Each month one of our Directors chooses an art.earth member to become ‘Artist of the Month’. What follows is a conversation with that artist, together with some examples of his or her work.
Keti Haliori is a new media artist who lives and works in Athens, Greece. She creates interdisciplinary projects, concerning evolution, divine, cosmic information and consciousness, but also deals with humanitarian and environmental issues. She has collaborated with the departments of Biology, Archaeology, Chemistry Environment, the Museum of Anthropology School of Medicine of National University of Athens and the Greek Committee of Hydrogeology. During the years 2008–2010, she protested for the refugees who were victims or survivors of shipwrecks and minefields. She made public actions and installations at the entrance gates-host of Chios, Alexandroupolis, Lavrion and in major urban centers of Athens and Thessaloniki. Since 2011, she has acti¬vated the World Water Museum, a permanent interactive project about the global lack of water. She furthermore creates and curates water projects and workshops around the world.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently organizing the transfer of the World Water Museum to its final place for which it was designed from the beginning of the project. In October 2018 it will be transported to a traditional house on the island of Hydra. It will be installed as a site-specific artwork on the rocky foundations of the house where it will be permanently exhibited.
On Hydra, the museum will begin new activities with two projects:
- Anhydrous Hydra: A research journey through time on the Greek island Hydra.
This project will excavate the history of water on the island: from the ancient years of abundance to the water scarcity of the last millennium and its recent desalination solution.
We will discover old traditional wells, cisterns, tools and ways of water collection, transport and water distribution with horses, mules, donkeys, boats as well as look at the impressive giant water askos that once brought water to the island. We will make visible the old water routes, the history and water mythologies. Finally we will create an art project based on the musicality of wells and cisterns in the town.
- Water Oracle:
Beginning in October 2018, and continuing every consecutive year, the WWM will present one artist, scientist or water based organization and invite to an annual symposium.
What is the WORLD WATER MUSEUM:
From the dawn of humanity, rivers and lakes have been invested with mythological and spiritual significance. They have been associated with humanity’s survival and have given rise to the birth of civilisations. Until the present day, they have been a symbol of life, joy, divinity, catharsis, power, euphoria, growth. Nowadays, however, this vital relationship is in jeopardy, due to water shortages and contamination.
The World Water Museum(WWM) was conceived as a result of the enormous scale and environmental destruction of our planetary water resources. Its design began in 2009 and its implementation in 2011. The project seeks to motivate people from any part of the world, to choose a river or a lake and send a water sample to the WWM where the water is analysed, recorded and finally installed with many other water samples from around the world in a collective growing installation. The installation has a ‘site-specific’ character and is currently exhibited at DES – Interactive European School in Varkiza, Attica, in a space overlooking the Aegean Sea. The World Water Museum installation is an interactive, constantly evolving and fluctuating project, offering a distinct activist message. It aims to raise the awareness of the public about the contamination and continuous depletion of the clean, drinkable water resources of our planet. It aims to sensitise visitors to the urgent need to safeguard the Earth’s precious water stores and protect it as the precious treasure it is. The WWM functions as a platform that wants to initiate more dialogue and collaboration amongst water related organisations, spread more education about water in schools as well as create art projects along the way.
Calling for contributions:
I would like to extend the invitation to send a water sample from the river Dart and other water bodies from England to become co-creators in the installation Museum, and research associates.
What would you say are the primary motivations for your work?
Excerpt from my website titled My Relationship with Water:
Growing up in Greece, my childhood memories are full of cisterns and water reservoirs, housewives filling their buckets hung with ropes, small tabs in the kitchens and the phrase mind the wateraround the air.
Our lives were depending on the weather. Rain was a blessing and every winter we were looking forward to the rainy days. The first water was to clean the roof tile and with the second we would fill in the cisterns. Even now the lives of the locals depend a lot on the water that they carefully collect in the reservoirs while the imported with the water tanks is considered of lower quality and definitely not for drinking.
My house is on the central paved road that comes up the sea level to the mountain. The pavement curbs at each side are unusually high up to 60-70 cm in cases. Visitors are always surprised and ask themselves how it comes and they were constructed with such a shape! And the road still keeps its old name among the locals, although authorities have nowadays renamed upon a local hero. They call it The River.
In the winter this road overflows from the rapids coming down the mountain. The high pavement curbs protect the houses keeping water out and locals use boards as makeshift bridges to cross over. I was always looking forward to seeing the river from my window and the people balancing on the temporary bridges.
More recently, Greece has become a destination and passage of immigrants, desperate people looking for a new homeland and a better life. The passage to Greece leads across the river Evros or leads via the Aegean sea. At these water points, many immigrants lose their lives and I believe the water knows. Water keeps their vibrations, their souls, their bodies, their steps. It is in the way that immigrants come through the water, that has profoundly affected my relationship with water.
Any particular artists / others who have had a profound effect on you?
A great artist who influenced me is Ulay, (Frank Uwe Laysiepen best known for his work with Marina Abramovic) Ulay is an emblematic artist and one of the first activists who worked on water projects and defended the values of water since 1990. I always admired him as an artist and I feel very proud to have collaborated with him on the Project: Ulay & Keti in Synergiesin Delphi and Athens in 2013.
Links to Keti’s work
“Ulay & Keti in Synergies”: http://worldwatermuseum.com/ulay-and-keti-in-synergies/
“Thirst” performance: http://worldwatermuseum.com/thirst-performance/
“Ask the Flask” workshop :http://worldwatermuseum.com/ask-the-flask-international-workshop/