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
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
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)
cultural"with Fabiana de Barros, SESC, São Paulo (Brazil)
2003: The Lysistrata project on the Pnyx, performance, Athens
2002: T.A.M.A. (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All), 25th Bienal de São
representation), Sâo Paulo (Brazil)
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)
Here and Elsewhere", Umjetnicka galerija Dubrovnik
2003: (Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik), Croatia
2003: DESTE PRIZE, Deste Foundation, Athens
2003: Violence Online festival version 6.0
2002: Manifesta4, Frankfurt (Germany)
2003: Fusion Cuisine, Deste foundation, Athens
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 dArte, Lugano (Switzerland)