Oikos: the House

(c) Georgia Georgiou


Curated by: Deniz Güvensoy
Coordinator: Gabriela Urrutia Reyes
Artists: Rawan AlmukhtarMiriam BajtalaOke S. FijalPramila LamaSheri AvrahamShahrzad Nazarpour and Morteza MohammadiFrida Robles Ponce and Álvaro CollaoAleyda RochaMonika VolkAnastasiya Yarovenko

The Greek word Oikos, which means ‘house’ or ‘home’, is the common origin of the terms ecology and economy. Nature is our home, as the translation of ecology (oekologie) reveals: “the study of the house”. Although economy (oikonomia) means “the management of the household” in ancient Greek, housework and raising children are excluded from the production cycle and perceived as feminized “duties”. In a similar way, the essential workers, who clean our streets, build, provide us with food, deal with our waste, and take care of the sick and elderly are placed on the lowest step of the hierarchical order of labor. Care work, which supplies the vital necessities of the workers and is the essential element of the economic system, is devalued and is restricted to the private sphere, which is represented by the house/ oikos. The capitalist economic system shows absolute disinterest in the notion of ‘care’, which is defined as the maintenance of the essential bodily necessities and emotional needs of attention and love. Indeed, self-care, community care, environmental care, and climate care are interconnected in sustaining our biological and psychological well-being.

Oikos is an exhibition that gathers together performances, workshops, drawings, videos, and installations and focuses on the exploitative conditions and lack of care in the economic and ecological sphere. With these artistic interventions, we focus on many issues of displacement, invisible and essential labor, and care for humans and nonhumans.

It is very significant that home/house is the etymological connection between ‘ecology’ and ‘economy’. The primary victims of economic inequality, exploitation, and environmental destruction are the same subjects: the indigenous, the migrants, the farmers, the women*, the children, the elderly, the refugees, the poor, the workers, plants, trees, animals, oceans, forests and mines. The brutal demands of mass production have devastating impacts on our ‘house’ and we need more understanding, affection, and care in order to secure its preservation.