CM: Lucia Rikaki created Ellie Griva: Yes. The Bound Home in 2009 by combining excerpts from the performace by Ellie Griva (b. 1972); text by Megakles Rogakos (b. 1972); and Quasi una Fantasia finale of Symphony No.1 in E Minor Op.39 by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). The film was featured at the presentation of Ellie Griva's book The Poems of Yes (Aithousa Technis Nafpliou 2009) on 26 February 2009 at Ianos, Athens. The following text is composed of excerpts from Griva's exhibition catalogue. Below that follows the catalogue text in its entirety.
"Yes. The affirmative Yes is very important in my life. The Yes is my great affirmation of Life – Existence, Love and Eros – I Am, I Will and I Do. I utter Yes with ample generosity. § The Yes, with a capital initial letter is true and absolute. § If in my lifetime to I manage to commune with Yes, then I shall shatter death. § I accept that the Yes is so universal as to engulf within it the No. Although the 'Yes' is a promise, in the course it may appear to be void. In such dangerous circumstances the strength of my will and endurance is tried. § In its true version the 'Yes' is a hubris tested by God, while in its exaggeration it is anticipated by my Love to the degree of non-anxiety. I am the one with the power to change or stop the progress towards the completion of my Desire. I promise myself to remain utterly loyal to Yes. I have decided that Yes. If the Yes finally leads to the beloved Garden, I accept to tolerate any conditional martyrdoms. § I admit that life is accompanied by death. Perhaps such obvious contradiction forebodes a great truth about relationships – that I risk to destroy my Love, and my Love risks to destroy me. It is as much a protective shelter as it is a fragile ruin. § I create out of a profound need to rediscover my lost innocence. I am after the dream that will make me feel complete in myself, so as to deserve my Love. The Desire is what urges me to look for what I lack. I am moved by what I receive from shortage. I understand that I desire to unite with my Love – bound by ties of blood. We become one when in a situation of simultaneous completeness we allow ourselves to bleed dangerously." [Megakles Rogakos 07/2009]
HANDBOOK FOR "YES. THE BOUND HOME" OF ELLI GRIVA "Yes. The Bound Home" is an autobiographical art exhibition by Elli Griva. The subject of her artworks is the Love for Life, which Ellie represents with a psychoanalytic disposition so as to convey it to visitors of the exhibition in the hope they may appreciate and embrace it. This is an art installation in time and space so created in an original manner from the author's past experiences, present conditions and future expectations. The following inventory serves as a handbook to anyone who has not happen to visit the exhibition of the Bound Home.
BOUND HOME The Bound Home concerns everything I care about and all I want to preserve for us. The bond / link is not but the substance of the relationship with my Love. The lover is passively given and the loved energetically gives, so simply as in conversation and so necessarily as in breathing. In a substantial relationship energy and passion unify to the extent of alloy / cocktail. Thus the Bound Home becomes a condition of absolute love. I intend to live only within the limits of the Bound Home, and not ever outside this condition. The fruitful bonding makes me bloom. Unfortunately by blooming I perish, but I care more about the bonding. The Bound Home unifies me with my Love for life. Although I know that Bound Home snatches my innocence, nevertheless thus I acquire an internal dimension – the metaphysical life.
YES The affirmative 'Yes' is very important in my life. The 'Yes' is my great affirmation of Life – Existence, Love and Eros – I am, I Will and I Do. I utter 'Yes' with ample generosity. The 'Yes' is a vehicle to the psychical and physical communication with my Love. The 'Yes', with a capital initial letter is true and absolute. It has its roots in the affirmation of Penelope, Socrates, Jesus Christ, Molly Bloom and every Dalai Lama. If in my lifetime to I manage to commune with 'Yes', then I shall shatter death. It does not accommodate any refusal because it concerns an ideological 'Yes', with the oath of its fulfillment. Of course the 'Yes' is not uncritical, but always addresses whatever suits the embodiment of my Desire. I accept the proposal of 'Yes', to reconcile with unpleasant situations - such as ugliness, arrogance, obscenity, stench and suffocation - insofar as these are needed as the only or necessary means towards my ultimate mission – the Bound Home.
POSSIBILITY OF YES I accept that the 'Yes' is so universal as to engulf within it the No. Nevertheless, I wish to believe that it shall always prevail. Although the 'Yes' is a promise, in the course it may appear to be void. In such dangerous circumstances the strength of my will and endurance is tried. The 'Yes', which resembles the Hollywood promise "I shall always love you", contains so much truth as exaggeration. In its true version the 'Yes' is a hubris tested by God, while in its exaggeration it is anticipated by my Love to the degree of non-anxiety. I am the one with the power to change or stop the progress towards the completion of my Desire. I promise myself to remain utterly loyal to 'Yes'. I have decided that 'Yes'!
1st CONTRADICTION The Bound Home is an extremely demanding condition. It presupposes the affirmative 'Yes', which means that to identify with my mission I must suffer and endure the provisional separation or temporary distancing from my Desire. If the 'Yes' finally leads to the beloved Garden, I accept to tolerate any conditional martyrdoms.
2nd CONTRADICTION The Bound Home is full of hard and soft materials, pleasant and unpleasant situations, joys and traumas, light and dark. I admit that life is accompanied by death. Perhaps such obvious contradiction forebodes a great truth about relationships – that I risk to destroy my Love, and my Love risks to destroy me. This may explain the avoidable insecurity of the Bound Home or by extension the unmentionable question of Yes. Conclusion: The Bound Home is as much a protective shelter as it is a fragile ruin.
DESIRE The 'Yes' owes its strength to my Desire for creation. I create out of a profound need to rediscover my lost innocence. I am after the dream that will make me feel complete in myself, so as to deserve my Love. The Desire is what urges me to look for what I lack. I am moved by what I receive from shortage. In the Odyssey towards Ithaca I gain the possibility of self-knowledge. I understand that I desire to unite with my Love – bound by ties of blood. We become one when in a situation of simultaneous completeness we allow ourselves to bleed dangerously.
RISK "The Only Home I Have Is YOU" / "I Am A Safety Net – JUMP"
PUNS The following pairs of words in Greek (the last is in English) sound similar and form puns that play with meaning: gallows or strain / innovative or vacant / whole or hole.
TOPOGRAPHY My Desire urges me to create the Bound Home. Its space consists of three parts: the Paternal House, the New Home, and the Garden. Strip prohibitive police describe the limits of their locations.
I. PATERNAL HOUSE The Paternal House is the family place where I grew up with affection. The Paternal House illuminates with red color old works (portraits of father, mother, brother, and me) in standard rectangular shape, which probably indicates priggishness. A baby sleeping under the security of a blanket is one of my distant memories. Now the Paternal House is an empty hole and can no longer protect me. Here has already enthroned Death and my only salvation is to flee. It is time to build my own Home.
THRONE The Throne, resembling an electric chair in the kitchen, represents the prison in the Paternal House from which I escape. – Our little one, we do not believe in you, that you will make it. – Mom, hide the knives because I will slay you! We bled, but reconciled before I left...
ESCAPE CORRIDOR I build the Escape Corridor with poetry written by spirit, heart and soul. The poems lead from the Paternal House to the New Home.
UMBILICAL CORD Dipped in a bucket with my blood, the Umbilical Cord connects by loops of gallows – traps – the entries of the Paternal House and the New Home.
II. NEW HOME The New Home is the warm nest to make with my imagination and instinct. The New Home illuminates in blue color new works in irregular shaped paper cut not meticulously but rather spontaneously, which with their unassuming sincerity make me feel comfortable. Here I need to learn the 'Yes' anew. I must find myself, as if reborn like a new man. I remove all that is inside me outside, and restore them as I like. And all of this, in the knowledge that the New Home will by infected by Death, once my Desire is fulfilled, and in its turn becomes another Paternal House. But, throughout my life I hope (not forcibly, but creatively)!
BOXING SACK Heavy and tall as a tower, the Sack is the gothic element in the New Home. The Boxing Sack, resembling a phallus, represents the struggle between what I am and must be. It is also a source of tenderness and cruelty. Absorbing the daily tension, the Sack is a useful tool.
SHOOTING TARGET Warm and fluffy as a pillow, the Target is the romantic element in New Home. The Shooting Target, resembling a vagina, represents the passive acceptance. It is as if saying "Yes! I Do", that I expect you to shoot me and to accept it ... I want us to unite, but do not come too near.
III. GARDEN The Garden is a place where I arrive emotionally. The content of the Garden is beyond materiality and has spiritual dimension. It is the paradisiac space, the utopia of Eden, who drowns me in beauty. Here, everything is perfect, nice and calm, as idealized memories, recollections and souvenirs of life. The Garden illuminates with green color large works of my fulfilled fantasy – I and my Love. Flowers flare going into great trouble to please us.
HUT The Hut, which is suspended in the heart of the Garden, is the soul of the Bound Home and maintains a conciliatory balance between the Paternal House and the New Home. Not fitting in the Hut of miniature size my princely crown tears the roof and spills outside the world like the sun. Moreover, the walls of this Hut have been painted with an innocent pink color, but its interior is full of loops of gallows. The Hut is in fact my spaceship. It is located in the Garden, but does not touch it. A long letter links the hovering Hut with the Garden. The Hut blooms when my Love comes to terms with my alien side. Yes, I love you absolutely. As much as I can 'Yes'! till Death do us part.
[Megakles Rogakos 07/2009]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Ellie Griva: Yes. The Bound Home 2008 Astrolavos Art Galeries, Athens