Paris Legakis | In Between

On the 11th of March 2013, North Korea declared invalid the armistice agreement between South and North Korea. Baengnyeong Island, which is located near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the sea border that separates the South and North Korea, was the first place threatened to come under attack. People from Baengnyeong Island were invited to express, in a brief message, something about their everyday lives that they would like to share with the rest of Korea and the world. The participants included store owners, housewives, passersby and high school students. The participants translated their messages in motion through workshops that took place in their working areas, in a studio and in the high-school. The generated gestures wished to create a “new” type of language that would overcome the barrier of spoken words and potentially be understandable by anyone. A performance with the students took place in the middle of the high-school’s football field, in-between the two goals, in order to depict the critical location of the island as a place in-between the conflict of South and North Korea. The video shows the outcomes from the workshops together with distinct images from the daily life in the island part of which are the daily announcements for military exercises. The viewer is invited to make his own interpretation of the improvised sign language and the given messages of the residents.

Paris Legakis is a multidisciplinary artist, activist and theorist. In his work, he researches how art can be beneficial for society and influential to politics. He has written the manifesto “Claim your Anger, on politics and political art,” in which he suggests three theses for what political art should be. He experiments with different art practices of social engagement and he conducts field researches aiming to reveal different perspectives of everyday life and to foster the idea of social change. His research interests focus on memory, emotions, geopolitical and social borders, and sustainable artistic structures with a social impact. 

Paris Legakis was born in Athens (1981), Greece. He has completed the MA program Performance Studies, Tisch, NYU, where he was awarded for ‘Outstanding MA Work,’ 2015. In 2012, he finished the MFA program Public Art and New Artistic Strategies, Bauhaus University-Weimar, Germany and in 2009 he graduated from Athens School of Fine Arts. His projects have been presented internationally, such as in Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, Prague (2015), Rapid Pulse Performance Art Festival, Chicago (2015), NGBK, Berlin (2015), Judson Church, New York (2014), Athens Video Art Festival (2014), Cyprus International Performance Art Festival (2014), Façade Video Festival, Plovdiv (2013), Marta Museum, Herford (2011).