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Maria Papadimitriou
found works

„TAMA is located in Avliza, a run-down area in western Athens 10 km from the center of the capital and very close to the new Olympic village. Itinerant populations such as Gypsies and Vlach Romanians from north of Greece use this area as a pied-terre. My discovery of the place was accidental, but my involvement in its life was intentional. It came as a natural sequence of my attitude as an artist. I visited the place for the first time in 1998 with my friends Catherina and Michel, looking for old furniture at good prices.

But when I found myself there, it was not the antiques that attracted me but the place itself; haphazard layout, unexpected events, unplanned art works, strange people. What I saw there is the concept of a makeshift settlement, a kind of mobile post-urban city which serves its inhabitants' temporary housing needs and economic activities. Everything forms part of this small town.

Landscape-clothes-interiors -unfinished buildings- streets -cars -the sky -the people. I started to visit Avliza everyday - I became an addicted visitor. The observation of place and people became my foremost duty. I wanted to become friends with them, to participate in their fiestas, to share their problems, to listen to their thoughts and needs; after a long try I had it, and a strong relationship started. The nomadic way of living and the particularities of the community gave me the idea of setting up a system of communication and exchange among the inhabitants, myself, the art people and the public. In a very short time I realized that all my friends and associates wanted to participate in this story which I call a temporary autonomous museum for all -TAMA.“

Q: what made you turn to the community of Menidi and how did influence your own art practice?
A: Menidi is an untouched microcosm which I was interested to study and understand. Being a marginalised and a minority group they carry an interesting identity. An identity, however that is always in flux. Maybe this is what interest me more this idea of non-place, this nomadictribe.
Q: what brought you to call these images "found works"/objets trouvés?
A: I took those images because remind me artworks made by artists I like so I created my own microcosm full of replicas. A museum where everyone is able to look carefully around and discover. I had made the everyday part of our fiction, made the ordinary and plain.. extraordinary.
Q: are you saying something about the relationship between Athens and the contemporary art world?
A: living in athens is like be in the middle of an urban tornado. This gives you a lot of ideas if you have the "tools". It is the same for the big metropolis all around the world and for the artists as well.


Maria Papadimitriou (Athens 1957) lives and works in Volos and teaches at the Dept. of Architecture, University of Thessaly, Greece. She just won the D'Este Prize 2003.

Up coming shows:
2004: Espacio Uno, Reina Sofia, Madrid, (Spain)
2004: Mirta Demare gallery Rotterdam, (Holland)
2004:"Fiteiro cultural"with Fabiana de Barros, SESC, São Paulo (Brazil)
Selected solo shows
2003: The Lysistrata project on the Pnyx, performance, Athens
2002: T.A.M.A. (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All), 25th Bienal de São Paulo
2004:(Greek representation), Sâo Paulo (Brazil)
Selected Group shows
2003: "Going Public", Politics, Subjects and Places, aMAZE, Mondena (Italy)
2003: "In der Schluchten des Balkan, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (Germany)
2003: "Outlouk", Athens (Greece)
2003: INITINERE – Poly-Morphosis, Magna Crecia, Sternatia (Italy)
2003: "Dubrovnik – Here and Elsewhere", Umjetnicka galerija Dubrovnik
2003: (Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik), Croatia

2003: DESTE PRIZE, Deste Foundation, Athens (Greece)
2003: Violence Online festival version 6.0
2002: Manifesta4, Frankfurt (Germany)
2003: Fusion Cuisine, Deste foundation, Athens (Greece)
2003: Balkania 2002, Neue Galerie, Graz (Austria)
2003: Biennale de Cetinje, Cetinje (Montenegro)
2003: 25th Bienal de Sao Paulo, Greek representation, São Paulo (Brazil)
2003: Playgrounds and Toys for Children, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano (Switzerland)

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