Stories of love, anarchy, care and disruption as are told with Teos Romvos and Chara Pelekanou.
“Why to pretend to be better, smarter, more pioneering, more cultured?” T. R.
Inspired by Greek activists, artists and eco-rebels, Teos Romvos and his partner Chara Pelekanou, this exhibition attempts to visit, know and mediate to PLATO Ostrava the legendary life and pioneering work of the couple that defined the Greek underground and widely practiced social ecology in Greece. Grounded on two of their early, alternative spaces of collective thinking and acting — the cult magazine TRYPA (1980–1981, translated as the Hole) and Octopus Press (1974–1976, Athens), bookstore and publishing house, the exhibition takes off to follow Teos and Chara in an entanglement of stories, people, historic events, political demands, social struggles, ecological visions and affairs of care, from Athens to the Greek island of Syros through a host of other places… In a daring exercise of speculative fabulation enacted within PLATO, TRYPA exhibition is initiated and fueled by curator Nadja Argyropoulou, artists Evi Kalogiropoulou, Daniela and Linda Dostálková and many others.
Teos Romvos (born 1945) is a writer, translator and activist, well known as a member of the independent, underground scene of Athens and ecological movement. Born in Athens, he went through night school, fights with various power brokers, a number of jobs and vagrancy. He started working in ships in 1961, travelled extensively, lived periodically in Latin America, Japan, the United States and elsewhere: France (1966–1969), Germany (1969–1974 and 1987–1991), Kranidi, Peloponnese (1981–1984), Africa (1984–1985). In-between all these travels, he always returned to Athens, until 1993 when he settled in the area of Apano Chora on the Cycladic island of Syros, together with Chara Pelekanou. Romvos has been a crucial agent for the abolition of outmoded and shortsighted perceptions of progress that lead to the uncontrollable destruction of the unique Aegean ecosystem. While in France, Romvos attended cinematography courses and produced his first experimental films. Later, in Germany, he joined the circles of German writers and produced films that he never completed; he worked for German television, wrote scenarios and made recorded tapes on literature. Upon returning to Athens after the end of the junta and the restoration of democracy (1974), he opened the legendary bookstore “Octopus Press” and worked as a publisher. He is the publisher of Trypa magazine. He has written articles, prose and fiction, and many of his works have been published in magazines and newspapers. He has also translated a number of books. During the last 25 years, while living in Syros, he focused on ecological activism, collaborated with many people from the islands, as well as scientists and various entities from abroad, and participated in the creation of the Aegean Network of Environmental Organizations; he spearheaded the related online publication of the magazine Eyploia and participated in the founding of the Cyclades Geopark and its recognition by UNESCO.
Chara Pelekanou (born 1951) studied History and Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. During the years of the dictatorship in Greece (1967–1974), she joined the students’ resistance and participated in protests, fights and various public actions for the restoration of democratic governance in the country. Pelekanou has been a crucial agent for the abolition of outmoded and shortsighted perceptions of progress that lead to the uncontrollable destruction of the unique Aegean ecosystem. In 1976, she met Teos Romvos and joined him in publications, activist practices and progressive educational projects in Athens and beyond. She was instrumental in the creation of Trypa magazine and worked as editor for various publishing houses. In 1981 she left Athens, together with Romvos, and moved to the Greek countryside and later to Africa, where she taught at the Greek schools of Congo, and Berlin (1987–1991), where she witnessed the fall of the Berlin wall and subsequent events. Upon her return to Greece Chara Pelekanou moved to Syros, where she has been living ever since with Teos Romvos and collaborating with farmers, activists, educators, artists, scientists from Greece and abroad, towards the creation of the Aegean Network of Environmental Organizations, the related online publication of magazine Eyploia and the founding of the Cyclades Geopark and its recognition by UNESCO. She is a photographer and has made short films about life in Syros and eco-oriented practices.
Evi Kalogiropoulou (born 1985) is a visual artist and ﬁlmmaker, working both in Athens and London. Evi has studied at the Athens University of Economics and Business and the Athens School of Fine Art and holds a Master‘s degree from the Royal College of Art in Moving Image. She is an Artist in Residency in Somerset House Studios in London. Her projects explore ideas associated with inclusion/exclusion, cross-cultural identity, female ﬁgures in Ancient Greek mythology, and post-apocalyptic environments. Her sculpture work is represented by The Breeder gallery and is on display in several big collections around the world. She participated in the exhibition ’“The Same River Twice”' organized by The DESTE Foundation and the New Museum. Her short ﬁlm Motorway 65 was accepted in the Official Selection for Competition at the Festival de Cannes, 73rd edition. Evi’s ﬁlms had various screenings in spaces such as the BFI, the Chisenahale Gallery, and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.
Nadja Argyropoulou (born 1964) is an independent curator based in Athens. She studied History and Archaeology (BA, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) and Art History and Theory (MA, University of Essex, UK). She has worked as director of Cultural Programming at the Hellenic American Union in Athens, as head of Cultural Affairs for the Office of the Greek Presidency of the EU (Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2003), and as assistant curator for the Greek Pavilion in the Venice Biennale of 2005 and 2007. She has cooperated with a large number of cultural institutions (such as DESTE Foundation, Onassis Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Neon Foundation, Are | are-events, Prague et.al.).