OFFICE FOR PUBLIC UNBURDENING 
(ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΑΠΟΦΟΡΤΙΣΗΣ ΚΟΙΝΟΥ)

Long durational performance
Evgenia Tsanana - Office for Public Unburdening

Performance with public participation on solidarity, sharing pain and letting go.

Description:
The setting resembles an office. I sit at a desk and wait. 
Visitors can enter the office and describe me nightmares they have seen.
I listen and note down the nightmares on a sheet of paper with a pencil. I use scribbled drawings and words.
After I finish, I erase my records.
I store the eraser rubbings.
On the last day I walk to the harbor and throw all eraser rubbings into the sea.
I walk back to the museum. 

Intention and development of the project: 
My original intention was to develop a work on the current socio-economic crisis in Greece.
Based on the acknowledgment that pain gets less when shared with others, I developed a participatory project, that aims to offer emotional relief in times of crisis. Through the repetition of the nightmare documentation and transformation process and the final disposal ritual at the sea I seeked to symbolically reduce the burden of collective misery brought on by the crisis that is weighing Greece down in a joint intervention undertaken with visitors that is founded upon mutual trust.

While performing this piece in Athens, however, the original focus shifted from the current Greek crisis on the personal burden of each individual and thereby the project's radius widened.
So I decided to make a long-term project out it and try to set up a mobile „Office For Public Unburdening“  in as many different places and cultural circles as possible.

Performed in: 
→ AS ONE, Benaki Museum | Athens, Greece | 19 - 24 April 2016 | 6 days
→ Thessaloniki Center for Contemporary Art | Thessaloniki, Greece | 5 - 13 November 2016 | 8 days
→ Exhibition AUS FALTEN UND ÜBERBLEIBSELN, Frappant Galerie | Hamburg, Germany |
     23 April 2017 |
1 day
→ Cultural festival ALTONALE | Hamburg, Germany | 20 - 25 June 2017 |
6 days
→ Participation in the exhibition "DRUCK" Künstlerbund Steinburg und Gäste, Wenzel-Hablik-Museum | 
     Itzehoe, Germany | 12, 19, 26 November and 3 December 2017 |
4 days

Total number of processed nightmares: 569

Commissioned and produced by NEON + MAI, on the occasion of AS ONE, Benaki Museum / Athens, 10 March - 24 April 2016

The participation in AS ONE was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg 


During AS ONE, Benaki Museum | Athens, Greece | 19 - 24 April 2016

Photo credits: AS ONE, NEON + MAI, Benaki Museum, Athens, 10 March - 24 April 2016 | photography 1-4, 8: Natalia Tsoukala | 5-7: Inkas Film Productions

In the Thessaloniki Center for Contemporary Art | Thessaloniki, Greece | 5 - 13 November 2016

Photo credits: 1-4 :Eleni Stergiou | 5-7: Viacheslav Pareniuk | 8: Eirini Papakonstantinou

At the exhibition AUS FALTEN UND ÜBERBLEIBSELN, Frappant Galerie | Hamburg, Germany | 23 April 2017

Photo credits: Susanna Gusso