I have read about this installation last year, as it was first presented at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale. What a surprise for me to find that I can actually see it now, as it is brought back home in Athens. It is presented at metamatic:taf in the city centre (Monastiraki). The venue was very unique – there was a courtyard café and it was all open-air and bare brickwork and rickety wooden doors and windows.
It was a hot day when I went, as its only open after 12. So I braved the midday summer heat and walked down the Athens Flea Market until I reached Normanou and turned right to find the unsuspecting front door.
It took awhile to adapt to the sudden darkness, but you will find a big board with a description of the exhibition/installation and a map. I decided to just walk around and explore at my own pace. I was glad I wore comfortable shoes, there were steps and uneven flooring everywhere.
The detail in the tiny constructed models were amazing. Amongst the many rooms photographed, I saw the extremely glaring disparity of the rich and the very poor – a small sparse bedroom shared by 3 immigrants compared to a spacial neo-classical Kolonaki townhouse bedroom.
In a dark corner, there is also a video showing scenes that they recorded in these bedrooms, and you could only hear the background of traffic and other city noises which made the images more remarkable than it actually was on its own.
Other than Bedrooms, there was also another exhibition here called Politismos.
As I was walking looking at the pieces, George messaged me and asked where I was. All I can answer was: Surrounded by penises. Penises everywhere. There was no description or even a brochure to describe what i was looking at, and I was rather disappointed by that. It was rather stark and empty exhibition, and most certainly Not-Safe-For-Kids.