ARCAthens Virtual Residency #1

ARCAthens Virtual Residency June 2020

We are delighted to introduce our Inaugural ARCAthens Virtual Residency Fellows.

Blanka Amezkua

Blanka‌ ‌Amezkua‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌n artist, ‌cultural‌ ‌promoter,‌ ‌educator,‌ ‌and‌ ‌project‌ ‌creator ‌based‌ ‌in the‌ ‌South‌ ‌Bronx with exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Art Base; Brussels, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, San Diego Art Institute, and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, among others. Amezkua’s ‌practice‌ ‌is‌ ‌greatly‌ ‌influenced‌ ‌and‌ ‌informed‌ ‌by‌ ‌folk‌ ‌art‌ ‌and‌ ‌popular‌ ‌culture, and in‌ ‌2008‌ ‌she‌ ‌began‌ ‌an‌ ‌artist-run‌ ‌project‌ ‌in‌ ‌her‌ ‌bedroom‌ ‌called‌ ‌the‌ ‌Bronx‌ ‌Blue‌ ‌Bedroom‌ ‌Project‌ ‌(BBBP).‌ ‌BBBP‌ ‌ran‌ ‌from‌ ‌2008-2010.‌ Between 2010-2016, s‌he lived in Athens, Greece where she initiated FoKiaNou 24/7, now FokiaNou Art Space, in the center of the Hellenic capital. Blanka currently‌ ‌operates‌ ‌‌AAA3A‌‌‌(Alexander‌ ‌Avenue‌ ‌Apartment‌ ‌3A)‌ ‌an‌ ‌alternative‌ ‌artist-run‌ ‌project‌ ‌which‌ ‌offers‌ ‌food,‌ ‌dialogue,‌ ‌workshops,‌ ‌and‌ ‌art‌ ‌in‌ ‌her‌ ‌living‌ ‌room.‌ Mentions of ‌her‌ ‌work‌ ‌and‌ ‌projects‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌found‌ ‌in‌ ‌various‌ ‌notable‌ ‌publications including HYPERALLERGIC, The New York Times, ART NEWS, HuffPost Arts, The International Review of African American Art, and  Time Out New York. ‌‌

Eirene Efstahiou

Eirene Efstathiou is a visual artist living in Athens, Greece who works in a variety of different media from painting and printmaking to performance to small scale installations. Her practice investigates collective and archival memory, sentiment, affect and how these function in the public sphere. Efstathiou is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University, (Studio Art Diploma and BFA, 2003) where she studied painting and printmaking, and the Athens School of Fine Arts, (MFA 2010). She received a residency fellowship at Zea Mays Printmaking in Northampton, MA in 2017, and she is currently a PhD candidate at the Athens School of Fine Art.  Efstathiou has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States. Her most recent solo exhibitions include: A Jagged Line Through Space, Eleni Koroneou Gallery Athens (2020); Regarding the Continuity of Disrupted Images, Irene Laub Gallery, Brussels Belgium, (2017); I Draw, I Learn Greece, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens, Greece (2016). Her most recent group exhibitions include: When the Present is History, DEPO, Istanbul, Turkey (2020); Anatomy of Political Melancholy, Athens Conservatory, Shwartz Foundation, Athens Greece (2019); Truth Is Always Something Else: A dialogue between two Collections, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, Italy (2018); ANTIDORON. Works from the EMST Collection, documenta 14, Kassel, Germany (2017). Efstathiou’s work is represented in public and private collections in Europe and the United States. In 2009 she was the recipient of the DESTE Prize, DESTE Foundation, Athens, Greece. She lives and works in Athens, Greece.

Instagram Visual Conversation

ARCAthens Virtual Residency #1 is the work of our first two AVR Fellows, Blanka Amezkua, the Bronx, New York, and Eirene Efstathiou, Athens, Greece. The Instagram conversation below took place from June 1-June 30, 2020.

Week 1: Location

Photos by #blankaamezkua #AAVirtualResidency Under interminable historic repression and abuse towards the black community, national protests took place this weekend in USofA… Read More

Post by Eirene Efstahiou

Under the Pavement, a Mountain’, 2017-19 (detail) Lithograph and screen print on linen 81 x 54 cm. Referring to the May ’68 slogan ‘under the pavement a beach’. Read More

Post by Blanka Amezkua

“STAND BY AND FOR BLACK PEOPLE!!!!” ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡ Black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. In the Roman Empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches, and magic. Read More

Post by Eirene Efstahiou

Imprint study or the view from the middle of the street. (That’s were we’ll be). Here from the demo last Sept. One year after the murder of Zak Kostopoulos. Read More

Post by Blanka Amezkua

La Lutxona (The fighter); Embroidery on fabric and crochet; 30x31in.; 2007. “Today, we look at Toni Morrison for guidance: ‘If you can’t imagine it, you can’t have it.’ Read More

Post by Eirene Efstahiou

Where we are always has a history. Bleach, 2016, Paper Matrix Lithograph and Screen Print on Paper Mounted on Aluminum, 54×57.5 cm Read More

Mis Chingonas (My Kick-ass); Canvas tote and embroidery thread; 13x17in; 2020 –Tote bag listing the names of female writers that make my life bearable. Read More

A list of demonstration meeting points from July 1965, that although nearly illegible, are almost identical to those of July 2015, to those of today.  Lists are useful, as are indexes and archives. Read More

“America’s Protests Won’t Stop Until Police Brutality Does. This country has failed to provide one of the most fundamental protections in the Constitution: the right to life.” Read More

Source material from ‘A Jagged Line through Space’ and a poster found along the way, because some things bear repeating (aka my favorite pandemic poster). 





Curatorial Reflections Week 1: Location

As the first week of the first-ever ARCAthens Virtual Residency (AVR) closes, and we prepare for Week 2, the theme changes from Location to #Proximity. Read More

Week 2: Proximity

New York City Begins Reopening After 3 Months of Outbreak and Hardship…As many as 400,000 people may return to work on Monday in a city still recovering from the pandemic and roiled by protests.” Read More

Post by Blanka Amezkua

“If you experience the love, you have to touch the spirit not the body.” ~ Rumi / “On Tuesday morning, 15 days after that anguished cry, Mr. Floyd will be laid to rest beside his ‘Mama, his mama’ Read More

During the lockdown I was nostalgic for crowds. Now that lockdown has been lifted, I wonder, how close can you come to another person from 2 meters distance? Read More


Some years back I began a series of photographs, where I placed my body inside corners, in this exact posture, as a way to occupy space and fuse my body with the architecture. Read More

A Jagged Line Through Space, the making of, or hot August days, in which various existences shed their skins. How close do we come to other beings? Read More

Post by Blanka Amezkua

The 2016 United States presidential election was the 58th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. A republican businessman and reality television act was elected. Read More

Post by Eirene Efstahiou

From around 2013 until the present I have done a series of actions in public space that are neither exactly performances nor activism, but awkwardly and intentionally situated somewhere in between. Read More

CORNERS AND FORM. An ongoing series of photographs created through my interest in the physicality and the importance of corners in space (internal and external) Read More

I have never lived in a landlocked place, yet although I have always lived in close proximity to the sea or the ocean, encountering it in an urban setting is always both a surprise and a relief. Read More

Excerpts from the work ‘Artifacts (for) the Revolution’ 2014.  How close do we come to the world as we wish it to be?  How close is what we imagine to our everyday practices?  Where is it embedded but latent in everyday objects? Read More

Curatorial Reflections Week 2: Proximity

With Week 2’s theme, #Proximity#BlankaAmezkua (#TheBronx) and #EireneEfstathiou (#Athens) ask us several questions: • How close do we come to the world as we wish it to be? • Read More

Week 3: Movement

The Movement of Bodies ♡☆♡☆♡☆♡☆♡☆♡☆
He fractured white light into seven colours, reckoned the distance to the moon, wrote laws for the movement of bodies: no mystery to him, until now. Read More

Movement of bodies and of movements in Exarcheia square has not stopped for as long as I remember. Read More

In 2018 I was invited to create an installation for a show by cultural worker and curator Amanda McDonald Crowley Read More

A sudden camera movement indicates the passage of time, or an abrupt break from the way we usually experience time. Read More

《Movement Song》
By Audre Lorde ♡☆♡☆♡☆♡☆♡
I have studied the tight curls on the back of your neck moving away from me beyond anger or failure your face Read More

Works from the series ‘A Jagged Line through Space’ or excerpts from a natural history of Exarcheia home of so many movements. Read More

Nopal (from the Nahuatl word nohpalli for the pads of the plant) There are approximately one hundred and fourteen known species endemic to Mexico… Read More

Some images of furniture of the movement, or the dynamic evolving life of objects, (and their outcome), or what if we think about reification as and expanded dialectic with vectors moving every which way? Read More

VANISHING WHILE MOVING ——-On September 26, 2014, 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College were forcibly abducted and then disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. Read More

Post by Eirene Efstahiou

People move for all sorts of reasons, and the politics in and behind movement has many layers and dimensions. Read More

Curatorial Reflections Week 3: Movement

For Week 3, the theme chosen by the #AVR Fellows was #Movement. #BlankaAmezkua (#TheBronx) and #EireneEfstathiou (#Athens) abducted us, sailed us, and transported us to places of their past, places that also seem like places in our present. Read More

Week 4: #MagicOrTheTimeIsNow

It’s time for some looting, y’all. ♡☆♡☆♡☆♡ Nothing new under the sun. For everything there is a season. And this is the snatching season. You know that you would not be the first to take everything you can get in the midst of a crisis. Read More

The weather is consistent: hot. Μainstream political promises for tomorrow are rhetorically as predictable as the weather, and as practically limited as a confined space. Read More

What passes for structural changes in the org? Insist on that. Cuomo said a pandemic was the perfect time to reconsider the ENTIRE CONCEPT of public education! Read More

Two works from the ‘A Jagged Line through Space’ series. ‘Flora over Asklipiou’ and ‘Dark Star’. The magic of things reflected in the sky, the magic of the quotidian. Read More

Get in. Get out. Get it over with. This burden shouldn’t fall to you, yet here we are. You have spent so much time doing this work, and they have spent so much time ignoring the pain — even if they recoil in shock at the suggestion. Read More

Details from the series ‘How Things Are Made’. Frankenstein newspaper collages, terraced Cycladic landscapes, and loom schematics chronicle the labor of making, of consent and resistance, of the mundane and the exceptional. Read More

Depending on where or when or how it goes down, they might even come to you looking to cover their behinds. Read More

Drawings from the archival work ‘Fortification Typology – an Overview’ (2014). The drawings are from a group of photographs I found at the Greek Military’s historical archives. Read More

Post by Blanka Amezkua

1. return to the basics: the lungs, they are for breathing. the heart, it is for forgiving.
2. remain porous through the pain. a broken heart is an invitation: there is space here, inside. Read More

Two views of a road that leads to the sea. If, as I speculate, Exarcheia is an island, then undoubtedly the Polytechnio is its chora and its southern coast. Two blurred and fleeting views of its historic front entrance gate (and a detail). Read More

Curatorial Reflections Week 4: #MagicOrTheTimeIsNow


#BlankaAmezkua(#TheBronx) and #EireneEfstathiou (#Athens) complete their Virtual Residency with ARCAthens #AVR during a moment of unprecedented uncertainty. Read More

#Congratulations to Blanka Amezkua on the completion of the first ARCAthens Virtual Residency! Read More

#Congratulations to Eirene Efstathiou on the completion of the first ARCAthens Virtual Residency. Read More