In her work, Tonight, we’re going to do some very gentle whispers (with elements of haircut), as part of Kantharos Gatherings, invited artist Paky Vlassopoulou focuses on personal attention. Exploring the role of service providing industries and hospitality, she combines elements of care, pleasure and indulgence. By tweaking certain protocols, or introducing new ones to the standard process of wine tasting, she instigates guests to be mindful to what’s happening, to what they are doing, to the space they are traversing.
The guests’ experience begins at the history room, where the artist hands out bizarre garments (haircut aprons), that function as bibs and bring the guests closer together, as a group. Next stop is the open space in front of the silos, where the artist has installed a black podium with a pair of handcrafted, clay spittoons with evident formalistic associations to parts of the human body. Guests are offered sparkling water and are invited to clean their mouths with it, then spit inside the ceramics.
After this made-up initiation step, they enter the front silo, where an excerpt from an ASMR practitioner is playing on a loop. In this step, guests are encouraged to focus on hearing and sight, abandon themselves to a comforting, whispering voice and follow, with their eyes, a horizontal, white line that runs through the interior of the silo, going full circle.
Final stop is the passage that connects the heart of the hotel and the beachfront. This is where the wine tasting takes place, guided by sommelier Chryssa Giatra Batzi. Above, from a clothesline, are hanging white sheets that help observe the wines’ color. Throughout this space, the artist also sets handcrafted, clay spittoons, whose voluptuous forms and (mis)function make the act of spitting or dumping the wine more conscious and playful.
This wide passageway is actually an intersection through two attached, concrete storage tanks that could have been exploited as two additional hotel rooms. Instead, they were opened up, side to side, to allow for light, air, coveted vistas, and a quick access from and to the beachfront and the courtyard. This space treatment is what makes this spot so generous. It makes it a welcoming place for everyone to wander and experience, and become a little bit more present. Even after crossing. Just like Vlassopoulou’s work itself.
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
Photography and Video