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Jigsaw / Λεπτό πριόνι (2018)

A collaborative project with Brie TRENERRY (KBT)

4K video with sound. Produced at the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) Contemporary Creative Residency via the University of Sydney, 2018 with research travel grants (HDRTG) from RMIT University

A film project conceived around the repatriation of two small pieces of stone taken by Brie Trenerry from the Parthenon site during a childhood visit. Despite the diminutive scale of the stones, this virtually invisible act of restitution brought to mind a jigsaw puzzle in which every piece is of crucial importance in completing an image. Prohibitively expensive filming permits are required for the public presentation of films made on site at the Acropolis—hence the recurring image of the clandestine return of the stones to the site is technically an illegal activity.

The deceptively modern appearance of the Mycenaean death masks, discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 and held in the National Archaeological Museum inspired another layer of inquiry into the repatriation process. On the evening prior to the return of the stones we enacted a farewell ritual in the frosty night air of the Philopappos hill—encountering dying bees, stray cats and other creatures of the night. Accustomed to fostering relationships between the genuine and the fake within our own history of moving image production, the gold masks were constructed from chocolate wrappers while the costume was discovered in a Monastiraki flea market store devoted to heavy metal culture.

Despite allusions to the ancient pseudo-science of alchemy, history is not abandoned but fanatically embraced through this exceedingly minor act of repatriation. This outcome echoes Jannis Kounellis' observation that contemporary culture thrives on contradiction. Contradictions are all we have.

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