THE ΤΕΛΟΣ SOCIETY speaks to Sozita Goudouna, Founding Director of Greece In USA
Greece in USA is a non-profit organization with a global reach that promotes knowledge of contemporary and ancient Greek Culture while fostering international cultural cooperation, experimentation and social engagement. The organization's extensive programming includes commissioned artists' and curators' projects, residencies, educational and ecological initiatives and the commitment to cultivating a sensible culture of innovation and thought leadership.
We are dedicated to offering innovative and unique programs in education and the arts, all exploring the evolving diversity and richness of Greek and Cypriot cultures. The non- profit organization seeks to generate new thinking about the arts and promote cross- cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of creation.
The organization promotes international exchange of practice and knowledge in the arts - visual and sound art, dance, architecture, theatre - research on the methods used in curatorial and performing practices and investigation of points of intersection between the arts, science and the public sphere by means of interventions, collective actions, educational programs and publications.
Greece in USA aims to collaborate and build long-lasting partnerships with leading institutions and individuals who actively engage with Greece and its culture and to convey a comprehensive and distinctive representation of Greece and Cyprus by producing cultural and educational programs that encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement.
Our principal goals are:
To shape and envision the image of contemporary Greece in the United States beyond existing stereotypes
To recalibrate the assumed center of Greek national narratives to include those who have often been denied historical recognition.
To transform the way Greek histories are told and produce projects that reflect the vast, rich complexity of Greek culture.
To support Greek inspired cultural practices by welcoming and nurturing new ideas and influential perspectives
To commission, produce and present contemporary Greek and Cypriot culture that grapple with many of the pressing social and political issues of our time
To foster Greek scholarship and cultural research within the American educational system
To develop a transatlantic network for the exchange of culture and ideas
To strengthen the development of structures in cultural policy & leadership, and foster worldwide mobility.
Greece in USA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization registered in the State of New York, tax-exempt ID no. 85-0828531. Contributions to Greece in USA are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Greece in USA's launch is under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture.
In, If Not Always Of
Pato Hebert is an artist, educator and organizer. His work explores the aesthetics, ethics and poetics of interconnectedness. His projects have been presented at Beton7 in Athens, PH21 Gallery in Budapest, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Quito, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, the Songzhuang International Photo Biennale, IHLIA LGBT Heritage in Amsterdam and the New Image Gallery at James Madison University. He has been a BAU Institute/Camargo Foundation Residency Fellow in Cassis, France and an artist-in-residence at PLAYA, and with the Neighborhood Time Exchange project in West Philadelphia. Hebert’s work has been supported by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, the National Education Association and a Mid- Career Fellowship for Visual Artists from the California Community Foundation. In 2008, he received the Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award from Center in Santa Fe. He teaches as an Associate Arts Professor in the Department of Art & Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where his students have twice nominated him for the David Payne-Carter Excellence in Teaching Award. He has also worked in community-based HIV prevention initiatives with queer communities of color since 1994. He continues these grassroots efforts at local and transnational levels, working with social movements and community organizations to develop innovative approaches to HIV mobilization, programs, advocacy and justice. He curated exhibitions and led creative initiatives at the International AIDS Conferences in Vienna (2010), Melbourne (2014), Durban (2016) and Amsterdam (2018).
In, If Not Always Of features an ambiguous presence that I call “The Oscillator” appearing in various landscapes. The Oscillator seems to reflect its context, yet is not so easily of its environment. It queries our relationship to place and space, and our false oppositions between nature and culture. These distinctions are a dangerous part of our ecological challenge as so many life forms are being dramatically impacted by climate change. Humans cannot simply see ourselves as exceptional and apart, nor view land as an object or thing. Such thinking leads to dangerous oppositions of either exploitation or preservation, rather than more supple understandings of living in rich and complex symbiosis.
I have been exploring these ideas through the making of conceptual photographs that aim to accentuate our dilemma. Since 2014 I have orchestrated a series of performances for the camera. I have presenced The Oscillator in parks and nature reserves, areas that have historically been demarcated as “nature” by the state in order to safeguard against unfettered development. But The Oscillator is neither human nor natural. Its strange yet poetic presence oscillates between absurdity, alienation, mimicry and belonging.
Sometimes The Oscillator mirrors its surrounding context. But it can also be encompassed, even configured by its environment. It is neither wholly autonomous nor completely integrated. It is at turns uneasy, assertive, playful, overwhelmed, enraptured, even indecipherable. The Oscillator serves to remind us that as humans in these amazing places, we must live in a manner that does not simply make us aliens in the very environments that we are a part of.