The Third Wedding

A Seminar
April-July 2023


hosted at 
Academy of Fine Arts Mainz

A publication-based project in response to the legacy of Costis Taktsis’ seminal work “Trito Stefani” (The Third Wedding) (1962), students will work on a collective fanzine. The publication is in dialogue with Taktsi’s conception of passing in the context of a Greek middle-class family. The seminar touches on questions of passing and survival. 

„The Third Wedding Wreath” is a novel by Kostas Taktsis. Taktsis wrote the novel during his wanderings outside Greece in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He proposed it to three publishing houses, but they rejected it. It was finally published in 1962 at the author’s expense but was not a success at the time. It was republished in 1970 by Hermes Publications in Athens, enjoyed great commercial success and established Taktsis among the best-known prose writers of his generation. In 1995-1996 it was adapted as a television series.

The plot of the novel is set primarily during the civil war and Occupation period. The protagonists and narrators are two women, Nina, and her friend Ekavi, who live through these periods and faithfully describe the climate of the time through their personal stories. Nina married three times - hence the title of the book. Throughout the entire text Taktsis mediates his queernes in an eclectic manner. Sometimes it’s evident and earnest, others it’s masterfully hidden, at least to the untrained heteronormative eye who will undoubtedly miss out on the hints. Mannerisms, words, references, images, gestures, are accessible to some people, hidden to others. The author was found murdered in his home by his sister. He was cruising the night before wearing women’s clothes. The case was never solved. There are many theories of what could have happened. Taktsis was a vocal activist for queer representation and gay rights while alive.

His contributions and proper historical contextualization have been flawed and unfinished in contemporary mainstream Greece, with either a sensationalist interest in his untimely passing or a blatant washing out of any hints of queerness from his work in the face of an absolutist history of Greekness: he is theorized as a prominent prose-writer, yet his queer expressions, tethered to his work are left out.

organized by Haris Giannouras

Bibliography (selection)

Ursula K. Le Guin
The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. London: Ignota, 2019.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak 
“Can the Subaltern Speak?” In Can the Subaltern Speak?: 
Reflections on the History of an Idea edited by Rosalind C. Morris, pp. 21-78. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Paul Preciado
Can the Monster Speak? Report to an Academy of Psychoanalyst. 
Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2021.

Dean Spade
Mutual Aid. London: Verso, 2020.

Elsa Dorlin
Self-Defense: A Philosophy of Violence. London: Verso, 2022.

Carla Lonzi
Self-Portrait. London: Divided Publishing, 2021.

Tangerine L.A. (2015)
by Sean Baker

Pastoral Drama (2018)
by Jamie Crewe

(Credits: all images used are for educational purposes only)