A project by Danae Stratou, 2012
Greece, Europe and indeed the World are experiencing a period of multiple crises – economic, social, political, environmental. IT’S TIME TO OPEN THE BLACK BOXES! Is a participatory art project initiated by artist Danae Stratou. Living in Greece in this time of multiple crises, it is quite easy to fall into a state of fear-induced paralysis. As a reaction to this the artist resolved to act by means of an art project. Her hope was for this artwork to reflect and to ease Athens’ anxious struggle to carry on. Distanced from traditional commercial practices, it aspired to undercut its own costs, to give voice and to assist materially as many as people possible, to help attain a deeper understanding of our collective predicament, to empower a joint response to the paralysis that is causing us to “frieze up”. The project targets at activating a dialogue that will induce us to react in a collective manner. By opening the “Black Boxes” we symbolically bring to light the words which reflect, what we are in danger of losing and need to rescue, or what threatens us today.
Open call | Participatory angle | Touring
The project was originally inaugurated in Athens, Greece in April 2012. Through the use of a Vital Space blog, social media and other means, a wide range of people were invited to contribute to the project by submitting the one word that best expresses A) what frightens or threatens them the most, or B) what they believe is in urgent need of protection. The artist reviewed the nearly 1,000 submissions and chose 100 of them to be included in an installation comprising 100 black boxes.
Danae Stratou now aims at presenting this installation Internationally. The open call cycle will be re-activated each time the project is to travel in a new city for a period of 1-3 months prior to each exhibition. Through the Vital Space blog, a wide range of social media and conventional local media local communities will be invited to participate (by sending a word each). In this way the Black Boxes, when opened in a different city, will reveal local concerns, hopes and fears in a manner which, nevertheless, bind the different cities together. Thus the project will be constantly in flux in ways that reflect the think-global/act-local adage.