South as a State of Mind is a bi-annual arts and culture journal published in Greece and distributed internationally. Possessed by a spirit of absurd authority, we try to contaminate the prevailing culture with ideas that derive from southern mythologies such as the ‘perfect climate’, ‘easy living’, ‘chaos’, ‘corruption’, and the ‘dramatic temperament’, among others. Through our twisted – and ‘southern’ – attitude, expressed through critical essays, artist projects, interviews and features, we would like to give form to the concept of the South as a ‘state of mind’ rather than a set of fixed places on the map. People from different – literal or metaphorical – ‘Souths’ renegotiate the southern attitude, partly to define it and partly to invent it, within the post-crisis world. Opening up an unexpected dialogue among neighbourhoods, cities, regions and approaches, South as a State of Mind is both a publication and a meeting point for shared intensities.
Southern stereotypes are very important in the publication, and through our invigorating and inspired columns we aim not only to explore, but also to transform them.
What might be considered weaknesses of the southern mentality we would rather present, perhaps a little self-mockingly, as a force of power with which to face down the future!
Each 160-page issue has a thematic section and columns inspired and named after key traits of southern life.
MAIN / GENERAL
Every issue has an overall thematic topic to which various writers and artists respond.
For example, in issue #1 around thirty individuals contributed to the exploration of the South as a ‘state of mind’, while issue #2 is a tribute to Arcadia and the particularities – and peculiarities – of summer vacations in the South. Contributors in issue #2 include Juergen Teller, Ana Texeira Pinto, Johan Grimonprez, Annika Larsson, among others.
Introduction of visual cultural myths originating or operating in the southern territories.
For example, The Manifesto of the Parthenon Bomber and other archives by Yorgos Makris (1923-1968, artist, poet and writer, Athens) in issue #1, and the MOMAS by Martin Kippenberger in Syros, Greece, in issue #2.
In-depth presentation of an acclaimed or emerging artist.
For example, Maurizio Cattelan in issue #1, and Thanassis Totsikas in issue #2.
Shout / Politics
Commentaries on southern politics via essays or art projects.
For example, Vangelis Vlahos presents the project “1981” (Allagi) (Allagi is a Greek word that means change, and was the main political slogan of the Socialist Party for the Greek elections of 1981) in issue #1, while in issue #2 Margaret E. Kenna writes about the community of exiles on the island of Anafi (Aegean Sea, Greece) during the Metaxas dictatorship.
Architecture / Landscape
Essays on the architecture in – and of – southern territories.
For example, Andreas Angelidakis writes about architecture in Greece in issue #1, while in issue #2 Petunia Exacoustou introduces us to communication theorist, artist and architect Mit Mitropoulos.
Signs, coffee, cards, palm readings, oracles, or any other kind of southern mysticism: artists or writers use these to resist the sometimes rigid parameters of western thought.
For example, Ylva Ogland gives her oracular interpretation of the Southern condition in issue #1, while The Phoenikz Boyz write about an apocryphal text on horroscopes in issue #2.
The texts selected in this section function like a domino game and invite readers to follow the paths of main actors of the cultural history of the southern part of Europe, and beyond. Altogether, they form a possible portrait of the South as well as a cartography of artistic, political or philosophical initiatives that shaped it.
Save the Robots / Internet
Taking its name from an underground East Village after-hours club the column is dedicated to the internet as a medium for art, visual research and experimentation. For issue 3 Save the Robots features 2013 Eternal Internet Brotherhood’s Trip to Las Pozas, Mexico, by Zak Stone.
Shame (last page)
For Socrates shame is a noble virtue.
A list assembled by multiple anonymous writers presents situations in which individuals should have been ashamed of something or some action, but were not.
DIARY / REVIEWS
Word of Mouth
A calendar of selected art exhibitions and events in the South.
Critical reviews of visual art, film and music – not necessarily timely.