Photos: Panagiotis Mina

“Do you have a lighter?”

Followed by a filter cut as the beat drops, then the buildup, and the dancefloor anticipates what will soon be, by some magic alignment of the star system, a fleeting moment of pure agreement among total strangers. A transcendental nod: you know that I know, I know that you know, and we both know that we both know, altogether. But we don’t have words for it, and then it’s gone.

So, as you begin to wander, or rather, wonder away from the dancefloor you notice how the quality of the sound changes. Sitting in a (next) room, killing time, feeling safe(r), but also really wondering what you are missing out in this never seen before b2b and who’s up next on the decks. Even if the mirror is right there and you don’t dare to look up, you know exactly how it all looks, within and outside the room.

Scrolling down to the sunrise-tinged epiphanies where time is really suspended, indefinitely, and life resolutions play out before your eyes.

Elena Savvidou’s Club Nostalgia abstracts such moments and memories from club culture and recombines its otherwise esoteric symbols and exclusive semiotics into a new sort of “club imaginary”, where one’s SYNC with the pace of the space will grant them with more, or less, (emotional) access to the work. Being herself an active member of the local underground scene, both as a dj and a producer, but also as a “vibe creator”, these works capture and shift precisely what is the predominant description of our times: a vibe.

Would it be a hyperbole to imagine the sound system as the contemporary organising principle of a social vibe? Literally as a system for being together, even if one is lost in their own over-stimulated perception of the world? Savvidou’s works resonate with these questions and along with the durational performances carry out these wanderings, through disparate elements, disjointed temporalities and sensations, to ultimately weave a whole one.

However, if the whole is indeed greater than its parts, then the dictum itself can only be partially true; and then again, if parts cannot ever make up that whole, then the dictum betrays its own declaration in its very own performativity. Such are the tricks that the mind plays, through language and the splintering of time, which also reminds us of the type of warnings that Alice received in her travels, leaving her to carry out her own itinerary that combines, or even synthesises time, and in Club Nostalgia that may even entail an aimless infinite scroll whilst pulsating to the resonances of a dominant frequency-modulated kick.

Text by Emiddio Vasquez

Durational performance ‘Emotional bouncer’ as part of Club Nostalgia, a solo project by Elena Savvidou, together with Belinda Papavasileiou & Chryso Cosmas, organised as part of Sessions, Sapfous 6, Nicosia 1011, on the 3rd, 4th, 5th & 10th, 11th, 12th of February 2023.