Georgia Sagri: IASI, Stage of Recovery

Fall 2020

EXHIBITION 23 October - 12 December 2020 (book visit)

SESSIONS 28 September - 19 November 2020


Georgia Sagri, Diaphragm, 2019 70 X 70 cm, leather, color thermal silkscreen print, iron. Courtesy of the Artist and Central Fine, Miami

‘While taking care of the breath, the voice starts to sound as it is formed and the whole world starts to vibrate differently. By breathing, singing or talking, the voice travels inside the body, touches the interior organs and colors them through vibration. Some voices, which means some bodies, are under shock; by altering the resonance of the voice, the body starts to vibrate differently, so some of the organs that are in pain will start to recuperate.’
– Georgia Sagri, IASI

IASI (‘’Recovery’’ in Greek) involves the recovery of health in the physical sense. The deeper, fuller breath of life. It also involves the reclamation – in the contemporary world – of a civic horizon for performance established within Ancient Greek theatre. For example, at the Epidavros Amphitheatre in the Peloponnese, which rests near the Sanctuary of Asclepius, we find evidence of the interchange between theatrical roles, civic participation and the beginning of medicinal categories – of great inspiration to the artist. Sagri’s method addresses physical pain as a symptom of imbalance in social life (and are not to be mistaken for psycho-analytic sessions). Her private one-on-one sessions take place on a soft stage – a functional sculpture devised by the artist especially for the sharing of her process. At de Appel, this stage rests on top of the existing stage of the iconic Aula at Broedplaats Lely (formerly Pascal College, built in 1969 by Ben Ingwersen) offering a sense of the recovery of public space. The perfect acoustics of the Aula further enhance the reclamation of breath and voice that lie at the heart of Sagri’s approach. During the treatments, the very public space of the Aula is claimed for necessary private healing.

During the exhibition, materials from the evolving history of performance art dating back to the 1970s, found in de Appel’s Archive, add depth and historical context to Sagri's pivotal practice. As this evocative ephemera enters into a dialogue with Sagri’s modular stage-sculpture and full-bodied drawings. Here, a number of questions arise:

What is/has been the artist’s role in society?
What is/has been the role of the public?
Can we conceive of performance art without a sense of spectacle?
What traditions of theater and/as therapy remain to be recovered?
How do we breathe better together?

IASI, Stage of Recovery is curated by de Appel’s director Monika Szewczyk with the assistance of scenographer Ariadne Sergoulopoulou. This exhibition also gains strength from de Appel’s Archive Curator Nell Donkers and Education Curator David Smeulders.

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With support from Mondriaan Fund, AFK and Fonds 21

In collaboration with Mimosa House (London), Tavros (Athens) and Georgia Sagri’s foundation Ύλη[matter]HYLE (Athens)

Georgia Sagri’s book Ίαση, Stage of Recovery with the artist’s writings is forthcoming from Divided Publishing (Brussels and London)


Friday 23 October 2020 at 6pm CET

on IASI with Georgia Sagri and the directors of three institutions supporting IASI: Daria Khan of Mimosa House, London; Olga Hatzidaki and Maria Thalia Carras of Tavros, Athens; and Monika Szewczyk of de Appel Amsterdam.

Saturday 24 October 2020 at Sunset (6:25pm CET)
by Georgia Sagri

Breathing (7-1-7) with embryac position / Windface by Georgia Sagri

more about the sessions

For the past ten years, Georgia Sagri has developed a set of exercises that combine her studies of anatomy, her classical music training, her practice of martial arts and years of experience as a performance artist at the edge of political activism. Initially these techniques were intended to prepare the artist herself for powerful endurance performances, which open up new dimensions of the public and private. At this stage of her ongoing process, three institutions in Europe – Mimosa House in London, Tavros in Athens and de Appel in Amsterdam – have allied with Georgia Sagri to support the sharing of her unique method with members of the public, in private one-on-one sessions. Each participant in IASI works with the artist towards the recovery of health in multiple senses of the term. Asked to specify physical discomforts they wish to treat, they explore their pain as what Sagri’s calls “a bell, an invitation to a dialogue with your system.” Together with the artist they gain strength and insight.

In Amsterdam, these sessions (held in the iconic Aula of de Appel at Schipluidenlaan 12) precede and then coincide with the presentation of a solo exhibition focused on the visual works developed in the context of IASI.

more about the artist

Georgia Sagri has exhibited internationally in various solo and group exhibitions: Portikus, Frankfurt/ Main, Germany (2018); Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (2017, 2018); Cycladic Museum, Athens Greece (2017); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland (2016); Sculpture Center, New York, USA (2016); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2016, 2015); Forde, Geneva, Switzerland (2015); Kunsthalle Basel Switzerland (2014); MoMA PS1, New York, USA (2013); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland (2013); Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2011); MoMA, New York, USA (2011); Macedonian Museum, Thessaloniki, Greece (2011); The Dakis Joannou Collection, DESTE Foundation, Athens, Greece (2006). Sagri has also participated in documenta 14 (2017), Manifesta 11 (2016), Istanbul; Biennial (2015), Lyon Biennial (2013), Whitney Biennial (2012), Thessaloniki Biennial (2011), and Athens Biennial (2007). In 2014 Sagri initiated Ύλη[matter]HYLE ( a semipublic/semiprivate space in the center of Athens, Greece. Her first monograph catalogue was published by Sternberg Press, following her solo exhibitions Georgia Sagri Georgia Sagri at Kunstverein Braunschweig, and Georgia Sagri and I at Portikus. She has recently accepted a Tenure Position in the School of Fine Arts in Athens in order to organize and lead the Academy’s first Performance Art Studio.