Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

expanded field
Greece, United Kingdom (citizenship) °1974
research interests: art, artistic research, politics, Art history


"My use of media has been contingent and expansive. Working across artistic disciplines, I examine political themes, such as the body, historical changes, cultural and artistic identity, in relation to economies of culture and the built environment. I have continuous engagement with art and design from the age of sixteen, when I picked up a pencil to draw my first still life. When I was nineteen, I read my first book on art history, "A concise histor of modern painting" by Herbert Read, and at twenty-one, I went to my first contemporary art exhibition by Rita Ackernann at Rebecca Camhi gallery in Athens. After my five-year training and subsequent work in architecture, I have worked independently as an artist since 2004. I expanded my artistic training, attending research seminars and workshops, most notably with Janine Antoni, Rosemary Butcher and Julian Wild. The artistic ethos of the Schools where I have taught: UEL's Architecture and the Visual Arts (Signy Svalastoga) and Winchester School of Art (Bashir Makhoul); were also formative later experiences. Complementary to my scholarly work, with its early influences by the Greek literary and artistic avant-garde, published in The Journal of Visual Art Practice, Architecture and Culture, and e-flux, amongst other, my artistic work explores the relevance of philosophical methods, concepts, and contexts of analysis, for design and the arts. Videos and other works have been exhibited and archived internationally.


I view art as a set of activities that make statements, inspire and mobilise."


Zoe Panagiota Nigianni was born in Athens, Greece, eldest of three, her parents being originally from the Peloponnese, a mountainous area surrounded by the Mediterranean sea; her grandparents from her father's side fought in the Greek resistance to the German occupation and the civil war afterwards. She received academic training in the fine arts at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), with artists Vlassis Caniaris and Sotiris Sorogkas; and studied architectural and visual art theory with Peter Salter as Head of Architecture at UEL. She has studied philosophy at the University of Athens and the University of Amsterdam.




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About Artistic Research

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research expositions

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Writing for Fine Art - Philosophy (MA); open to Artistic Research (MA), UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM (2019)

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Design and Multidisciplinary

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Video Art (https://repository.uel.ac.uk/repository/search?q=Betty+Nigianni)

Select Artistic Training: Freelance Courses & Workshops

  • Visual Communication (2011-2012)
    Degree: Associate, Malmo University, School of Arts and Communication (Sweden), recipient: Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni
    Visual communication (distinction), graphic design (distinction), photography & history of photography (pass). Participation in interaction design Medea Research Lab workshop.
  • Fine Art (2008-2011)
    Degree: Associate, Royal School of Drawing (United Kingdom), Morley College (United Kingdom), Slade School of Fine Art (United Kingdom), recipient: Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni
    Drawing the human anatomy, Drawing the unexpected in the studio, Portrait drawing. Painting, Casting and molding. Drawing I, Painting I, Painting II, Drawing as a way of thinking, Drawing into painting.
  • Contemporary dance and performance (2007-2011)
    Degree: Associate, Shiobhan Davies Dance (United Kingdom), London Contemporary Dance School (United Kingdom), recipient: Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni
    Contemporary dance, dance improvisation, contact improvisation.
  • Performance Matters: Performing Idea (2010-2010)
    Degree: Associate, Whitechapel Gallery (United Kingdom), Toynbee Studios (United Kingdom), recipient: Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni
    Conceptual art and performance workshop with visual artist Janine Antoni.

About art and philosophy


Exposition: 1 Day Artwork (04/02/2020) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

I asked the dancer to improvise freely around a tree of her choice in Kennington Park. I recorded her using a hand held digital camera without editing.

Exposition: Novel (25/02/2012) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

Please note that a notification about a technical error appears on this exposition as:

"Some fonts could not be loaded: andale mono. Not all elements on the page may look as intended".

Exposition: Rehearsal for A Play in Two Acts (01/02/2020) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

The exposition includes a found photograph, digitalised to resemble a drawing or a video art still.

Exposition: You and Me and Everything Around Us (01/10/2016) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

The indexical "you" refers to the viewer of the artwork.

Exposition: Can Philosophy Exist? (03/02/2020) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

"The fact is that most people are not interested in art as an interdisciplinary field. Art has repeatedly opened itself to other disciplines, but most of these other disciplines have not responded by being open to art. Art's task is to contribute to evolution, to encourage the mind, to guarantee a detached view of social changes, to conjure up positive energies, to create sensuousness, to reconcile reason and instinct, to research possibilities, to destroy cliches and prejudices. Most people don't see it that way." Pipilotti Rist in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Exposition: Debris (Enlightenment Panel no 2) (31/01/2021) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

"The British nation proved to be adept not at the Roman art of empire building but at following the Greek model of colonization. Instead of conquering and imposing their own law upon foreign peoples, the English colonists settled on newly won territory in the four corners of the world and remained members of the same British nation." - Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, p.165.

Exposition: Glass Cities (01/01/2007) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni


Exposition: Novel (01/01/2007) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni


Exposition: Novel (25/02/2012) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

Romeo = wanderer

Mercutio > eloquence, wind, sleep and dreams

Angel = messenger

Exposition: Aftermath (E for Installation) (08/08/2021) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni


by Ariana Reines



Complaint against us we devolved


With such ease and swiftness it seemed


To alarm even our enemies. By then


Many of us had succumbed to quivering


Idiocy while others drew vitality from new


Careers as public scolds. Behind these


Middle-management professors were at pains


To display their faultless views lest they too


Find censure, infamy, unemployment and death


At the hands of an enraged public


Individuals in such pain and torment


And such confusion hardly anyone dared


Ask more of them than they not shoot


And in fact many of us willed them to shoot


And some of us were the shooters


And shoot we did, and got us square




Exposition: Rehearsal for A Play in Two Acts (01/02/2020) by Zoe Panagiota (aka Betty) Nigianni

Quote unquote:


"First some anthropologists adapted textual methods from literary criticism in order to reformulate culture as text; then some literary critics adapted ethnographic methods in order to reformulate texts as cultures writ small. And these exchanges have accounted for much interdisciplinary work in the recent past. But there are two problems with this theatre of projections and reflections, the first methodological, the second ethical. If both textual and ethnographic turns depended on a single discourse, how truly interdisciplinary can the results be? If cultural studies and new historicism often smuggle in an ethnographic model (when not a sociological one), might it be "the common theoretical ideology that silently inhabits the 'consciousness' of all these sepcialists... oscillating between a vague spiritualism and a technocratic positivism"?"


Hal Foster, The Return of the Real, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, p. 183.