Imaginary Public Spaces



Imaginary Public Spaces
Weimar 2008

I had set up a public exhibition in the windows of a very central empty store. The exhibition consists of reprints of overdrawn photographs, various re-realizations of well-known public spaces of the city, create by the local citizens. The reprints shown the idea of participants, ranging from the practical to the playful. The exhibition was focusing on the way the urban planning process can be changed to include the voices of the populace. 

The fact that the exhibition took place next to the problematic spots I am dealing with was an attempt to make it easy for the audience (locals, tourists, City's Authorities) to understand the purpose of the work and be able to make cpmparisons between the actual space and the new proposals.

The exhibition was the result of two month of contacts and private discussions with citizens, ultimately seeking their participation in the work. Through the use of images and discourse, I was aiming to show how the urban planning process can be expanded to include the people who will be the ones for whom urban spaces are created.

Participatory Project

People and common Space - the case of Jakobsplan
Weimar 2009

 The Jakobsplan Student Dormitory has hosted thousands of students since the building was completed in 1972. The dormitory is well known in Weimar, not only as the tallest building of the town, but also because, as an old student dormitory, it is marked by problems such as filth in the kitchens, antiquated or ruined infrastructure and a lack of self-organization in the common areas.

 After getting permission for regular access to Jakobsplan, I began focusing on ways of raising awareness about the problems and finding possible solutions together with the residents. Knowing that asking for people to get involved in a project that has to do with common problems wouldn’t be an easy thing, I decided to use a variety of artistic and non-artistic tools in order to make this attempt more sufficient and attractive to them. Multiple-choice questionnaires, pin boards for comments, mini models and copies of the original architectural plans were available for free usage and interventions by the residents. This playful installation in the kitchen of the first floor (Haus 1) aimed to collect answers and opinions about practical and aesthetic problems that the building has, as well as the improvements needed. In the beginning, my regular presence in the kitchen was a kind of enigma for the students of that floor. During my first visits I felt uncomfortable. The idea of approaching people inside their own living space was a big challenge. I had no connections or any friends in Jakobsplan, so my first concern was to talk to the residents no matter if they lived on the first or on the tenth floor. Eventually, I built relationships with the residents, slowly and naturally. The project aimed to investigate procedural and social aspects towards a better self-organization. My intention was to encourage people to face the problems and convince them that that process could be enjoyable and beneficial for all. In the beginning, I felt that I would have to convince people to participate. Gradually, I realized that there was no need to convince anyone. We were all brought together through a triple purpose: production of relationships, cultural exchange a transformation of the common space.



Just This

Performance at the "Museum Internet Caffé"
Athens 2005

Tuesday afternoon, in the "Museum Internet Caffé", with the customers going in and out, or working in front of the computers. I am seated in front of the computer screen and I talk to my boyfriend through the "messenger".

I hear several remarks made behind my back:
- Well, when is the performance to start?
- You are Sofologi, aren’t you?
- Let me tell you…oh-sorry you are talking!
- Isn’t this girl tired of talking with her boyfriend for so long?

Next to me there was a pack of CD's and each visitor had to take one and put it in his/her PC when he/she returned home. After opening the files he/she would see exactly the same thing: my boyfriend talking, without, however, his voice being heard, since I didn’t have an audio signal either, as well as all the necessary "materials" required to create such false interface. Throughout the action some people sat next to me, trying to follow my chat. The place, however, in which we were, proved to be the strongest of all my work’s elements, because it was that which supported the persuasiveness of my acting.


Participatory Project

  1-approach person 
  2-ask about art experience 
  3-make graph 
  4-give graph to person

This experimental project took place in Documenta 12 
in Kassel (June 2007). 
Collaborators: Fani Sofologi and Jesse Hemminger.


The Circle 
Performance outside the exhibiton of the drawings by the successful candidates of the School of Fine Art of Athens.
Location: National Technical University of Athens, October 2002.

The examination system for entering as a student in the Fine Art School of Athens, a state university, is anachronistic. I intentionally selected that moment in time and space for carrying out this action and I tried to put the particular exams into question. My thoughts evolved around the fact that people with contrary emotions - the "winners" and the "losers" - would be there, as circumstances demanded. By performing, I aimed to overturn the temporary sentimentality of each side, as well as, to indicate that "the progress can be achieved via self-reversal".


Falsification Factor 
Rosenkeller - Johannisstrasse 13, Jena, Germany 2006

A reflective material is always an attraction to the human eye. Most of the time it works for us as an aid to our senses in dark spaces, and usually we perceive it as a reliable sign, a reference point. Could it be ignored? Could we mistrust it? In his book “The Art of Color” Johannes Itten refers to the sense of sight and extensively analyzes the process of complementarization. According to Itten, when the human eye looks at a green surface for not more than thirty seconds and suddenly turns to a white surface seems to have a warmer undertone or a slightly red tint. A similar phenomenon can be observed in the relationship between light and darkness or in that of known and unknown elements, as set up in my installation Falsification Factor. As in Itten’s complementary color theory, my work explores physiological elements of recognition and deception. This installation consists of two basic elements: first, the concrete and real space and second, the reflective structure I applied to it, which works as a falsified design. A headlight is provided to participants as they approach the entrance of the space. Equipped with this headlight, they enter the dark space and slowly walk around, explore and investigate. This headlight serves as a guide, for the space staged with the reflective material is not identical to the material structure of the surrounding architecture. The work does not exist by itself because it is only through the headlights that it comes to life. The participants activate the installation by lighting its unknown points, by investigating its episodes. They not only have to find the reflective structures, but also what is hiding behind them to be able to position themselves in space.


Audience Report
Documenta 12 - Museum Fridericianum 
June 2007 

At the first time I visited the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel I pointed a remarkable, in my opinion, phenomenon in the second floor of the exhibition hall. After a few days I decided to visit the space again, having the photo camera with me, in order to find out if what I saw four days before was just a false impression or a real fact. In the second floor of the Fridericianum two art works draw my attention, not only because of their theme but also because I realized that those works had a specific audience, according to my observation. I decided to take a picture in front of each work, and the audience, every five, fifteen or thirty minutes in order to prove the results of my observation. 

Lidwien Van De Ven work “Document” consists on a series of “images from an infinitely complex conflict zone: the intersection between the Middle East and Europe, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and secularism”. Walking around Van De Ven’s photos I noticed that both men and women seemed to be very attracted to this work but it proved to be true the fact that men were a bit more than the women were stand in front of the images. Men also spend much more time looking at the pictures and some times they start discussions about the work. Women leave earlier but the irony here lays at the fact that Lidwien Van De Ven is a woman.

The second artwork I observed in the same floor of Fridericianum is a video by Tseng Yu-Chin. Tseng’s work “functions as a vehicle for him to examine his lost childhood, and as a tool to reflect on issues of innocence”. In this video, “Who’s Listening? No 5”, a mother and her 4-year old son sit on a white sofa while she engages in intimate gestures like kissing and tickling the boy. The result that came up from my observation and the data I gathered shows that the majority of the audience that stands and watching at the video is women and men stay only for a while. Men seem to perceive this video as an issue that talks only to the women but this male “attitude” which tent to be almost a kind of rejection or an “aversion” to the relationship that the video presents raise some unclear points about men’s psychology.