Despina Zacharopoulou is a performance artist born in Arcadia, Greece, currently working between London and Athens, while also holding the position of the Academic Leader of the Contemporary Art Summer School at the Royal College of Art (London). Coming from an intra-disciplinary academic and professional background across the fields of architecture (National Technical University of Athens), fine arts (Athens School of Fine Arts) and costume design (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp – on a scholarship from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation), Despina is currently in the process of completing her practice-led PhD in Philosophy & Fine Art (Performance) at the Royal College of Art (as an Onassis Foundation scholar). Her practice investigates performance as surface and event of parrhesia, aiming at reconstituting philosophy as embodied practice and method towards a life which is radically other. Her work has been presented at events of global impact, such as: AS ONE by NEON Οrganization for Culture and Development and the Marina Abramović Institute (Benaki Museum, Athens, 2016); London Frieze (2016, 2017); A Possible Island? by the Marina Abramović Institute & the 1st Bangkok Art Biennale (Bacc, Bangkok, 2018-19); DataLoam (Angewandte Innovation Lab, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, 2019), ME/YOU YOU/ME (Gallery Sensei, London, 2016); Belgium is Happening (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp & Royal Academy of Fine Art Antwerp, Belgium, 2013), etc. Publications include articles in: The NY Times, The Nation (Thailand), CNN Greece, Liberal newspaper (Greece), etc. She has been awarded the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Artist Fellowship by ARTWORKS (2021).
Being a threat, 2016, duration: 2 hours, live performance, Performing Identities, Dyson Gallery, RCA, London, UK. Photograph: Ania Mokrzycka.
Corner Time, 2016, duration: 324 hours / 7 weeks, long durational performance commissioned by the NEON Organization and the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), AS ONE, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece. Photograph: Natalia Tsoukala.
Protreptic, 2018, duration: 168 hours / 3 weeks, long durational performance, A Possible Island? Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) & Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand. Photograph: P.Pattara/BAB.
Pudeur (d'après F.N.), 2017, duration: 10 minutes, live performance, The New Darkroom, RCA Queer Society, Dyson Gallery, RCA, London,UK. Photograph: Vasiliki Antonopoulou.
The most precious non-object, 2016, duration: 6 hours, long durational performance, ME/YOU YOU/ME, Gallery Sensei, London,UK. Photograph: Patricio Soto Aguilar.