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Who is Dimitris Houliarakis?
Magnus Bärtås

Dimitris Houliarakis is a journalist and poet living in Athens. He shares his house with his mother and from his balcony he observes the planes to and from Athens airport. The narrator comments on details in his life; clothes, garden, habits, portraits of Admiral Nelson and collection of toys. Random-like information build a micro-story; about an obsession with numbers, an airplane-crash that wiped out an entire football-team and his statements about his time as a young film student in Lodz in Poland.

Who is Dimitris Houliarakis? belongs to series of works that speak about (and ‘compare’) the life of individuals. The starting point is an in one’s own hand invented biographic model, based on conversation. The short biography is a mix of actual information and storytelling (whatever the difference between them may be) where the texts consists of short epigrammatical statements and have a refrain – or repetitive form, where the particular stands alongside the general. Inspired by information-film and psychodrama, the artist transforms a text (a script) into a re-enacted biography. In the process of negotiation, the means and possibilities to recreate or re-enact the script, we simultaneously challenge the credibility of – and situate – the self.

The voice of the narrator belongs to a ten years old girl, otherwise the major parts of the film is mute. By using this narrator, I try to investigate the gap between the voice over as ‘a voice from on high’ – that speaks from a position of superior knowledge and superimposes itself over the image narrative, and the young, ‘unaware’ voice over. The voice becomes a medium as well as a transformer.

Aspect ratio 1.33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format Generic SD-video
Duration 00:10:00
Language English
Color Color
Year 2005
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About the artist

Magnus Bärtås

Born 1962 in Jönköping, Sweden. Currently based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Magnus Bärtås is an artist and author. His installations and video essays are often investigating in the fields of marginal architecture, biography and storytelling. He is a professor of fine arts at Konstfack, the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm since 2008. His PhD in practice-based research was presented in 2010 (You Told Me – work stories and video essays). His video essay Madame & Little Boy won the grand prize at Oberhausen International Film Festival. He has published three books of essays together with Fredrik Ekman. Their latest book (Alla monster måste dö) was nominated to the Swedish national book prize (Augustpriset). He participated in ‘Reshapes’, the IASPIS contribution to The Venice Biennale in 2003, “Modernautställningen” at Moderna Museet, Stockholm 2006 and 2010 and the 9:th Gwangju Biennale 2012 among other exhibitions.