A photo exhibition by Marianna Verigaki & Kyle Gudsell held during PLATFORMA VIDEO_03 (3-6 October 2003).
Have you ever thought that for most people who grew up and live in Athens, the city is not an ordinary place of origin, neither a fixed point of reference. It is yet an organism -rather clumsily and definitely anarchicly structured-, which is constantly transforming. Indeed, in Athens one may transit from neo-classical to industrial, from aesthetic to ugly and from fake to true with an unbelievable speed.
The Greek capital often looks like disrespecting values, even the common urban ones, encountered in every metropolis. We have seen it with the glorious cafe-restaurant Zonar's and the traditional ouzeri Apotsos sadly closing doors as well with the Aegli of Zappeion appointing Village Roadshow to operate its traditional outdoor cinema. We experience it everyday seeing cinemas being transformed into supermarkets or historic outdoor cinemas falling into abandonment.
Is this a necessarily unpleasant phenomenon? Or is it inherent with the transitional character of Athens? Is this to say that scorn, deterioration and alteration are all components of the dizzying and yet fascinating change of this city?
In transathenae, a photographer and an architect, living and working in Athens, put their focus on cinemas, which were either abandoned or changed use. A Greek and a New Zealander picture -in an optimistic and inventive way- the drama of abandonment, the challenge of change and the reports of memory, still evident in these venues.