Goethe’s Dream is the first large-scale project by the ARTECITYA AGENCY. It includes three works – commissions to artists Giorgos Gyparakis, Alexandros Psychoulis and Theodoros Zafeiropoulos, who were invited to re-design the outdoors, public spaces of Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki’s building complex. The artists propose three contemporary artistic practices that, based on a critical appropriation of artistic traditions, establish models of reaction against the social stagnation of art. The three works –which, to a greater or lesser extent, reference the arcadian utopia, a popular theme in art since antiquity and a source of inspiration for literary, philosophical and artistic movements– do not only address the aesthetics of self-reflection, but also create ways of wide social interaction and practices of everyday human life.
Consulting Curator: Sotirios Bahtsetzis
Architects: PLAN EE – Michalis Athanassiades and Dr. Thomas Greve
GIORGOS GYPARAKIS / POINTS OF VIEW
Giorgos Gyparakis redesigns the outdoors forecourt of Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki’s building complex, transforming it into a garden that is truly experienced by the visitors and that creates the conditions for the public to interact with it. The goal is not to design a garden that mimics the natural landscape; rather, to create the circumstances so that this garden grows naturally, as time goes by, around three basic, functional axes: main route-pathway, square, seating micro-environments. The “pathway” that leads to the buildings is encompassed by the natural environment through its materiality and “free” form. Towards its end, the boundaries are lost and the street blends with the flora around it. The “square” is defined by the presence of a plane tree, found in almost all village squares around the Greek periphery. The “seating micro-environments” are installed at the naturally formed pits resulting from the terrain’s reformation into a low-hilled relief. The rocky seating spots within these micro-environments have been designed, so that they provide unhindered views to the garden. Thus, those sitting there can contemplate privately, even while they engage in dialogue with others.
Construction of the garden begun in May 2016. It will be completed during Summe
ALEXANDROS PSYCHOULIS / ARKADIEN
THEODOROS ZAFEIROPOULOS / HOMELAND
Visually, the soil’s heterogeneous color shades, condensed in the wall’s recesses, compose a gigantic mosaic in earth tones referencing Thessaloniki’s byzantine tradition. The wall’s transformation into a topographic map is used as a vehicle between the metaphysics of “dedication” and physical “mortal” substance, between the spiritual and the material. The archival activity does not aim to create an open-air installation offered to public view, but a multilevel aesthetic experience. It is also a toolbox for (social, ethnological, anthropological, geological) research, since the creation of a communication mechanism and a call for participants addressed to Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki’s collaborators, citizens, institutions and the city’s wider public activates a universal network related to the identity, origin and lineage of the offering/donation. The wall ceases to be a blind boundary and becomes a portal, a door to the world. The 4600 samples that will be gathered from the participants in conjunction with the additional digital material and the workshop experience make up an original material meta-object, which can constitute an open field for future research in a lot of areas of humanities and sciences.