Nora Okka’s multidisciplinary creative practice blends the roles of architect and artist. She creates spaces, objects and images and through which architectural, theoretical and curatorial frameworks are reinterpreted.Her academic and creative research into the ancient practices and the contemporary legacies of spoliation, has resolved into a series of artworks and exhibitions that demonstrate and examine the concept of spolia as a micrographic constitution of architecture.
The constitutive doubleness of her research activities generated a unique adaption of the epigraphers practice of making squeezes, a traditional method for making translation study aids. She introduces the multi-layered squeeze technique of imprinting relief sculpture, a combination of the epigraphic method and the method of non-uniform surfaces of fragments casts. By applying this technique on the reliefs of the spolia of the Little Metropolis of Athens she takes the interaction with spolia to a new level: the multilayered squeezes can be displayed they can be viewed closely and in continually new combinations and arrangements. Her inventive multi-layered squeeze process creates direct and indexical impressions of architectural fragments from the remote past that engender a more emotional translation. In her own words "it seeks to be interpreted and experienced as a symbolic reconstitution of authentic spolia, but also as a performative continuation of the practice of spoliation".
Recent solo exhibitions of the Spolia Project include 33 Transcripts, Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Athens, 2019. 22 Transcripts, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA, 2018. 11 Transcripts, Historical Archives and Museum of Epirus, General State Archives, Ioannina, Greece, 2017. 11 Transcripts, The Patmos Trust, Patmos, Greece, 2017. 99 Transcripts, Athens Conservatoire, Athens, 2015. Group exhibitions presenting iterations of the Spolia Project include The Muses Project: A dialogue between Art and Science, Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, Athens, 2017. Rematerialising Culture, Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens, 2014.
Licensed as an architect in Greece, she holds Masters degrees in Architectural Engineering: National Technical University of Athens, 2006. Digital Arts and Cinema: Athens School of Fine Arts, 2009. Scenography: Institute of Design and Technology, Zurich University of Fine Arts, 2012 and a PhD in Architectural Curating: Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies, Vienna University, 2017.She has been awarded various grants and scholarships for her research and has been the recipient of generous support from the Greek State Scholarships-, the A.G. Leventis-, the Basil and Elise Goulandris-, the Alexandros S. Onassis- and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
She is currently research visitor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where she focuses her research on the manifestations of the practice of spoliation on the city of Venice.