Project title : "Be water my friend" proposal by: Maria Anastassiou, Eleni Bagaki, Alexandros Pissourios
"Be water my friend" is a response to an open call by p_public to utilise the deserted swimming pool of the "Xenia" hotel in Crete as a video i
Open call from ppublic (http://www.p-public.gr/) Dates of festival : 8-10 June 2012 Project title : "Be water my friend" Location : ‘Xenia’ hotel swimming pool, Chania, Crete, Greece. Proposal by: Maria Anastassiou, Eleni Bagaki, Alexandros Pissourios The concept and construction of the 'Xenia' hotels all over Greece, by architect Aris Konstantinides, is one of the most ambitious construction works realised in 20th century Greece. Our proposal for ppublic 2012 is inspired by the vision and philosophy of Aris Konstantinides "for a truly greek architecture" which "grows out of the ground and has an immediate relationship with it, like a tree or a bush". Using the inherent amphitheatrical inclination of the pool, we propose to transform its interior in a seating place for the public and use the highest walls for the installation of a video triptych with studies on the properties of water, such as surfaces, reflections, depth, texture and their relationship with dreams. Our intention is to create a place for reverie and contemplation on ideas around recreation and pleasure in relation to the properties of water (and nature), modern architecture (of the city) and art. The visual material that will be projected on the pool's walls will be looped and will consequently produce alternative narratives. The sound of the sea next to the site will operate as a soundtrack, contributing to a consolidated experience. After the demolition of Xenia hotel in Chania, in 2007, this swimming pool still stands as a remnant of a promise for development in Greece and as a critical token of the modernist example of the 20th century, when post-‐war mass tourism and ideals of luxury and recreation occured and spred. Their incentives are manifested by the geographical proximity of the beach to the swimming pool and the marketable re-‐appropriation of the element of water. Water rejuvenates, nurtures or destroys and ultimately dominates over other construction elements that shape the site's architecture. Looking torwards the future, our proposal is a suggestion for a continuous activation of the site with projects and artists who will contribute to the understanding and significance of the place, and at the same time the development and improvement of the local area.