This work was named the 2013 Lumen Prize Winner, chosen from over 700 works from 45 countries globally. The Lumen Prize is the world’s pre-eminent digital art competition. Apodemy is a still taken from an experimental art film that was commissioned in Athens, Greece.
The show took place in “Plato’s Academy,” where it is believed that the philosopher Plato once taught. Intrigued by the challenge of presenting a new piece in a space so loaded with meaning, Katerina Athanasoploulou found that there was interesting common ground between the idea of migratory birds and Plato’s idea of the human soul as a birdcage, a metaphor she uses throughout her work. The ‘city’ that the vehicle-cage moves into is one that has already been abandoned, half-finished.
As a Greek immigrant in London, she comments “with every return home I see my city more and more taken apart. I see buildings left unfinished, homes for nobody, which are a testament to years of a lost optimism that has left behind cement carcasses.” Katerina Athanasopoulou, now an animation artist, studied painting at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece before completing an Animation MA at the Royal College of Art in London.
She now lives and works in London Her work has been screened in international film festivals and art galleries, such as Thessaloniki Biennale 3, Istanbul Modern, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and Channel 4, UK.
Check out this uniquely inspiring short film created by Katerina Athanasopoulou! Plato likens the human soul with a cage, where knowledge is birds flying. We’re born with the cage empty and, as we grow, we collect birds and they go in the cage for future use. When we need to access knowledge we put our hand in the cage, hunt for a bird — and sometimes catch the wrong one.
Ornithology uses the term “Zugunruhe” to describe the turbulent behavior of birds before they migrate, whether free or caged.
These two images, birds inhabiting the human soul and the distress of the migrating bird became the starting points for this film, commissioned on the theme of Emigration.
A flock of birds circles around and moves a cage vehicle, seeking escape from a city half finished and abandoned, with roads interrupted by fragments of fallen statues. Those hands are simultaneously the pursuit of knowledge and also the heroes/leaders of the past that we have rejected but are still haunting us.
In a time when Europe seems to be imploding, this is her portrait of Athens.
MAshRome Film Fest, Rome, May 2013
60th Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival, Serbia, April 2013
Skepto International Film Festival, Sardinia, April 2013
Holland Animation Festival, Utrecht, March 2013
Flatpack Festival, Birmingham Museum & Gallery, UK, March 2013
Visual Dialogues (Installation), Plato’s Academy Park, December 2012 – February 2013