November 12, 2014 – Relocation I : pic nic A public action organised by Evangelia Raftopoulou
Relocation I: pic nic, a public, participatory action planned and organised by Evangelia Raftopoulou took place on that cloudy Wednesday afternoon on the sidewalk that is part of the route followed by the Itinerant Photography Lab. Raftopoulou cooked stuffed tomatoes (“gemista”, a traditional Greek dish) and invited friends and fellow students from the Athens School of Fine Art to bring some food and share a pic-nic lunch accompanied by wine and conversations on the pavement next to the industrial ruins of a former furniture factory. She also invited local workmen and passersby to join in. By transforming a place of passage, a public space into a place of rest, an intimate space and by dislocating-relocating human bodies she sought to expose the established spatial and temporal relations, and to redefine our experience of lived space; ultimately, to practice space* (de Certeau). Relocation I : pic nic @ Pavement next to industrial ruins of A.S.F.A, was a public action organised by Evangelia Raftopoulou at the context of the Itinerant Photography Lab
This tour focuses on the flourishing Jewish history of Thessaloniki. The city housed a major Jewish community, mostly of Sephardic origin, until the middle of the Second World War. It is the only known example of a city of this size in the Jewish diaspora that retained a Jewish majority for centuries. Salonica’s 54,000 Sephardim were shipped to the Nazi extermination camps. Nearly 98% of the total Jewish population of the city died during the war. Only the Polish Jews experienced a greater level of destruction.
Starting point: Modiano market.
The Jewish Modiano clan was one of the most powerful and economically productive families in Thessaloniki.
The original entrance of the market in the background, designed by the son of the banker Modiano.
The former Ottoman bazar of the city.
The old Jewish market, now in ruins.
The old Roman market.
Passage (Stoa) Allatini, the other influential Jewish family of the city.
Today the archaeological site of Artemis Agrotera is fenced and invisible from the road, and is an archaeological-urban void in the area. Microgeographies present ” Revification of Ancient Ruins “: a unity of site-specific art works and public discussions, regarding the possibility of incorporating deserted archaeological sites in the everyday city life, and contribute to the need of the local community to incorporate the Mets archaeological site in the everyday life of the neighborhood. The following events were performed in collaboration with the Cultural Association Ardittos. On Sunday November 9, at the site of Artemis Agrotera, we interacted with the two site-specific works by the artists Marianna Lyra (in collaboration with residents of Mets) and Nikos Stathopoulos. A discussion followed at the space of “Ardittos”.
Microgeographies project focuses for the third time on the site of Artemis Agrotera Temple, one of the most important archaeological sites in Athens located in the area of Ardittos – Mets, at the block bounded by the streets Ardittou, Thomopoulos, Kefalos and Koutoula. The history of the temple is directly connected with the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon (490 p. Ch.), the Marathon race, and the cultural flourishing of the city of ancient Athens. In 1778, the temple was demolished and its material was used for the construction of the Turkish wall around Athens. On 06.17.2014 we were notified by the 3rd Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Archaeological Service, that in the western part of the site was excavated the foundation of a second temple dedicated to “Zeus Meilichios”. Reference to the temple of Zeus is made by Pausanias and the new discoveries confirm its topography at the site. Today this particular archaeological site is fenced and invisible from the road, and is an archaeological-urban void in the area. Microgeographies contribute to the need of the local community to incorporate the Mets archaeological site in the everyday life of the neighborhood. And to their will to point out its importance as a local and international historic site.
(A) 12.30-2.30mm, at the side of Ardittou Street (the elevated part of the pavement that forms the courtyard of the temple of Artemis Agrotera): “Rising”, an interactive performance by artist Nikos Stathopoulos.
Rising is an interactive work where the artist is experiencing the urban environment suspended from a flexible metal cage. The viewer can participate in the process. The art work enables the viewer to find the height of the temple of Artemis Agrotera in classical times. From there the viewer will simultaneously have the ability to see inside the fenced site on one side and the important monuments of the neighboring region (Temple of Olympian Zeus, Acropolis view) on the other side.
B – 12.30-2.30mm on the road head (behind the temple of Artemis Agrotera):
The “Procession” urban mural by artist and resident of Mets Marianna Lyra .
The urban mural entitled “The Procession” frames Kefalou str, one of the four streets that define the specific archaeological site, and captures two processions, the past and present that offer symbolic gifts to the future. The artist tells us: “The specific archaeological site is a field of conflict since 1962 between the forces of integration and the forces of preservation of historical and archaeological memory”. The thought of the artist Marianna Lyra is “to create, with the participation of the inhabitants of Mets, a work of propitiation, a gesture of reconciliation of past and present along with a wish for peace and quiet reign after so many years of troubled spirits in this area, to be cured by wounds and be recognized as sacred and historical place of the Athenian citizens of the 21st century.”
C – 15: 30-17: 30 Discussion at the space of “ARDITTOS” (2 Charvouri & ADO. Voulgareos). The discussion focused on the gradual disenchantment of the site over the years. And the processes by which we attempt to re- vivificate ancient monuments through the therapeutic use of art work. In the discussion
We refered to examples delineated and actions made in this and other sites.
We deepened in the concept of the archaeological site and its relationship with the urban and natural landscape.
And we asked again for the current relationship between the landscape of Attica with modern planning and private interventions.
A+B, two site-specific works by the artists Marianna Lyra (with residents of Mets) and Nikos Stathopoulos.
C, discussionat the space of the local cultural association of “ARDITTOS”.
Two different tours will on one hand investigate the concept of guided-tours-as-an-artistic-strategy and on the other hand will inspire civic participation. By providing a platform for collaboration, the exchange and sharing of knowledge and stories the tours will bring audiences, architects, and artists together and generate an artistic and local discussion about urban environments. We are particularly interested in illuminating underrepresented narratives that usually donʼt have a voice and through that questioning the hegemonic discourse that shapes cities, such as immigrant groups. Politics of public space, gentrification and civil responsibility are of high interest for us in this regard.
This walking tour focused on the life of the (Bangladeshi) immigrants, where they live, where they shop, where they pray, where they eat. Very educational.
All tours started at the entrance to the Modiano Market.
Little kiosks, peripteri, are being taken over by Bangladeshi immigrants, semi-legally.
The beautiful passages (stoa) of Thessaloniki.
The only Bangladeshi/Asian shop in Thessaloniki, owned by Rana’s father.
Here you can buy products from Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
A semi-secret mosque in the center of the city. Muslims from different countries gather here. Mosques are illegal in Greece. This one opened after years of fighting with the officials. Finally, it was granted, but only underground.
The tour ended in the best Indian restaurant of Thessaloniki where Rana works as a waiter and his father as a chef.
The most delicious Tandoori Chicken.
A TV with popular Indian series in the background.
This Thursday, November 13, is the final World Wide Storefront event for Host: Natural Histories for Los Angeles is Potluck, featuring participants from LA Forum’s Out There Doing It series. Supper Studio hosts the evening, serving small eats by Anthony Martin of PATAO and visual treats by Jonathan Crisman of No Style. For the thirteenth rendition of Supper Studio, each OTDI team is invited to design a freestanding table as their contribution to the potluck. The individual tables form one long, collective table, an exquisite and parasitic corpse running through the length of the VDL House.
2014 OTDI Participants:
Erin Besler and Ian Besler
Laurel Consuelo Broughton and Andrew Kovacs
Jose Sanchez, Plethora Projects
Katya and Alexei Tylevich, Friend & Colleague
Supper Studio is a ‘loose’ dinner-discussion series where speakers come together over a shared meal for informal conversation. Each meal features experimental practitioners who are exploring the limits of architecture through a distinctly non-architectural creative or productive process, or experts who approach architecture as a starting point for experimentation into issues that transgress disciplinary boundaries.
Potluck and Host: Natural Histories for Los Angeles are part of World Wide Storefront, a Storefront for Art and Architecture project. Additional support provided by UCLA A.UD.
“RavineTalk: Possible Futures” explores the future vision of the Lower Don Valley as a form of public linear park that is sustainable and achievable, and considers how increased access, ongoing environmental stewardship, and the integration of public art might serve as guiding principles for the future vision of ravines across our City. This is the second of two special lectures complementing the RavinePortal exhibition.
The intensification and development of new communities in Toronto’s downtown east core will bring an estimated 80,000 new residents to the neighborhoods flanking the Lower Don. This growing population will significantly increase the demands on the Lower Don Valley to serve as a place to recreate, and through which to commute.
When Evergreen decided to build their new headquarters on the site of the former Don Valley Brick Works, they saw the potential of its ravine location to inspire and equip visitors to live, work and play more sustainably. Seana Irvine will discuss how the public can celebrate and embrace the ongoing revitalization of the Lower Don Valley, and share Evergreen’s vision of how to connect Evergreen Brick Works to the Lower Don’s other destinations, and its role within the larger context of the City’s bicycle, pedestrian and green space networks.
As members of the planning and design community, DTAH are committed to public work, including the design of streets, parks and open spaces. Bryce Miranda and Brent Raymond will share their work on the Phase 1 Implementation of the Lower Don Trail Master Plan, which includes a new pedestrian and cycling bridge at Pottery Road, the establishment of the Bayview Avenue Multi-Use Path (Phase 1 from Pottery Road to Rosedale Valley Road), two new staircases from the Dundas and Gerrard Street Bridges, the realignment of the Belleville underpass, and significant improvements in the Narrows from Riverdale Park Bridge to Don River Park including trail-widening and the creation of a 1.6km Art Fence.
Seana Irvine is Chief Operating Officer of Evergreen a national not-for-profit that inspires action to green cities. Evergreen’s work is driven by their belief in the power of people to enact positive change and restore the natural health of their communities. Focusing on four program areas—Green Space, Children, Food and CityWorks—they build partnerships with diverse groups and engage key influencers and the public to inspire local action and create sustainable cities.
Brent Raymond is a landscape architect, planner, urban designer, and partner at DTAH. He led the recently completed Lower Don Trail Master Plan, which recommends strategies to improve environmental protection and access, and to consider possibilities for public art in the Lower Don Valley. On behalf of DTAH, Brent is currently leading the core team, which includes Nelson\Nygaard and MMM Group, to prepare the Toronto Complete Street Guidelines.
Bryce Miranda is a DTAH partner and landscape architecture project manager for the Bayside development in the East Bayfront lands on Toronto’s waterfront as well as for overall planning efforts for the East Bayfront Precinct. Bryce is also leading DTAH’s contribution to the John Street Corridor project, and the Lower Don Trail Phase 1 implementation, and was project manager for the landscape architecture at Evergreen Brick Works.
Possible futures is a series of speculative works created by young architects from Tel-Aviv, who explore and re-imagine the Central Bus Station as an arena for public agriculture and vivid civic activities. The works present optimistic ideas for re-use of the vast spaces in and around the massive structure, in the light of city plans to phase-out public transportation from the station. The proposals were elected in a public open call and are presented, among other art works, in Gallery 5470 – a vacant store transformed to a temporary exhibition space inside the CBS.
Part of the works can be also viewed by a set of telescopes placed around strategic locations in the building, each offering a new perspective on reality through a translucent printed layer of 3D-generated vegetation, presenting alternative environments of possible futures.
1. Some possible futures by Dana Mor, Onya Collective
This proposalimagine a time after bus traffic is removed from CBS as planned, and urban renewal programs take effect, the soon-to-be-vacant platforms of CBS could be replaced with positive programs. Gardens and recreation spaces could be invited back into the cleared space. What is now a notorious, polluted, crime-hit mega building, is a potential for vertical park with active public institutes.
2. Next Life by arch. Avi Laiser and arch. Lior Ben Shitrit, AL/Arch
Next Life project exemplifies a partcipatory architecture of disintegration that dwells in the physical and the virtual worlds simultaneously and reflexively. Since the bus terminal cannot be demolished, it is re-built in the virtual world of Minecraft inviting the public to engage with it in any way they wish. Every virtual intervention on the building will have a physical/vegetal presence on site in the form of vegetal insert. The insert will be attached to the exterior walls of the terminal to slowly penetrate the walls and overtake its massive concrete structure. www.al-arch.com
3. Plant Plant by Robert Ungar, Onya Collective
This vision imagines a future of a productive city, where fields and orchards could create a polycultural ecosystem, which will invite people to take part of the food cycle as an integral part of the public space. Through densification of agriculture within cities, rural land could be freed. Once uncultivated, the newly reclaimed land could be re-distributed for political tranquility. In another scenario, transformation of agricultural lands to natural reserves will allow a return of the once prosperous rich flora and fauna of the Israeli landscape, strengthening biodiversity and wellness of us all.
4. Pla(n)tform , by arch. Adi Reich-Roman and arch. Ori Ronen
This projectsuggest an architectural fantasy transforming the CBS into a private-public farm, where agriculture is both scenic and profitable. Providing public space, from which agriculture may be viewed, enhances its role as a scenic resource. Public spaces are concentrated at the street level, and are accompanied by existing and new public services, shops, cultural venues and a market selling local produce.
Adapting Sandra Teitge’s long-running Dinner Exchange as a platform and in collaboration with Christina Green, a discursive round table will join this culinary event with invited guests including Spiros Pengas –Consultant for Tourism and International Relations for Thessaloniki, writer Leon A. Nar, artists Atalya Laufer and Persefoni Myrtsiou, and Georgos Ieropoulos. In an open format the speakers and public will share food as well as thoughts on the current situation of tourism and cultural diversity in Thessaloniki while alluding to the issues of import and export as well as the locality and regionality of food. – The culinary project Dinner Exchange was founded in October 2011 and aims at creating discursive situations in various environments whilst always addressing the issue of food waste.
At the context of Microgeographies’ Reveries and Realities research trip, we performed the second (1) public reading of the funeral oration of Pericles. The public performance was held on October 31, 2014, at 19.45, at Demosion Sema, the public cemetery of the ancient city of Athens.
In his famous speech, known from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Pericles addresses issues on Democracy and Polis. The speech was delivered by Pericles at this site.
Our reading was based on the History of the Peloponnesian War, Book Two, by Thucydides (translated by Eleftherios Venizelos). It was performed with the contribution of Orizontas team, artists, architects, archaeologists and random passers. We thank Yianni Besko, Jimmy Efthimiou, Hariklia Hari, Niko Kazero, Maria Peteinaki, Angelo Skourti, Helen Stefanopoulos, Yianni Theodoropoulo, Eleni Tzirtzilaki, Yorgo Tzirtzilaki and all the random passengers for their contribution.
(1) Microgeographies first public reading was held at the context of the project Reveries du Promeneur Solitaire, on March 1rst, 2013, at 21.45. It was performed with the contribution of Orizontas team, artists and random passers. The performance was registrated and enriched at the Temporary office for the study and the registration of the “findings” of the reverie at the auto organzed space of Orizontas.