THE META-EKPHRASIS RESIDENCE
Karoussos Archives will support research and creative actions that use new vistas to provide new insights into the Byzantine world of Ekphrasis throughout our 2023 programmatic theme.
Residents of Meta-Ekphrasis seek to reroute the creative development of Byzantine Iconography toward a flourishing contemporary continuity, introducing novel approaches to cultural analysis of Byzantine art.
English and Greek
1–2 weeks in June, September, or October of 2023
Number of artists in residence at one time
The two-volume edition of Fotis Kontoglou: "Ekphrasis of Orthodox iconography," published in 1960, refers to Byzantine painting and is regarded as the ultimate handbook for twentieth-century Byzantine painters. The first volume is divided into two sections that examine Byzantine icons and frescoes, as well as painting practices and materials. The second volume contains extensive references to the iconographic style of painting. The intertwined body of image and text introduces the reader/viewer to the world of "the secret paradise" of Eastern Orthodox iconography through the combination of icons and text.
The aesthetic model proposed by Kontoglou resulted in the renewal of Byzantine painting and the demolition of any stereotypes that had been passed down from the Renaissance era and onwards. However, while the attempt to reintroduce the transcendental and spiritual aspects was a key component in Kontoglou's Ekphrasis, it was launched in a bygone framework in which any transcendental element was overlapping by the discipline of aesthetics.
Yannis Karoussos was influenced by Kontoglou's new impetus in Byzantine art. Working in extra-large mural paintings, he managed to merge abstract expressionism and suprematism, creating a new environment for art and spirituality. A step closer to the transcendental element, Karoussos' frescoes have reached a point where the level of human immersion indicates the need for a new transcendental environment, independent of any aesthetic categorisation.
Our approach to creativity and culture has been profoundly altered by digital technologies. They offer new perspectives on how we access and preserve cultural assets, enriching creative capital and strengthening our ability to communicate and interact with our cultural identities. Yet, emerging technologies have not yet identified and deployed those elements that could convey the essence of heritage, particularly in cultural heritage with monumental features, such as Byzantine art.
The use of technology in cultural heritage produced a number of databases, visualisation tools, 3D immersive environments, multi-sensory interactions, and other simulations, which serve as platforms for aggregating digitised cultural resources and facilitating their use in innovative products and services.
However, even if some theories and practices focus on the semantic content of the cultural asset, the majority of them are theoretical in nature with no application or are consumed in technological processes that do not allow for the incorporation of the prototypical Schema of the specific cultural content. This is due to the absence of an environment capable of synchronizing the physical and virtual frameworks and enabling integrated knowledge.
One of the major issues with Byzantine monumental art as a cultural asset is its spiritual service. Any form of access to the cultural asset (analog or digital) must include as a key structural element the production of those processes that reveal the value of this service. The dialectic between the old (context) and the new (hyper-context) must be clear and distinct in the case of the digital environment, where the cultural asset is to be reintroduced into a new framework. As a result, the production of the processes by which the cultural element declares its service should generate a completely new framework.
By examining the multidimensional aspects of these cultural expressive forms, the Meta-Ekphrasis residence seeks to reroute the creative development of Byzantine monumental art toward a flourishing contemporary continuity, introducing novel ways of building cultural analysis of Byzantine art.
Residents must work on the Meta-Ekphrasis online platform on a daily basis and submit a report of their daily outcomes in any format they prefer (short text, lists, sketches, etc.).
Residents must submit their final report to the Karoussos Archives in the form of an Academic paper no later than 30 days after their residency ends.
Please keep in mind that Karoussos Archives has the ability to publish the paper in hard copy or online.
Offer by the host:
The program ensures the validity of knowledge by providing a 100-year experience in Byzantine Monumental Art:
With its unique Byzantine cultural repository, the Karoussos Archive offers leading cultural content for analysis and processing that can fully support research and ensure its integrity when introduced into new environments (digital or other).
The original worksheets from frescoes executed in Byzantine churches, photographs, and slides from the study and work process, remain deliberately unpublished so that they can be used as a first-class resource for cultural heritage research.
On-site studies of the frescoes and their prototype digital adaptations with parallel guidance and consulting.
Academic sessions held on-site
Online coaching after the residency for the completion of the final report.
The residency is held at the Karoussos Center in Verga, Messinian Mani, Peloponnese. The Maniot house, which dates from the late 1800s, became a property of the Karoussos family in 1974. This place was the artistic shelter of the late painter Iannis Karoussos. The house has recently been used as a museum as well as a location for research, lectures, roundtable discussions, and other cultural events. The accommodation is free of charge.
Karoussos Center is located on a Mountain Taygetus hill at Verga village and offers a view of the entire Messinian Bay and the Ionian sea. Verga village is a historic place in the Maniot area. There is a distance of about 3km from the city of Kalamata. The residence's location may necessitate the rental of a car. These costs are not covered by the Center.
The program is entirely free. To stay at the Center, however, the resident must have a Karoussos Membership card. As a result, if your application is approved, you must pay a membership annual reduced fee of 300€ (for a week's residency) or 500€ (for two weeks' residency). The annual membership has no joining fee and includes all membership benefits for one year. Breakfast and light snacks will be available at the residence. There is also the possibility of providing low-cost lunch and/or dinner.
Residents will be held liable for any damage or loss that occurs on the premises of the Karoussos Center.
The programme is generally intended for interdisciplinary scholars in the early stages of their careers. Candidates should be at the postgraduate level (Masters, Ph.D., Post-Doc) in the following areas, though not limited to these: Humanities, Digital Humanities, Theology, and Arts.
The application must include:
· Cover letter
· Detailed CV
· Field research report (1,500 words) (including expected results and contribution to the overall research)
· Copy of passport
· Two (2) letters of recommendation
The above documents should be sent electronically to
One can apply for up to two weeks during the months of June, September, and October. It is possible to apply for other times of the year; this can be discussed with the hosts based on their availability.
The necessary documents can be written in either English or Greek. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
15 April (for June residency)
15 July ( for September or October residencies)