THE SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP OF FINE ARTS AND WINERIES
It is a photo-visual interdisciplinary project that aspires to investigate the causes and motivations for the presence of visual works in wineries either as permanent collections or as rooms specially formed to host visual exhibitions, as well as the collaboration of wine producers with visual artists for the unique design of a wine label. At the same time, visual photographer Nikos Zafeiropoulos will attempt to capture wine production in all its stages. An ambitious and challenging photographic project in terms of time duration, since every stage of the annual cycle of vine cultivation and wine production must be captured, the ad hoc treatment of outdoor conditions (weather conditions and natural lighting) and indoor conditions (lighting without interventions) and the achieving a discreet creative relationship with vintners and winemakers while acting and working without disturbance, distraction or behavior change.
Visual Wine is an initiative of the Automatic Transmission Project Space since January 2021 and is expected to be completed at the end of 2024. Paraskevi Kalogeraki, as head of the research team, and Nikos Zafeiropoulos, realized from the beginning the need for personal experiential involvement with wine production. Thus, in the region of Malakasa Attica, a small organic vineyard was selected with about 100 Savatiano vines of the Sideris family, which they exclusively took care of (winter pruning, sulphuring, defoliation in May, harvest in October). At the same time, they did an intensive study of the basic principles of vine cultivation, attended seminars organized by the Chamber of Cyclades in collaboration with the Agricultural University of Athens regarding vine diseases and the correct way of winter pruning, vine training and defoliation, while for the production of wine, inside the Automatic Transmission Project Space, (grape crushing, must production and wine fermentation) had the invaluable guidance of the experienced oenologist Sofia Theodosiou.
The personal involvement in the production of wine on a very small scale in traditional ways led to the realization that it is an activity characterized by physical labor, every day agony about the weather conditions and diseases (when it comes to purely organic cultivation), it requires pure love and care for each and every vine separately, consistency and dedication in all stages of agricultural work and wine production, but also unprecedented joy for the miracle of wine that you yourself have created.
The project is now in the phase of recording the wineries, their collections and their visual labels both at the Greek and international level and is making invitations for cooperation in the Greek wineries to capture and record the views and vision of the wine producers who host visual art in their wineries.
The project’s next season’s schedule (2023-2024) includes the art photo shooting of the wine production process, the realization of the photography exhibition, the organization of a wide discussion panel that will present the findings of the research, the dissemination of the project throughout Greece with multifaceted related actions in the welcoming wineries, cooperation with research institutions and wine producers’ bodies.