“the slaughter of the lamps”

“FOURNOS” centre for digital culture

October 2003

Video installation, eleven projections




Selection of works and applications

Curriculum vitae



                                     THE  SLAUGHTER  OF  THE  LAMBS

                       A JOURNAL OF 2002 – 2003 IN 11 VIDEO PROJECTIONS

         OCTOBER 2002 – JUNE 2003
Popi Krouska visits the refugee reception and hospitality centres of the Medecins Du Monde. She attempts to approach them, to talk with them, to watch them as they write their heartfelt letter to their people back in their distant country. Frightened people, desperate, who will not open up easily.
Their hopes of these thoughts and sentiments reaching their home country are as many as those of the shipwrecked sailor who puts his notes in a bottle.
        MARCH & APRIL 2003
Krouska records on video the evening news, the images which will become the documentary evidence of our civilisation at the turn of the third millennium. The bombs hit Iraq like a golden rain. A few hours later some people will be setting off on a long march to nowhere, others will be mourning their children, the imams will be preaching a holy war. And someone will be cutting down a person he has never seen before.
       APRIL 2003
Good Thursday. The neighbour is slaughtering the lambs for Easter Sunday. Krouska looks on and videotapes the scene. In our culture the lamb, the symbol of sacrifice, is killed to complete the sacrificial rite and begin the feast.
The mental associations are inevitable. The slaughter of the lamb – a common cultural good, necessary food and commodity of an economy which does not fear blood.

The work of Popi Krouska remains in tune with the reality of our time. It is a sequel to her “Soup” of 2002, a composition of virtual reality on the viewer’s plate where the war in Afghanistan and the commercials become an indivisible whole in the living room of pleasure and digestion.

The time is common. In the battlefield that appears on our screens the airplanes and the targets are the same: Gulf, Kosovo, New York, Afghanistan, Iraq. Aggressors and victims, innocent people who will not return to their countries; innocent people who flee their countries.

“The slaughter of the lambs”, a scrap of narrative from the theatres of war, establishes a direct dialogue with a contemporary issue, written in the idiom of our time. Static images of death, flashes of lightning, rhythmically moving feet, massacre and wailings are addressed to the present-day Pietá whose gaze does not include the slaughter of the lamb owned by the neighbour and the entire world.
The art of Krouska, political and humanitarian, joins in the discourse of contemporary artists who feel responsible for the civilisation of our age.
Thirty years after the dynamic and vociferous artistic denunciation of the woes from the seven-year dictatorship, the dawn of the new millennium finds again some Greek artists who are vigilant, with a live and occasionally guilty conscience.

                                                           Maria Marangou




POPI KROUSKA “The slaughter of the lambs”

(‘Medecins du Monde’ Refugee Reception & Hosting Centres)

The subject (as it was given)

Let us suppose that you could send a message to God or to a friend or relative back home, and that the addressee will receive it. Say that you can enclose this message in a bottle, together with anything else you would wish to send. The bottle will leave for its destination, You might wish to put inside things that are important to you and you would like the addressee to get them.
The missive can be an ordinary message or a wish for the future, a thought or an expression of nostalgia; it can be just an imaginary communication.
What would you write? What would you send – and to whom?

(She decided to place into the bottle a letter for home. She wrote the letter first and then talked about its content. I realised that the letter was probably written by a friend for her because her writing skills were limited. The text may differ from her verbal account.)

The reply

“And yet solitude is difficult, it is hard to bear. When you are alone, what you see and what you have to face becomes harder. Things are different when you have someone with you. My own man is by my side, thank God. I am well, but there are others who have no one with them, and it is more difficult for them.
For nine years we had many victims. We lived in Haima all these years. Nine years I spent alone, waiting. Now he is with me, God be praised. I was so glad – a thousand times I praise God. We won’t forget this till we die. For nine years I was alone. Thank God, here we have seen things that we wouldn’t have seen in our own country. It might be different. A thousand times God be praised. Yet if we were back home things would be different.
May the time come that we can live in the same place as our grandfathers and our parents. May these times go forever so that things can go back to what they were before. May this nostalgia cease, the endless talking about our father, our uncle. It is so hard to say the word ‘father’. I wish we didn’t have to go, to be away from our folk day in, day out. Each day and one death. Yet we took all this into account. When you are not in your country you don’t count as a human being. May we get back to our own country one day, to our homeland. Be well, a thousand times be well.”

My thanks to Assistant Professor Mrs. Emilia Thomopoulou for the translation of the oral reply from Turkish.




“the slaughter of the lamps”

Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art


16 / 7 - 3 / 10 / 2004

Part of the groop exhibition
under the title “Matters of identity”

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  English translations by Tony Moser