'Slow Down Rooms' exhibition presents 8 site-specific installations for Greek emerging artists who explore various materials through the philosophy of recycling and handmade process. Color, gesso, recycled or handmade paper, garbage and dust, weaving and sewing techniques, use of food condiments and natural fibres, mirror and photographic fragments were used to create new environments by an artist, or by the collaboration of two or more.
Along with 'Ethics/Aesthetics' and ‘Athens Here and Now’, it forms part of the exhibitions ‘AAO: Ethics/Aesthetics’ with 32 exhibits and surface area of 1200 sqm.
Exhibition design principles of the series ‘AAO: Ethics/Aesthetics’:
1. Organizing the Benaki Museum groundfloor gallery into three spaces, one for each exhibition.
2. Creating a linear movement passing through the three exhibitions so as to allow visitors read the continuous thematic narrative of the first (Ethics/Aesthetics), seeing related experimental student work in the second (Athens Here and Now), and relaxing in the art environment of the third (Slow Down Rooms). Before exiting, the space was designed for performance actions.
3. Presenting each exhibit in an autonomous unit with dimensions 2,5m (W) x 2,5m (D) X 2,5m (H). The unit’s fourth vertical wall leans on floor, creating the entrance and taking on it the information about it.
4. Each unit, while of standard dimensions, presents variations so to allow the display of diverse types of exhibits: units without ceiling allow the display of objects, others with a ceiling form enclosed cubicles and allow video projections, and others without side walls allow installations being highlighted.
1. A low budget (30.000 Euros) and a quick assembling of the exhibition (5 working days). These challenges are met by the decision to aim at a rough and rusty aesthetic quality, which reflects the content and philosophy of the exhibitions, as well as to work with standardized parts and pieces.
2. The three exhibitions include architecture, art and design works presented through videos, installations, objects and print-out panels. This diversity presented the challenge of finding the way in which a single concept could unfold, and a unified experience be achieved, yet with a controlled degree of diversity between the three exhibitions. Therefore, main decision is to base the design on one strong element, the Unit, that unifies all the exhibits. Its variations allow a different experience in each exhibition, but also let the different types of exhibits be highlighted.
Furthermore, 'Slow Down Rooms' exhibition design decisions regards the staging of these independent ‘artists rooms’ in eight units. And to allow artists to change, if they want, the height of the unit as well as elements of it, but not its footprint. Thus, in these commissioned in-situ installations more variations of the unit appear.
Architect: Lina Stergiou.
Collaborating architect: Aris Zambikos.
Project team architects: Evelina Rempi, Chrysi Gousiou, Antonis Chazapis.
Photos: Dimitris Giannoulakis