Egkivotismos is a site specific project about the relationship between the first steam electro power plant in Athens and Kifissos river flowing right next to it. The establishment of the power plant in 1905 launched the development of an industrial area around it and defined the river’s character as an industrial river.
The project focuses on the first decade of the 21st century. It is the time when the roof of the plant facilities is removed, as it is made of asbestos a toxic material, allowing eventually the natural elements to enter and conquer it. Trees are now growing successfully inside of it attracting a whole new ecosystem. In the same years the river went under a great change by developers as it was enclosed with cement and a highway was built upon it. The landscape changed, the natural ecosystem was destroyed and the river now flows inside a cement canal. From a point of view, at the same time, the plant returned to nature while the river was captured.
Interested in this reversal of roles I consider these contrasting elements as part of one ecosystem, with symbiosis, conflicts, natural and artificial organisms.
The installation is a material narrative using the main elements of this ecosystem. Vestiges of the factory, personal items of the workers, newly native plants and finally the water depicted in captivating forms (inside a plastic bag, or out of scale levels referring to its use as a tool) construct this installation. The installation is a bit of a stratigraphy, a bit of a museum display, with various materials balancing each other trying to preserve this strange new nature. The installation is accompanied with photographs from the interior of the plant, sketches that show the reversal of roles taking place under alchemo-socio-politico-economical reactions and a map of the plant depicting the story as I heard it.
Egkivotismos (greek for encapsulation): Technical term that refers to the arrangement of the flow of the river or water course using a concrete culvert. Literature term that refers to the incorporation of the flow of one narrative within another.
Part of the group exhibition This Current Between Us in The Historic Steam Electric Station Of PPC, Neo Faliro, Athens
Curated by Panos Giannikopoulos & Georgia Liapi. Concept Eleni Kalara
Photo credits Athanasios Gatos.