Sam de Groot
19 x 29.7 cm
Date of Release: Spring 2021
English / Greek
Published by Jap Sam Books and made possible with the generous support of The J.F. Costopoulos Foundation and the Danish Arts Foundation.
Keywords: contemporary archaeology, concrete ruins, antimonument
With its character of a ruin of a forgotten purpose the unfinished building is at the same time pointing to the past and to the future.
[UN]FINISHED: Atlas of Athens’ Incomplete Buildingsis presenting the phenomenon of a particular pending architecture mutely present all over Athens. The concrete skeletons of polykatoikia– multi-storey apartment buildings – are emblematic of the development of modern Greece throughout the second half of the 20th century.
The book deals with the politics of urban space by treating the unfinished buildings as study objects and tracing their individual histories. Through the words of current owners and by means of photographs, archival documents and found artefacts, a different chronicle of the development of modern Athens is taking shape.
Essays by Brooke Holmes, Platon Issaias, and Elpida Karaba critically touch upon the phenomenon from different perspectives. Moving in scale from a tactile portrait of one specific concrete structure to a complete building index, the Atlas introduces a method for extracting forgotten memories and hidden structures, suggesting an alternative reading of the city.
Since 2012, Lalou and Aymo-Boot have worked together on the project [UN]FINISHED, a continuous archival research project on the unfinished concrete buildings of Athens, engaging the spectator in a process of viewing parts of the void in the history of the city, architecturally, socially, and politically. The project has been presented at Contemporary Art ReMap 4 (Athens), UNIDEE/Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella), The Symptom Project (Amfissa), as well as Università Iuav di Venezia, ETH Zürich, and Princeton University, among others. In 2020 they established cross section archive in Athens.
About the authors: Maria Lalou is a Greek artist based in Amsterdam and Athens. Her work focuses on the topic of “viewing” through large-scale installations, performances, and publications. She incorporates cinematic and surveillance apparatuses as her tools, with references to the politics of the viewer. Lalou has presented her work internationally at, among others, the Greek Film Archives (Athens) & Printed Matter (New York). She has published two monographs [theatro] (2015) and the camera(2019). Skafte Aymo-Boot is a Danish architect based in Amsterdam. In 2009 he co-founded NEZU AYMO architects in Amsterdam. Since 2019 he is a partner at Open Platform in Copenhagen. A significant part of his practice is the collaboration with artists working in the overlap between architecture and visual art. He has presented his work in lectures at, among others, the School of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Art, Copenhagen, Universidad National, Bogotá, and TU Delft.