Only Connect! - Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Only Connect!
07 JUNE 2017

Never before has it been so easy for people to be in touch with one another. Mass media and mass communications have redrawn maps and erased distances great and small such that nothing seems to stand in the way of me talking to you, you talking to me, us seeing them and them seeing us.

Nothing, it would appear, except the very sense that it is all so easy and the very means that create the illusion that nothing inhibits direct contact. Yet, as we all know, linking up does not necessarily result in making a true connection with others like ourselves, much less others quite unlike us. Genuine interaction involves removing boundaries of many kinds and the interpenetration of worlds at many levels, especially those where control or the limitations of engagement must be negotiated on the spot with actions as well as words.

Given the present reality of widespread social upheaval, intimate uncertainty, and the highly contested mediation of virtually all human relations – hence the possible if not probable unreality of everything around us – the English novelist E.M. Forster’s aesthetic mandate “Only connect” takes on new meanings as well as new urgency. In what context do we risk connecting with someone or something outside of ourselves and with whom or with what shall we take that chance? Indeed, what separates “inside” from “outside,” the social and political from the personal, a thrilling break with humdrum existence from the terrifying break down of barriers that seem to protect us from exposure to extreme disorientation and dislocation?

Τhese problems are posed, in one way or another, by the selected performances comprising the art program Only Connect! that will be presented at the SNFCC during the Summer Nostos Festival. And, if art cannot fully answer them, at least it can create circumstances where members of the public can think these issues through for themselves in response to strong stimuli whose power to provoke such thought stems from exemplary acts of endurance, concentration, generosity of spirit, or courageous disregard for taboos that impose the conventional decorum that keep us apart. If these are the times that try men’s souls – and even more so those of women – then they are also times in which new affinities can emerge and new bonds can be made.

Robert Storr, artistic director, and Barbara London, Kalliopi Minioudaki, Francesca Pietropaolo, curators.


Kim Jones
A three-day walk from the Acropolis to SNFCC!
Starting: Monday 19 June | Acropolis | 09.00
Read more here 

Mieskuoro Huutajat (Screaming Men’s Choir)
Performance by the Finnish choir directed by composer Petri Sirviö
Thursday 22 June | Agora | 19:00
Read more here

Paris Legakis
Two Teams Play with the Same Outfit: A Reenactment, 2017
Saturday 24 June | Great Lawn | 19.00
Read more here

Tania Bruguera
Tatlin’s Whisper # 6 (Version for Greece), 2017
Sunday 25 June |Agora | 19:00
Read more here