Kleoniki Stanich

Kleoniki Stanich. Mirage, 2021.

In 2021, Kleoniki Stanich (1994) found a collection of letters at a flea market in Athens (GR). From this correspondence, written between 1975 and 1980, arose the image of a woman with a great deal of ambition, but little space to develop herself. “On a daily basis she described the things that were holding her back all those years, thereby painting a picture of a situation that a larger group of people also had to live with,” Stanich says. The artist came up with an alternative life path for this woman by making her leave Athens and move to an island. For Stanich and the actress Flomaria Papadaki, the letters formed the point of departure for expanding further on the character.

With her film Arrival (2023), Stanich does not offer simple solutions for the problems on the island. Although it remains unclear whether the protagonist is lonely, it is clear she wants to express something — something is bothering her. Papadaki’s acting prompts the viewer to interpret each action or look. How much self-awareness do you need to be able to understand and express your own feelings? Arrival can be interpreted as a layered exploration that goes beyond comparing the situation of women in the 1970s to that of women today. It explores the limitations that can shape a life. Stanich: “Recognizable limitations are illness, trauma, tension, and other types of anxiety. The film is about making the choice to attempt to break free from these limitations.”

Text: Jorne Vriens

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang