STAYING WITH THE TROUBLE REQUIRES MAKING ODDKIN
Neither an exhibition nor a performance, a conference or an umbrella concept, Making Oddkin — for joy, for trouble, for volcano love was conceived as a four-day ‘outing and coming together’, a practice and process of worlding-with, in company and contextuality.
It was an event about human–nonhuman entanglements, about “the unfinished configurations of places, times, matters and meanings,” in which we are entwined and which we need to salvage, as per scientist-cultural activist Donna Haraway (Staying with the trouble. Making Kin in the Chthulucene, 2016, Duke University Press).
Drawing inspiration from her mobile term “oddkin,” which was coined by Haraway in order to describe the need for unexpected collaborations and combinations, the new and unpredictable kinships that can be formed beyond the usual genealogical, ethnocentric, anthropocentric relations, Making Oddkin materialized, sympoietically, in the inter/intra-action of various kinds and kins.
It visited Nisyros in the way that caravans, or ‘bouloukia,’ were travelling the early 20th-century world in a grand mobilization of talent, chance and surprise, and it borrowed elements from celebrations springing up around the resilient temporariness of circuses, around public festivities, the infectious visit of oddities, processions, re‑enactments and traditions of world-making storytelling.
Well before the advent of radio, film, television, or the internet, these were forms of engagement and entertainment, which developed into a whole industry of public spectacle before radically transmuting within the immateriality of the web and the emergence of virtual popular culture. At the 50th anniversary of the year that rocked the world, 1968, Making Oddkin invoked collective rituals, personal contributions and sensual/material aspects of a past (and present and future) in favour of presence, a coming out into the world in curiosity, care and joy, in conflict and trouble, in gonzo supergrouping, in species-varied livelihoods and wild imaginations.
Nadja Argyropoulou is the curatorial agent of Making Oddkin — for joy, for trouble, for volcano love.
Nadja Argyropoulou is an independent curator based in Athens. She has received a Bachelor’s degree in History & Archaeology (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) and a Master’s degree in Art History and Theory (Essex University, UK). From 1993 to 2001 she was the Director of Cultural Programming and Public Affairs of the Hellenic American Union in Athens. In 2003, she was Head of Culture and Image at the Department of the EU Hellenic Presidency Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was the assistant curator for the Greek Pavilion at the 2005 and 2007 Venice Biennials and collaborated with the 1st Athens Biennial 2007. Argyropoulou has curated a number of exhibitions, most recently What remains is future (within the Programme of Patras European Capital of Culture, 2006), and I Syghroni Elliniki Skini, (Art Athina, 2007). Furthermore, she has curated and organised a large number of cultural events in Greece and abroad (dance, cinema, music and theatre productions, conferences, projects on ecology, etc). Since 2007 she has been collaborating with the DESTE Foundation Center for Contemporary Art. She contributes to magazines and newspapers in Greece and abroad and writes texts for solo and group exhibitions.