– Pish, Pshaw / Prr, Saskia Olde Wolbers,2017 two channel video
HD 20 min, PCAI
Pfui – Pish, Pshaw / Prr, ( 2017, 20 min), deals with the urgent business of toxic waste management. The work is loosely based on interviews with mr Theodosis Alifrangis, the longest-serving employee of Polyeco/EPE, a Greek toxic waste / oil spill response company.
For the last ten years Mr Theodosis has been stationed at the wreck of a cruise ship, which sunk in the deep waters of Santorini’s port. He has become the ship’s conscientious guardian, tending to the slow release of petrol and protecting the surrounding waters and marine life.
An eclectic sample of Mr Theodosis’ prolific VHS archive, unofficially filmed on his camcorder whilst on various call outs since the 1980’s, is presented here alongside footage created in Olde Wolbers’ studio, where model sets of cruise ship interiors, ferromagnetic mussels and molecular structures are covered in iridescently coloured dripping oils and filmed in tanks.
The work also features footage of sonar imaging attempts around the elusive, unsalvageable cruise ship, filmed in 2016 by both Olde Wolbers and Alifrangis on location in Santorini.
The fictional script is from an oil spill responder’s point of view and reveals his superstitious reason for filming; "Xematiasma", the Greek oil and water divination, where his camera wards off the evil eye whilst tending to major emergencies on a daily basis.
He expands into further musings around matter and spirit, ancient rituals for cleansing the sea, his love for shipwrecks and the mundane everyday reality of cleaning. Until narrative time seemingly starts reversing, playing with ideas of waste and permanence.
This fictional work’s title derives from a DH Lawrence letter in which the author abandoned language to express an onomatopoeic anger.
Commissioning curator: Nadja Argyropoulou
Co-producer: Alice Sharp/Invisable Dust
Executive Producer: Athanasios Polychronopoulos, PCAI
Producer: Loraini Alimantiri, PCAI
Director of Photography Archive: Theodosis Alifrangis
Editor: David Panos
Music: Daniel Pemberton
Sound: Tom Sedgwick
Voice over: George Chalkias
Additional voices: Xenia Bolomiti, Giullia Innocenti
Voice over Director: Giullia Innocenti
Voice over recording; Theo Prodromidis / Costas Fylaktidis / Tom sedgwick
Script editor: Sarah Ardizzone
Chemical advisor: Ilias Avramikos
Production assistants: Rachel Pimm, Rowan Wigley, Marianne Burlew, Demosthenes Epaminondas
Sonar Postproduction: Dominik Binegger, Louise Naunton Morgan
Grading: Lajos Pataki
Sonar Location: Theodosis Alifrangis, Islami Tzezim
Audiovisual installation design: Sam Collins
Greek subtitles: Fotini Pipi
Translations: Lili Alimantiri, Ellie Antoniou
Saskia Olde Wolbers is represented by Maureen Paley London and Stigter van Doesburg Amsterdam
Pfui – Pish, Pshaw / Prr was commissioned by Nadja Argyropoulou for Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative and co-produced by Invisible Dust.
Further funding by The Elephant Trust, Goldsmiths University, Breathing Space Award Space Studios London.