Where Kifissos meets the sea – a hot and abandoned place between a harbor on one side and decomposing ship-wrecks on the other side – sometimes it’s possible to see man fishing in the water. Even people canoeing appear from time to time. Walking along the last couple of hundred meters through stones and trash, the division of the stream right at the mouth of the river attracted my attention.
When we first spoke about your practice, you told us that you never sketch or write when you visit a place, but rather depend solely on your senses; sight, smell, hearing, etc, and thus your memory. When you visited the area of Kifisou/Iera Odos, for example, it seems that you experienced a bit of sensory overload…the limited space, the loud passing cars, the heavy air… When you tap back into a memory, does it always come naturally, as if your senses become re-triggered or brought back to life, or do you ever struggle to remember?
In the second story of our series «De-constructing the Kifissos River», Alexander Schellow meets Arif, an immigrant from Bangladesh. In their discussion, Arif points out specific issues around his stay in Greece. Where the Iera Odos crosses the former riverbank, […]
Alexander Schellow: Here it was triggerd by the acoustic quality of the space. In my studio, I was working with some sound-documents that I recorded during the process of walking at the south-part of the river. Some of the sounds of Galateia’s environment are very specific. First of all, the clap-clap of birds-wings, of course. But also the nearby heavy traffic-situation of the coastal-road, still at a certain distance. Plus in this particular case, there is also some water that flows out of a damaged pipe very nearby and the low-level-movement of the old ladies’ plastic tarps.
As we are selecting points from the dialogues Alexander Schellow had, we find some interesting coincidences in the story of the woman named Galateia who lives by the Kifissos River. One of them refers to the myth surrounding her name. Galateia is said to be a daughter of Nireas and Doris, deities of the calm sea. Furthermore, it is said that she married Pygmalion, King of Cyprus.