„The path to awareness might be to not suppress ones own unconscious, to let history (..) be lived through by ones own unconscious, so that the awareness of history finally occurs through an experience of ones own unconscious“. (Theweleit, Klaus (1977): Male Fantasies, Volume 1: Women, Floods, Bodies, History)
Vassiliea Stylianidou aka Franck-Lee Alli-Tis works in a variety of media such as video, poetry, sound/music, voice, spoken word, installation and performance. Her* artistic process involves a constant renegotiation of public and private history, as well as public and private spaces.
The work investigates systems of control and power such as language, architecture, body, labour, family, and gender. More specifically, s*he explores embodied ways of expanding language challenging and subverting its everyday use in an attempt to suggest new poetic paradigms for knowledge and experience. In her* video and installation work, s*he writes texts that take on a poetic form and enter into dialogue with contemporary political and queer-feminist theory as well as with elements from current news.
Stylianidou also explores the interconnections between language, voice, body and image as rhythm and materiality.
S*he employs elements from the genre of the spoken word as well as from experimental and underground music and poetry movements.
The exacerbation of the global sociopolitical, economic and climate crisis, lends renewed relevance to the question of “How can art pave new paths for thought and put new artistic practices to the test?“
Since 2012 Stylianidou started a series of textile- and text based installations in which s*he makes use of textile, texts, voice and rhythm/music. In this series of works-in-progress Stylianidou investigates the relation of poetic and artistic thought with the reality of (artistic) labour and economy.
In 2019 s*he initiated and co-founded the on-going collective artistic project WordMord which explores the relation between language, technology, violence, trauma, pleasure and sexuality. WordMord´s initial research group consists of: Franck-Lee Alli-Tis aka Vassiliea Stylianidou, Aggeliki Diakrousi, Christina Karagianni, Oyto Arognos aka Stylianos Benetos, Mounologies: Anna Delimpasi, Eleni-Claire Diamantouli. https://wordmord-ur.la/
Since 2018 s*he has been co-curator of the queer-feminist film festival Aphrodite*. https://aphroditeproject.org/
In 2011 s*he founded the collaborative format STUDIOvisits Berlin (2011-2015). http://studiovisits-berlin.tumblr.com/
Queer Meaning: a Zero Place of Resistance
Today art can only be made from the starting point of that which, as far as Empire is concerned, doesn’t exist. Through its abstraction, art renders this inexistence visible.
Alain Badiou (Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art)
The language-based operations that are at once evident in Vassiliea Stylianidou’s work make us face immediately with
a challenging hermeneutical puzzle. What is the significance of such a dense apparatus of fictions in a work that cannot
be said to have progressed from its grounding parameters in a linear fashion but evolves in a somehow oblique way? Is it possible to approach such a highly demanding inquiry using interpretative tools that derive from common art critical discourses? As Vassiliea Stylianidou’s work seems to act just on a register neither of language-prose nor on that of the image but actually right across them, any one-dimensional reading of her work might appear simplistic and limitative. Thinking about space, language and the embodied subject seems to be the main objectives in Vassiliea Stylianidou’s work. The best way to understand how she investigates these objectives would be to find its appropriate philosophical counterpart and try to critically comment on them. Alain Badiou’s article on the Writing of the Generic, a unique interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s late modernist poetics, offers the appropriate means to come closer to the complex operations, which are at work in Vassiliea Stylianidou’s oeuvre. Of course for Badiou the ge- neric refers to what he calls a “truth”, which is as such always indifferent to differences. And for Badiou it is the subject that, which is defined as the local or finite status of a truth. Inci- dentally the generic, truth and the subject intertwine. This is the case by Beckett. According to Badiou’s reading of his work, “this generic desire is to be understood as the reduction of the complexity of experience to a few major functions, as the treatment in writing of only that in which an essential determination inheres. For Beckett, writing was an act ruled by a strict principle of economy”. Beckett’s fictional apparatus subtracts anything that figured as mere circumstantial orna- mentation, anything that has incidental characteristics, in order to create both a novel paradigm of the subject and a way to talk about it. And it is, in fact, the work of Beckett that has managed to stir up specific linguistic structures and indicative figural logics, which sustain our common and ordinary reality in order to criticize it. Language in Beckett’s world becomes, then, an image of a highly abstract speech, actually a visual system, with an almost mathematical precision. His oeuvre represents an accurate apparatus by means of which such operations of “visual poetics” come into work. It constitutes a significant locus classicus of modernity. Think of the work of Mallarmé, Joyce, Kafka or Perec and compare the visual impact of such a “dispositif” of poetics deployed in their writing with the verbal power of images in the work of Duchamp, Schwitters, the early Rauschenberg and artists of the subsequent conceptual art. This is the reason why this “Beckett-dispositif” is so useful in accessing the complex worlds of truly contemporary artists, such as the one of Vassiliea Stylianidou, as well as the artist’s own critique of concepts such as subject, space and language. (...)