Created in March 2004, Artrageous was launched on the initiative of the artists, Klitsa Antoniou, Melita Couta and Panayiotis Michael, with the prospect of welcoming more artists, whose work coincides with the concept of the group. On the 22nd and 23rd of May 2004, the Artrageous Group organized their first event titled “Nomadifesta 2004 – Pack your suitcases”, which took place in Nicosia, Cyprus. This was an international event, which successfully gathered artists from around the world and from different disciplines into a two-day public interaction event. The main focus of the project evolved around the suitcase as an object and each artis’s different perspective of it.
The group extended the idea and concept of that event into a new one titled “Unclaimed Luggage”, which has been organized for a show at the Circulo de Bellas Artes, in Madrid. “Unclaimed Luggage” is a story of forgotten luggage, of lost, abandoned, homeless objects, which have been separated from their owners (deliberately or not) in the process of a journey.
The Artrageous Group invited hundreds of artists from all over the world, mainly through e-mails and personal contacts, to participate in this event by sending, through the post, their idea of an unclaimed object. Artists were invited to adopt a metaphoric approach, choosing, for example, to focus on a lost cause, a lost idea, or an abandoned dream. The suitcase, which was the main focus of the first project of the group, Nomadifesta, has now been used once again to represent an object that is loaded with memories, and which carries within it the history of its origins, the story of a person. The idea of forgotten, abandoned, or lost luggage opened numerous paths of expression, with the luggage being sometimes a very personal object, a messenger of socio-political manifestations, a symbol of the abandoned body, or a fetish object of desire. As a group we accepted every object that was sent to us without going through the process of “selection”, that is, to include or exclude pieces for this exhibition. The installation presented at the Circulo de Bellas Artes, is a collection of 300 artists’ “messages”, from 35 different countries. It is the result of a network of travelling objects that have been gathered in a single space, for one month. The objects have been placed on metal shelves, and have been labelled to indicate their name, place of origin and history. The space resembles a storage room, where lost and unclaimed items have been collected and archived. (Unclaimed Luggage, Exhibition Catalogue, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 2005)