Athens, NorthWest Passage
Athens, NorthWest Passage is a project commissioned by Panos Dragonas & Anna Skiada, curators of the Greek participation at the 13th Venice Biennale. The project consists of stories, drawings and models. The protagonist, who is an explorer that travels around a region of Athens, narrates the story in first person. In his travel he encounters imaginary tribes, each one of which has developed an eccentricity in their habits and use of space. Each tribe is also attached to a specific type of the urban environment of Athens: the block, the crossroads, the space between blocks, the unused patios within the blocks, are the prime materials through which the eccentricity of each tribe emerges: Pandionis worship a different god every week and use to burry him in their ‘Gods Cemetery’ by the end of the week. Erechteis are against finishing things and they celebrate their peculiarity in their ‘Unfinished Cathedral’. Hippothontis believe that they originate from the night sky and they want to have the stars and constellations glowing in their back yard in ‘Clair de Lune’. Leontis think of their dreams as a night-reality that is as real as the day-reality. Aiantis have built a wall around their block beyond which, they believe, is the realm of the gods, the animals and the dead, in ‘Pomerium’. The allegory of the tribes at each case refers -but is not limited- to human conditions, their relationship with each other and with their city: consumerism, desires, dangers, needs, limitations and prejudices.
With the use of Athens urban types and their imaginary transformation through narrative, we wanted to note that the city has a prime material, which can be transformed with the use of imagination.
PROJECT: Athens, Northwest Passage. Commission to participate at the Venice Biennale, Greek Pavilion.
CLIENT: Made in Athens, Greek National Participation. Curators/Commissioners: Panos Dragonas, Anna Skiada, architects
Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change
PLACE/TIME: Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, 2012
DESIGN TEAM: Christiana Ioannou, Christos Papastergiou
Exhibition and Links here
[Please scroll down to see all the six stories]
Clair de Lune story
Unfinished Cathedral story
Gods’ Cemetery story
Night Dream Day Dream story