If there is to be a “new urbanism” it will not be based on the twin fantasies of order and omnipotence; it will be the staging of uncertainty; it will no longer be concerned with the arrangement of more or less permanent objects but with the irrigation of territories with potential.
— Rem Koolhaas, 1995
The works of Sarah Cameron, Rachel Haines, Katrin Hanusch, Linda Hemmersbach, Gemma Lowe, Leah Emma Miller-Biot and Paulina Sandberg are presented here as an experiment in cloning. These works were first made during a residency in Zarakes, then further developed individually, before finally being reworked collaboratively in Athens.
At its core, the duplicate questions what constitutes sameness and similarity, and how far difference extends beyond the surface aesthetic. The viewer is an important part of the work; either colluding with the duplicity of the superficially similar, or realising their role as differential.
Our interests extend further to the way that our works interact with the two venues, each suggesting different narratives, each staged within a period of upheavals that has drawn attention to Athens as a site of potential change for the better, within Europe.
The current situation of crisis in Greece is a symptom of wider economic disparity. While bearing the challenge to use the empty spaces that have accumulated in the city to envision new beginnings, questions about the extent and style of ‘new urbanism’ and the role that the exhibition plays, remain crucial. Who sees the work? What is its value and for whom? On the one hand, we see these spaces as sites of liberatory public cultural exchange; on the other we see them being used to raise the value of these spaces, attract investment and speculation, and so start another wave of gentrification that further stratifies culture. We play out both possibilities in our duplicate exhibitions.
Works presented in the derelict space will remain there after we have left the city, open to the elements and to viewers; potentially changing over time; deteriorating and/or being removed to other locations.