Katerina Kataki: Public Diaries


07 May 2023


Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square, Athens


Live Installation Performance

A citizen dressed in pajamas sits at her private office, placed at the edge of Syntagma Square and attempts to write her diary on a typewriter. At the same time, there is an option offered to any passer-by who wishes to leave their own handwritten notes. Each written paper is placed in public view on the ground of the square, as a different historical record, a live one, alongside with everything else that is happening on the site.

In this condition the use of subjective diary writing meets the mechanical objectivity of a typewriter giving rise to a potentially poetic means of expressing and processing data. The artist attempts to record internal and external realities that occur in the time of the action through four categories of accessible journal entries corresponding in four types of paper: Evidence, Observations, Confessions, Unknown. The deposition of these notes which “capture” passing thoughts, feelings, moments, creates a kind of map and various visual frames in the busy city square.

The diary, a private object with a public reputation, opens its pages and is at hand. Without discrimination it enables revelations and reassessments of self and the world through the process of recording. The great lesson it offers by hosting every trivial incident, is that every life deserves to be recorded as a unique story. The often invisible passers-by of the square, the residents of Athens, have a strong place in the collective calendar that is created. Every presence, every movement brings a beat to the typewriter keys.

The project Public Diaries combines the art of performance and visual installation in progress, unfolding seasonally throughout the year. It is a personal, artistic and social experiment, which seeks to approach what happens when a person decides to publicly expose the process and imprints of journaling and share this experience with other people. The project wonders on the possibility of creating an intermediate, “transparent” space between the personal and public spheres, where the two landscapes intersect with free perspectives of thinking, imagining, seeing and interweaving moments. Seeking to inspire and encourage the possibility of restoring possible identity fragmentations in the constantly under construction narratives, the project wishes to embrace and safeguard the disconnected, hidden, unseen and also visible aspects of human existence and action. It claims the vulnerability and its visibility as a universal characteristic, promoting freedom of speech and expression in the public environment, within a square whose name derives from the requirement to create a Constitution.


From 15:00 to 18:00


The project Public Diaries is the first in a series of public performance projects that examine communication among passers-by in a public space. The next project in the series is the performance Pathfinders that will be presented on May 23, 28 and 30.

*The project Public Diaries is an independent performance by Katerina Katakis, produced by AMKE micrographia and included in the program of the Athens City Festival, with the support of the Culture Office of the City of Athens.

This specific project already exists and has been performed in the past in the same square. It was not created for the Festival, nor is it a product of the Athens City Festival.

Closest Metro Station: Syntagma

Metro to Venue: 2 minutes walking

Wheelchair Accessibility Yes


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