Who Doesn't Like a Good Old Story? (2012 – ongoing)

Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Story (Thessaloniki)? (2012)
Diptych, archival postcards and inject prints
200 x 135 cm framed
Commissioned for the exhibition Places of Memory. Fields of Vision, Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art
21 December 2012 – 24 February 2013, curated by Syrago Tsiara

Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Story (Yerevan)? (2012)
Diptych, archival postcards and inject prints
200 x 110 cm framed
First presented at the solo exhibition Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Story?, Kalfayan Gallery, Athens, 21 February – 21 April 2012

Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Story? is an ongoing photographic series that interrogates the structure of the archive and the tradition of documentary and tourist photography. The series constructs alternative ‘portraits’ of cities in the periphery of urban modernity by juxtaposing different representational systems (for example the geometrical topology and the tourist postcard). These portraits confront the viewer with an ‘incomplete’ collection of images and an ‘inappropriate’ juxtaposition of forms, a confrontation that reveals the particularities of peripheral urban projects, highlights processes of transition and challenges popular narratives of modernist development.

Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Story (Yerevan)? is a diptych that juxtaposes archival postcards of a manicured Soviet Yerevan of the early 60’s, with a geometrical assembly of close-up of gas meters that are doted in the contemporary urban landscape. These gas meters are the products of the new energy infrastructure put in place after the fall of the Soviet Union. As a purely visually exploration of the urban transformation of Yerevan, the work reflects on the complexity of transitional narratives and ambiguity of modernist projects.

Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Story (Thessaloniki)? juxtaposes a geometrical assembly of balcony railings in Thessaloniki, with two blown-up archival tourist postcards of arches (the Roman Arch of Galerius and the entrance to the International Fair). The variation and transformation of the metal forms of the balconies visually narrate the story of modernist development in the city, while their close-up framing and symmetrical arrangement infuses a sense of flatness that fences of perspective. On the other hand, the scale of the arched forms contradicts the enclosure of the balconies, inviting the viewer to wonder into the space of the city. The relation between the private space of the balcony as enclosure and the public space of the city as trophy challenges the transitional nationalist narrative of the city and questions the successfulness of its modernist project.