we all have loved both aesthetically and ethically”.

Born in Athens, Lydia Venieri studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she lived for 14 years before moving to New York. The return to her homeland is a strong desire. “Living abroad for 30 years, every time I come to Greece I get invigorated”, she explains. “I can’t wait to go live on a Greek island forever. Besides, I feel like I’m an island myself. This might be the case for every Greek – we are an arc of knowledge, full of experiences and things we can realise as soon as we start breathing. Within this lies an infinite treasure”.

“The platonic idea that the universe is well orchestrated, a huge dance feast in which we all coexist as a whole has inspired many philosophers, even anarchists who claim that the universe is inherently good, that things will naturally find their way”, says Lydia Venieri. “Of course, in our society this is extremely disputable. We live in a civilisation that is against nature. But the DNA is there. Even if the world collapses culturally, there will still be mythology. The Greek mythology is the most beautiful. All others are full of punishment, threat, fear, prudence. At least in the Greek one everything is based on love, and even maybe an ethical code that a lot of things can be excused if caused because of love”.



Direction & Post Production: Alexis Skoulidis
Interview & Texts: Paris Kormaris
Project Manager: Agapi Tsakpinoglou

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