Danae Stratou thinks of rivers as the “living veins” of the Earth. The implications of this metaphor are that the rivers’ waters are the lifeblood of the planet, going through cycles of oxygenation and purification as it travels through land, sea, and air, eventually returning to rivers in the form of rain and snowmelt, becoming vulnerable to pollution as it makes its journey. Stratou traveled for ten months on riverboats following the flow of the seven major rivers of the world: the Danube, the Nile, the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Niger, the Yangtze and the Ganges. She recorded her impressions using video, sound recording, photographs, and writing. The end result was The River of Life, a video installation at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens. Danae Stratou says that her works begin with “the wish to express and articulate absolutely instinctive ideas, which usually come to me through the close observation of a space…what follows is the intellectual processing of these ideas, or rather, the distillation of these ideas, to their purest form.”
Danae Stratou was born in Athens. She studied sculpture at the Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, earning a B.A. with Honors in 1988. In 1999, she represented Greece at the 48th Venice Biennale. Her recent exhibitions include ICESONGS at La Verrier (Fondation D’Enterprise Hermes) in Brussels, Belgium (2010), and the presentation of her project Vital Space – Istanbul at Tophane in Istanbul (2010) as part of the Lives and Works in Istanbul program. Since 2007, she has been an Adjunct Professor at the Superior School of Fine Arts in Athens.