Tami Katz Freiman (Time Capsule catalogue)

"Modern Greek identity is haunted by a glorified past and a stereotypical idea of ancient Greece. We still don't perceive monuments as part of the city we live in, or as an aesthetic value we may enjoy, but rather as a non-place, dedicated to the tourist's or the archaeologist's eye."

Dimitris Tsoublekas 2001

In his Photoshop hybrids of contemporary Athens, Dimitris Tsoublekas digitally manipulates typical Athenian archaeological and tourist landmarks, such as the Parthenon and the Acropolis. Tsoublekas employs a falsification strategy akin to plastic surgery in order to fabricate a new reality and introduce changes and improvements. His works respond to local urban planning and architecture vis-a-vis the construction boom of the 1990s. His witty photographs pierce architectural conventions of design and good taste and ironically critique chaotic, hybridized urban reality.

In the series shown at Art in General, Tsoublekas focuses on archaeological sites and monuments that are historically and aesthetically emblematic of Athens. The cross between tradition and antiquity on one hand, and current, modern culture on the other, is epitomized in these works. He planted a lawn around the west entrance of the Parthenon, replaced the Propylaea (stairway entrance) leading to the Acropolis with escalators, added another floor and a parking lot, and replaced its marble with luxurious black granite.

By transforming the use, form, or aesthetic patterns of ancient Greek architecture, Tsoublekas alludes to the past and comments on the present. Portraying the monument that symbolizes one of the highlights of world tourism as made of fake materials, the artist ridicules the fact that the original marble is kept in the British Museum, thus challenging the very notion of authenticity underpinning the tourist passion.

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Tami Katz Freiman

(Time Capsule catalogue)