The artists gather in Thessaloniki, to create their work for the CULTURE COUP installation in Aristotle Square, opening on September 19th 2008 as part of the City's annual DIMITRIA FESTIVAL. Martin Pfeifle, young artist from Düsseldorf: creating SPLASH, a giant installation...
Christoph Westermeir, young artist from Düsseldorf, assistant and partner of Martin.
Benjamin Lee Martin, French/American artist creating a tower constructed from magazines:
Benjamin's hotel room fills with magazines, which he folds and stacks...
Nicola Lane, London-based artist: my first night in the Hotel le Palace, Thessaloniki, my home for 10 days. I have proposed a life-size enlargement of a family group photograph from the Thessaloniki Photographic Museum archives, choosing this one:
The photograph is an icon for those millions of families who leave their land and their culture for a new life; posed against a painted backdrop, painted with the dark clouds of war and battleships from the Macedonian Campaign in which my grandfather Mickey Gallagher served. The faces are to be cut out , as in those painted backgrounds found in fairgrounds and sea-side resorts, where the public play with their identity, and are photographed as strong men, or astronauts, or beauties in bikinis. The public are invited to play with the image.
On the verso of the image will be a mirror, also with the absences of the cut-out faces; the mirror reflects today’s city and its people, but with absences that remind us to question who we are. We reflect on ourselves, on the city.
Shahar Kazara, pictured left, director of Start Direct and creator of CULTURE COUP: organising the time, the place,the money, the fabricators, the bubble wrap, the gaffer tape...pictured with Solon, smoking, drinking coffee, and discussing fabricating my piece.
I go with Shahar and Solon ( above) to inspect my work at the printers. But it has been made too small. I have to install it anyway, as there is not enough time to re-make it before the opening on September 19th. I have to trust that the work's original concept survives this problem.
It is taken to the Municipality's workshop for the supporting frame to be constructed...
Pictured above is YIANNIS NOUSIAS, master carpenter at work .
The Municipality workshop is a graveyard for retired or injured public sculpture:
Shahar contemplates a retired hero's facial hair and the lessons of history.
At the end of the day we retire to drink ouzo beneath this wonderful whirling dervish mobile, in our favourite bar in Thessaloniki's market. Photograph by Christoph Westermeir.