Spuren spuren: Athens
Research project and showWürttembergischer KunstvereinStuttgart
Opening with a talk by Keller EasterlingAthens and Stuttgart, 2015
Spuren spuren can be translated into tracing traces, meaning both, the material sign and the process of its production. Spuren is something we find and leave at the same time, it is a mutual process of transformation during the project in Athens and Stuttgart.
Text by Württembergische Kunstverein:
Spuren spuren applies the concept of collecting and producing traces at the same time. In an in-between state of collection and production, events and interventions are both recorded as well as triggered. Two snakes, capital (crisis), beach huts, a desert, and Hölderlin traverse these events and thus challenge strict oppositions between subject and object, between origin and derivative.
The question is raised, whether traces can be linked to any localities at all. Can this only happen at the place of origin or is it possible to do so by a reference or model within an exhibition? In addition it is being emphasized that localizations are difficult to maintain in the age of the Internet, which enables complete medial connectedness and diffusion. Spuren spuren is not conceptualized as static misé-en-scene. Besides a presentation within the exhibition-space the latter becomes a subject of production in itself. The Querungen are transformed into the locality of an ongoing process. During the exhibition a travel agency is installed, Greek language courses are offered. A course on the golden ratio is taking place. The exhibition becomes an open space. Package holidays and Ouzo refer to Germany´s post-war period clichés concerning Greece. The golden ratio makes reference to the concepts of ideal beauty, which originate in Greek Antiquity.
The inclusive situation is part confrontation with well-known clichés while at the same time opportunity to get involved in conversations about the present.
Conceived as projective research on the present context of the city of Athens, the collaborative project develops a site-specific observation and transformation of the mythological into the everyday, of global processes into individual resistance, of material remains into the interaction with them and vice versa. It is about Athens as a trace, as an appearance of nearness, to borrow the words from Walter Benjamin.
The search for traces comprises a set of transversal practices (collection, documentation, improvisation, conversation, interaction, intervention) that collapse separated disciplinary fields into open, post-ideal processes to level the subjective with the objective. Thereby, traces are regarded as specific ontological and epistemological figures connecting material/architectural objects with questions of temporality and subjective agency – temporality and agency not only of those who left traces, but also of those who track traces.
To be more precise: to track traces actually means to leave traces. This is exhibited more than ever in times of Internet culture, economy, and politics. It is the relation between the urban material and the media sphere that is of political and aesthetic interest to Spuren spuren.
Team: Wencong Li, Julia Zumkeller, Ioannis Michailidis, Sümeyye Yigit, Pavlina Zika, Lina Müller, Rafal Wójcik, Georgios Katsanos, Riin-Kärt Ranne, Anastasia Thanou, Katarzyna Wierzchnicka, Yuxuan Hu, Juliane Schwarz, Christos Antoniou, Philipp Schell, Billur Damla Üfler, Sarah YaparsidiWith the help of Chrissi Nasz.
Many thanks to Hans Christ, Marina Fokidis, Elina Axioti, Andreas Angelidakis, Aristide Antonas, Angelo Plessas, Evelyn Steiner.This project is made possible with the support of Universität Stuttgart, Institut Grundlagen moderner Architektur und Entwerfen, Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart (Klasse 2G), Württembergischer Kunstverein.