Seminar held by Anna Rubi & Eirini Sourgiadaki - MA Transdisciplinary Studies of ZHdK

Investigating the Big Blue is a two-part module, a double-off-season exposure to the wilderness of the Aegean Archipelago.

In October 2023 we were the last visitors to leave the island before winter arrived. In April 2024 we were the first ones to open the season, right before the Greek Easter. We said our goodbyes with the early summer heat before the boat routes became frequent, the restaurants opened and the beach was taken over by tourists. The Island of Amorgos is often referred to as “Le grand bleu” after the famous french film was shot at location. Its ancient name is “Melania”. “Melani”, the Greek word for ink, (“Melano” for dark blue, cyan) as it is said that in ancient times the place was full of dark trees, most likely cedars.

Our investigation began with this deep tint. Blue is engraved both in contemporary Greek culture and in ancient mythologies, as representing the most dominant natural elements, carrying the power of warding off evil. In the same time throughout Art History it has been a prominent color embodying many shapes of the human experience: grief, melancholy, dreams, transcendence and power. The chosen method of analogue printmaking (cyanotype) provided the framework of our search, retaining tangible details of the island, yet remaining entirely detached from it, made with the simplest tools: sand, water, shadow and the sun.

This is a celebration of our circles there; the cyclical perceptions of time, circles of life, the Cyclades.

DAY 0: Journey

DAY 1: Discoveries

DAY 2: Amorgos

DAY 3: Experiments

DAY 4: Experiments

DAY 5: Encounters

from Nikos Gkatsos, Sally Purcell. Amorgos. Anvil Press Poetry, 1998.

DAY 6: Experiments

DAY 7: Farewell

Participating artists