The catalogue of Greece's participation in the 2022 Venice Biennale, featuring the work of Loukia Alavanou
The video installation Oedipus In Search Of Colonus (2022) by visual artist Loukia Alavanou is Greece’s national participation in the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia, curated by Heinz Peter Schwerfel. It’s a VR 360° video, which visitors can view through Oculus devices while seated on specially designed futuristic chairs. The 17-minute video is a rendition of the ancient Greek tragedy Oedipus in Colonus by Sophocles; it was shot in the area where ancient Colonus used to be, and which today is home to a destitute Roma community. Nearby there are many dumping sites, which create a dystopian landscape on the edge of modern Greek society. For the shootings, Alavanou collaborated with amateur actors from the local community, creating a bridge between the past and the present.
Nowhere Studio designed the catalogue for the exhibition in Venice. Our key visual depicts a sphere that presents the work—like a bubble of air or cloud, the bowl of ancient theatres, and the architectural installation inside the Greek pavilion. The spherical surface of this form is rendered through the distortion of the typography on it, just like the 360° camera distorts the image it captures. The use of gold creates a contrast with the living conditions of the Roma, close to the dumping site, thus reflecting the film’s focus on social and historical binaries.
The use of different types of paper separates the publication’s sections, while the black matte cover is also a reference to the black sound insulating material that was used to cover the Greek pavilion’s interior. We used a different reading orientation for the film stills section, so that to present those images in the best possible way, but also to create a moment of awareness for the reader in the catalogue’s flow.