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City Dwellers

City Dwellers

Yassonas Megoulas, Marilia Kolibiri und Iakovos Volkov


The issue of dwelling within the contemporary urban cityscape has been a main concern for architectural theory and philosophic thought alike, well before the middle of the previous century. The urban cityscape is constantly changing and its’ ‘contemporarity’ to human history gradually adopts a new precise translation, nevertheless, many factors that shape aspects of the issue appear to remain as constants.

The ,recently, visible issues are limited between insecurity, stress, loneliness and their derivative psychic alternations, while an enduring hyper-issue that includes and, in the meantime, consists the previously mentioned problems, remains: the incapacity of actual dwelling. In his lectures, Heidegger, separated the concept of actual dwelling from simple accommodation. In his theories, dwelling resides where heaven and earth coexist and the divine with mortals; where humans, realizing their mortality, feel the need to invoke a higher power. On the contrary, the city scape rises imposing and threatening, dividing the points of Heidegger’s quartet.

The ‘Artist’ attempts to ‘live poetically’, creating or rather revealing places, among the cold and faceless space.

In her new series of work, Marilia Kolibiri attempts to reveal a new urban narrative, which emerges from a systematic study and mapping of the consequences of living in a contemporary metropolis. In this narrative, the ‘resident’ appears disfigured. This disfiguration is a consequence of human parts becoming numb while others hyper-active. Thus, this humanoids possess huge eyes, usually in front of screens, big fingers, noses and ears, while their legs have gone atrophic. The city rises almighty, and in the meantime,  it gets trapped in small photos which glamorize it, always based on the deformed viewer’s criteria.

In his 1859 Salon, Charles Baudelaire described what he thought to be ’the painter of Modern life’. Viewing the radical changes of everyday life and the cityscape in a central European capital, he believed that a new model of painter was necessary. That painter would depict the new reality in a way that would be both aesthetic and informative for residents, who weren’t actually able to keep track of their own situation. Yassonas Megoulas, participates in the City Dwellers group show, with three paintings inspired by a recent trip to Vienna. Like a contemporary Constantin Guys (Baudelaire’s model painter), he attempts to capture an impression of the city, but in an era following post-modernity, this impression is a conceptual synthesis and a meeting point for European History, Literature and Art.

Visual artist Iakovos Volkov, taking his street art background to the next level, works with found materials, out of which he creates a palette of textures and colours. Using this palette, he intervenes to the public space, which consists his material corpus, attempting to reveal artworks that pre-exist. The use of architectural elements, and especially industrial ones, gives a placeless and thus international character to Volkov’s works. The photographs presented here give no geographic evidence and they could have easily been taken in Athens, Vienna, Berlin or London, commenting, subtly, on the international style and uniformity of Metropolitan architecture.

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