Chrysanthi Koumianaki at Danske Grafikeres Hus / Copenhagen

Chrysanthi Koumianaki

To Speak is to Know How to Use a Washing Machine

3 - 25 February 2017

Danske Grafikeres Hus


Today or everyday. 
Wash your face, brush your teeth, drink some 
coffee, wash the dishes.
Everyday or regularly.
Use Simple Present.
Red, Green, Blue.
Language is a system.
Language is a system of conventions.
I have a liquid soap. 
Do you have one?
I drink some water. 
Can you pass me the salt?
I am 1,67 m., how old are you?
Do you remember? 
Time is fluid. My soap is fluid. 
I open the door.
I go out, I start walking, I walk faster, RED, I slow down, 
I stop moving, I put my hands in my pockets, white lines on 
the road, GREEN, I can walk 3 meters in 5sec, I start walking, 
I’m walking faster, I turn left, I loose speed, I walk slower, 
I meet you, we hug, we kiss, we talk, we move our hands, 
our legs are moving too, I don’t think I’m thinking why 
I move my toes, can you think? Bye. 
The Bus. 
Yellow bars. 10-15 people. Small empty holes where I can stand. My body occupies 50x30 cm. Grey space, yellow lines, red dots, blue rectangles. All of them, fluid. My soap is fluid. 
I open the door.
I take off my coat, I throw it on the sofa. I take my shoes off, 
I leave them exactly where they are. They occupy 50x30 cm. 
I walk to the toilet. I open the water, I touch the soap. 
No, I don’t touch it, it’s fluid.

To Speak is to Know How to Use a Washing Machine suggests a non-time, fluid vocabulary. It proposes conventions which exist between the private and the public space, between hieroglyphs and tapestries in public transportation. Imprints of movements, figures and geometrical shapes are proposed as elements of a fictional symbolic system, bringing together language, dance notations and musical scores in a current reality of contemporary habits.

Part of a common vocabulary is to exist in a house which consists of rooms and objects/tools. At the same time one co-exists in the public space, in a set of rules/conventions, he uses the streets and the pavements, while following traffic 
lights, signs, lines, colors. Our everyday bodily movements create one more parallel vocabulary, repetitive and unconscious, which may be wider than language. In western societies, all of us make similar movements according to our daily lives, as we are probably connected with common rules. Our gestures and expressions may differ concerning our culture, but this is something equivalent to our aesthetics or to the objects we choose to have in our house. Though all of us own a chair, a table, a fridge.

With the kind support of: 
Danish Art Workshops
Danish Arts Council