It’s open, it’s tolerant, it withstands innovation, experimentation and challenges. There’s no artist who at some point didn’t long to be in Berlin, as this city’s myth never ceases to feed the imagination of those with a creative mandate in life.
In recent years Berlin has become home for a community of Greek designers and that’s been steadily growing in numbers due to the Greek financial crisis.
Yiannis Pappas first came to Berlin in 2008 through an Erasmus program and walked into a city where he could work freely without unnecessary pressures. He was born in Patmos and studied art works conservation in Athens, then went to the School of Fine Arts in Athens and then earned his Master of Arts in Space Strategies from the Academy of Arts in Weissensee, Berlin.
While in Athens, Pappas was able to merge his specialty in textile conservation with his love for sculpting in a project themed after ecclesiastical vestments. Laboring on this subject ever since he was studying for his Master’s, Pappas realizes that it’s recurring and central theme positioned within him. “What I’m searching for is the metaphysical shift given by a piece of clothing, the metamorphosis of man through a vestment.”
Pappas has participated at the Athens Biennale with a long-duration performance entitled Demi Gloire, part of the As One program of the Benaki Museum, curated by Marina Abramovic, whereas through the four-day long performance A Key, (a homophone of the Greek work “ekí” — meaning “there”) he studied the condition of confinement and freedom restriction as he attempted to tear down walls, doors and barriers with the help of a key.
Through his work entitled Telephus presented in Bangkok, the artist tackled the theme of civil liberty deprivation and limitation, while the public intervention Refugio in Nicosia, which was performed with Alexandros Michael and addressed the issue of polarization and conflict, was transformed into a public point of quest of true identities.
Pappas notes that Berlin has changed as of lately, yet it still remains a city where one can meet other people who are open to new approaches and artistic experimentations.