pektries /sikinos edition

video performance 
colour / sound, 5' 04''

The duo COMOTIRIO present their ongoing series of video-documented performances Pektries (πέκτρια / pektria > in Greek, the woman who cards the sheep wool), where they improvize extravagant hairstyles to one another, constantly shifting roles.

The Sikinos edition draws inspiration from Sikinos’s Church of Panaghia Pantochara. The erection of the chapel in Sikinos was Odysseas Elytis' wish, or better vow. The hagiographer Skaliotis, who painted the chapel, created two icons of Pantochara. The one is portable and the other on the iconostasis, right next to Panaghia Paramythia. An obvious surplus is revealed  here: Two Virgin Marys together side by side. Elytis was charmed by the paradox that Pantochara does not exude joy, but a melancholy that is infinitely kind and where the lasting and the permanent connected with a spirituality derive from (charmolipi / sweet sorrow). Elytis never visited Sikinos. The non-journey, the non-visit, constitute a cornerstone element to this work (dislocation, virtual shiftings). A second structural element for the video-performance are the colours white and blue that characterize the Cyclades. The colour combination was imposed by Ioannis Metaxa’s decree in the 1930s in order to provide the landscape with order and uniformity, establishing to today the Greek summer’s mythical paradox found in touristic guides.
On the occasion of the doubling / mirror effect of the two Virgin Marys of Pantochara’s temple, this edition of Pektries is based on the coexistence of binary contrasts: joy-sadness, white-colorful, light-shadow, Paganism-Christianity. 

Special thanks to: Koumantos Professional & Luxurious Prefab Churches and Chapels, Angelos Koumantos and Stavrina Poulou for the archival material.

Presented in the context of the 4rth Little Islands Festival on Moving Image & Sound: COMMUNALITYSikinos Island GR (19-22 August 2022).

                                                                                                  video in low resloution / © comotirio 2022