ZAFOS XAGORARIS
  PUBLIC SOUND INSTALLATIONS AND OTHER WORKS



 AMPS

 ROVERETO

 




 SAO PAULO

 




 CYPRUS

In Cyprus there exist a number of abandoned villages as a result of political decisions and events which began in 1963 and led up to the Turkish invasion in 1974. These villages used to have a Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot, or mixed population. A series of sound installations have taken place in situ, in order to animate these deserted areas. The Amp, a mechanism comprising two speakers, an amplifier, a battery and a microphone, was installed in the center of each village, in a way that the almost non-existent sound of the place was enhanced and reproduced.




 OTHER AMPS






 BELLS

 TIDE BELL

The work Three Bells is composed of three in situ installations created by the artist within the context of the exhibition and will be realized simultaneously at three sites in the city:

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
The National Observatory, Athens
Aghios Kosmas

The Three Bells in three different sites, address an imperceptible, common, undelivered invitation to assembly. As they sound, they simultaneously create a conceivable rhythm, a silent chime.



 OTHER BELLS

The work Three Bells is composed of three in situ installations created by the artist within the context of the exhibition and will be realized simultaneously at three sites in the city:

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
The National Observatory, Athens
Aghios Kosmas

The Three Bells in three different sites, address an imperceptible, common, undelivered invitation to assembly. As they sound, they simultaneously create a conceivable rhythm, a silent chime.




 LEGAL TEXTS

A limited, probably temporary change of a legal text can be responsible for a series of transformations, regarding the images of everyday life, the use of space or human relationships. An attempt to alter regulations concerning the public life can be feasible in cases of less important restrictions, such as regulations of apartment block rules. For example the suspension of the 5 Galilaiou Street apartment block regulation that allows to use the roof only for drying washed clothes, will change the image of the building.




 RANGE

If around an archer, his arrows create a fence, then around the central bell of the church of a village, in a certain distance, there is a limit where its sound turns into a whisper. A source (a bell, a heating device or an electronic sender) is able to create an area around it, depending on the source's possibilities. These arrangements- installations are trying to show similar conditions, where these marginal points are visualized.




 PERISCOPES

A series of drawings, devices and installations for the amplification of vision Through tubes, mirrors and lenses, a viewer is able to have a three dimensional view of an enclosed environ-ment or from a public space the interior of a gallery space and vice versa.




 OTHER WORKS



 TEXTS

 "NonPlaces" awakened to new life or "Is Silence a Sound?" by Agnes Kohlmeyer

"The letter around me is rather an "M". I shout harshly at the dog that he should sit down. Then I put my hands over my face. It is quiet except for the sound of the wind in my clothes" (Juli Zeh, "Silence is a Sound", 2002) Abandoned places are also fascinating places. I would put forward the claim that it is typical of the action of an entire younger generation of artists, actually I would say it is a worldwide occurrence that artists are making work with a preference for the outside room, "other" non-traditional spaces, the public room, away from the "white cube", away from the traditional museum, and instead working in everyday life, working in those spaces filled with their own life and history. For example factories or former market halls, magazines and warehouses, halls of all types, towers and bunkers, schools and churches, military arsenals, movie theatres, hospitals, railway stations, hotels and many other places. These places include - apart from all the extraordinary artistic interventions of "Land Art" (particularly in the United States since the early 1960's) that penetrated into expansive natural spaces such as deserts- all the parks and gardens, the open places, in the middle of our cities or those places more "on the edge" in isolation, in which today's artists act unquestioningly. Spaces and places that are sometimes still comprehended in terms of "their function" or spaces that have become "out of use", and hence open to new perspectives and new meanings, also become open to artists to create something new. To be more precise, today art tries to measure itself more than ever with the life and "histories" from other realities and from other times, with the past and with memories, with our dreams and with our fantasies, but also with our anxieties and nightmares. Art attempts to demonstrate, wants to make visible and portray ongoing effects, it wants to make change, not only ease or improve. We now finally come to the so-called "NonPlaces" - abandoned, forgotten and highly problematic places, the outskirts, often drawn from poverty, dirt and neglect. Increasingly we see more faceless buildings, intended as satellite cities and shopping-malls, but actually created purely for "survival" and for commercial interests. It appears that even extremely tragic peripheral zones, border situations and former war zones, even entire strips of no man's land still partially active with land mines, can become new places again, if the town planners, architects and - often in a more uncomplicated manner - artists deal with them. Zafos Xagoraris is one of these artists, who deliberately looks for public, but "abandoned places", in order to realise his, often optically rather insignificant or less spectacular but nonetheless, effective actions. After studying architecture and art in Athens and at the MIT in Boston, Xagoraris began, quite consistently throughout his work, to show a special interest in scientific experiments, constructions mechanisms (for example the miraculous-constructions of 'Hero' of Alexandria, 1B.C.) and new technologies, combined with a range of actions in public open space: the use of a periscope from the interior room into the outside room to produce communication between inside and outside, private and public; The construction of a circle out of light sources and arrows in order to determine borders, to define the distance of range; The installation and enclosing of the sound of bells, transmitting sound into other realities. For a few years now, the artist has been magically attracted by the desolation of certain places and their housing, with their traces of human existence, living and life, he is attracted by houses, often long destroyed or decayed, roofless, with empty bare window caverns, bullet holes still clearly visible, which now stand abandoned, but are alive in ones imagination with the everyday situations of living. Concerned with the disposition of this abandonment and how it radiates from the little villages of Cyprus (like Petrofani, Aghios Sozomenos or Achna), after the expulsion of the population, and with a wish to oppose this desolation with something new, a new life, a little bit of renewed hope, through negotiation, through the forwarding of these traces of "deadly silence" to other and more living places, he places his structures with amplifiers (the so-called "amps") to transmit sounds: "trying to amplify the almost silent existing sound". Sounds mean life, they awake memories. Sounds that we recognise can calm or frighten us, we can enjoy them or we can concentrate entirely on our hearing and, as an experiment, exclude the other senses almost completely. Voices and sounds create a presence. For years Xagoraris has installed his bells in Athens, Cyprus, Germany, Austria and the USA. In accordance with the recognition that the bells chime can be carried out of the centre of a living functioning village into the last houses at its edges, and that the sound of the bell can define the boundaries of the village. The bells are now partly locked in voluminous, sometimes half buried cubes made of metal, timber and glass in places that are almost completely silent nowadays - therefore the volume is very muffled, dark, from the depths, as if emitted from prisoners within. The strong and melodious sound of a bell is robbed of its range of resonance and only "whispers ", as if from a coffin. However with the help of tubes and similar devises, the locked in sound can be heard at new places again. Once, to be certain of this, Xagoraris installed a bell, this time hanging free, to a device at one of the most quiet and most un-enterable places in the world, which is in the middle of a possible minefield. A place which, if one perhaps accidentally ran into it - as did the young author Juli Zeh on her inquiry trip through war torn Bosnia - even breathing is difficult and appears to be amplified. Here, at this place, abandoned by all, there simply are no listeners anymore, in whatever range.

Agnes Kohlmeyer Venice, July 2005


 Zafos Xagoraris: The Silent Center by Christina Petrinou

The series of works proposed by Zafos Xagoraris takes as its main point of reference the green zone which cuts through and divides the island of Cyprus into an occupied and free zone, while doing the same to the evacuated and uninhabited Famagusta district of Varossi, on the eastern end of the island. The status of Varossi is a result of the war, of the Turkish invasion. The death of this leveled city was the war. This conquered area has been ripped up by its foundations, since its people have disappeared. Both Varossi and the green zone touch upon the issue of transgression but also of the prevention of war. In essence, these are areas where flow and production have been interrupted, creating a gap. These areas are symbolized by pauses and absences. In an age of acceleration, the neutral green zone and the deadened Varossi take us to an age where the brakes have been applied, as the result of a series of political and military obstacles placed in the way of defining dominion. These spaces, which are the result of military and political violence, safeguard peace through faith in deterrence. The sound amplification mechanisms proposed by the artist magnify a rustle or a whisper, thus breathing life into the deserted areas. Moreover, Xagoraris has planned for the positioning of a bell along the green line, while a Moslem imam will be standing on the northern side of the island. The sounds of the bell and the imam will meet in the center of the green zone. The range of the bell and the imam approach the limits of silence, of a whisper (1). This encounter between one sound that refers to Orthodoxy and another calling Moslems to prayer ends up gathering the echo of both civilizations. Distance is no longer measured spatially and is replaced by temporal distance; by the distance of sound. Xagoraris replaces geography with chronography. The fruit of this exchange of sounds is the creation of a closeness; a communication between all the points of this space. In other words, within this no entry zone, Xagoraris proposes a freedom of movement through the sound of the bell and the imam. The green zone and Varossi are transformed from inert spaces with no inhabitants into a free crossroad of the speed of light. The city and, by extension, territorial dominion cease to be pinpointed in one specific position, on a crossroad of spatial borders, and shift to a crossroad of the speed of sound waves. In this way, Xagoraris introduces the moving, the shifting, the disorganizing of borders from the regional areas towards the center in these dead zones and areas. Xagoraris succeeds in creating a cultural colonization through the diffusion of culturally diverse sounds. The range of the sound transmission is such that it coincides with the spatially prohibitive borders and is, in an extreme way, omnipresent within them. Through this momentary enrapture and disturbance of sound, Xagoraris relocates and deregulates these spaces which are exposed to a continuous observation and surveillance within a sovereign field of supervision, where visual control acts as a deterrent. Moreover, if the forthcoming developments in the Cyprus issue allow it, Xagoraris intends to place a bell in the center of Varossi which will ring from its center to its periphery like a sonic invitation to a possible assembly or reinhabitation. This action can be exhibited through photographs which will document the peculiar status of Varossi, i.e. that of an area conquered by the Turks but not yet settled by them. Finally, Xagoraris wants to create a communicative, silent atmosphere which he achieves by placing two sirens along a straight line (with reference to Helmholtz's experiment). The two sirens eliminate each other's sound and so, instead of having a state of emergency expressed in sound, we are faced with a process, with a voice of silence, with an alalia (lack of speech), which comes to support the aesthetic of disappearance, of absence. The viewer or the listener hears the flickering of sound which is not the result of a malfunction or an accident. Just as in silent films the viewer feels less the absence of the actors' speech and more his own inability to hear. Through these silent "Harpies," Xagoraris forms an acoustically sensitive zone which is delimited by the imposing sonic silence of the work. Through the silence of the sirens, what becomes unbearable is the absence of noise or a voice. In an age where the voices of silence have fallen silent before the onslaught of sounds and images, this silent installation/protest makes listening impossible and can be compared to the process of blindness. Sound and silence seem to be to sonority what vision and blindness are to visibility. In both cases of silence and blindness, something is concealed in a purely audiovisual age. At the same time as the deafening audiovisual explosion, we have Beuys's silent works which come in contrast to Russolo's ("noise-making") futuristic machines that produce terrifying noises. Beuys extols the suffocating of sound in his work Silence (1973) and in his installations, where the use of felt isolates every sound, thus creating a silent but dynamically isolated environment (Plight, 1985). Faced by the Futururists' triumphantly deafening noise, Cage places silence in his work entitled 4'33''. But it is a practical impossibility for silence to be achieved, since there are always the natural sounds of the audience and the environment. Through his silent sirens, Xagoraris attempts, in an age of the sonification of images, to express through this sonic absorption a state of silent exception which wishes to act as an invitation to a possible overthrow. This silent zone created by the sirens gives rise to the appropriate conditions, magnifying every sound. By choosing the geographically neutral space of the green zone, i.e. a no man's land, and the uninhabited district of Varossi, Xagoraris brings to the fore places of a questionable status; through the use of sonic range, he tries to bring about a cultural encounter; faced with the cacophony of communications and the onslaught of images, he counter-proposes the dynamic of silence, by juxtaposing and at the same time by invalidating a deafening sound system.


 Cryptograms by Yorgos Tzirtzilakis


Our stance on the future is more ambiguous today than ever before. A delirium of futurology alternates with scenarios of disaster and reflections on ruination and death. I would maintain, however, that nowadays the most extreme versions of joyful futurology and apocalyptic prophecy come together in the notion of Zero for the future: i.e. the invalidation of our ability to make convincing predictions and the consequent anxiety that is stirred up by this fact. Besides, that more and more people often feel the need to bring up the word "future" betrays the degree to which we lack a clear image of that which this word signifies. In many Eastern traditions -in which we also soak our experiences-"disaster" and "creation" constitute two sides of a common process, where that which dies and is ruined becomes the foundation of a new perception of that which is to come. At this point, we should make clear that architecture and the city can in no event be identified with the unremitting building frenzy of late capitalism. That, then, is why it may prove more useful and edifying to study the most repressed aspects of the environmental transformations which we witness every day, in every region of the globe. Perhaps therein lie the beginnings of a new sensibility. In 1929, during the New York Expo, the industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes set up the model of a futuristic city consisting of five hundred thousand buildings in miniature and fifty thousand vehicles in motion. Those who visited Futurama -as the surrealist pandemonium was called-came face to face with all the metropolitan shocks of the technological imaginary. Several years later, another American author, J. G. Ballard, claimed that all the derelict buildings, the dirty highways, all the crashing failures of urban planning and the deserted hotel fragments are closer to that which we will be encountering in the future. In these areas of modernity, the new is presented in the form of an unfamiliar poetry and ruin, constituting a kind of "cryptic architecture, such as the forgotten codes of an abandoned geometric language." [1] In an architecture of this sort we are able to distinguish the irreparable exposure of its destiny and, at the same time, the ideal locus of a series of earthwork artistic practices (Robert Smithson's Monuments of Passaic, Gordon Matta-Clark's Fake Estates, and Berndt and Hilla Becher's industrial silos). These cryptograms are recognizable in the photographs Zafos Xagoraris has taken of Varossi, an uninhabited neighborhood of Famagusta. I know of no other Greek artist who has chosen to concentrate on such an enigmatic reading which extends to the shifting of sound pieces, expanding the innermost cryptography of the landscape. I should point out that these photographs constitute the documentation of broader research on the concepts of the Silent center, of limits, of dead or inert zones, and of the mechanisms of prohibition and penetration. In the mid-1960s, Robert Smithson linked the existential cryptography of the landscape to the second principle of thermodynamics, "entropy,"[2] which annihilates the very thing which energy produces, leading to a kind of self-destruction, to the stony, silent state of mass, to waste and residue. It is indicative that Smithson cites Vladimir Nabokov's thesis that: "The future is but the obsolete in reverse," going on to say that "instead of causing us to remember the past [], the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future." Today, nothing more convincingly expresses entropy than the deserted areas and the bombarded expanses amid the cities' sprawling bodies. It is this which makes them look menacing, like a vast, hard, nameless residue which Western civilization has trouble understanding. That is why I believe that in his photographs of Famagusta, Xagoraris has apprehended, for our benefit, the slow slide of duration and that "visual unconscious" which, thirty years ago, smoldered beneath the euphoria of the tourist boom. In Concrete Island[3], Ballard's hero travels to a "futuristic resort on the coast." There he observes the "ziggurat hotels and apartment houses, and the vast, empty parking lots laid down by planners years before any tourist would arrive to park their cars, like a city abandoned in advance of itself." I wonder what it is that makes these images both awkward and fascinating. Is it the arrested time of the political-military drama? Is it the fact that, ultimately, we perceive "human work as a product of nature," as Georg Simmel once suggested? Is it the mild pleasure we derive and the attraction we feel for the destruction of the vacation spectacle and these immense modern structures? Is it the inexplicable and unholy link between pleasure and pain? These "collapsed new buildings" (Einsturzende Neubauten) may mean something different to each one of us. However, they do represent a state of exception which is tending to become a paradigmatic condition of our time. The conservative author Carl Schmitt once defined the "state of exception" (Ausnahmezustand) as one in which "the State continues to exist while Law fades." Indeed, these are extralegal zones; abandoned spaces of exception where constitutional legitimization and fundamental human rights are suspended. The fences, the sentry boxes, the visible signs of militarism, the railings and the no entry signs transform these places from cities into actual "concentration camps." It would be helpful, at this point, to bring up Giorgio Agamben's well-known dictum that "today it is not the city but the concentration camp that is the fundamental biopolitical paradigm of the West." [4] However, "if the camp is the place where, as a place of exception, there are no subjects of Law but merely bare life," then the dissemination nowadays throughout the world of such areas, expands the state of exception model where "everything is possible, precisely because the Law has been suspended." [5] Without any fear of exaggeration, one can view modern-day ruins as a generalized model of space and as a dominant narration of our time. Xagoraris explores the suspended nature of these areas which is in fact their elevation to a metaphor for a situation which "reveals the totalitarian nature of war in space and myth" [6] and is spreading throughout the planet. In a word, it gives us the right to understand much more if we look at these photographs as allusions to an unstable reality, i.e. our own. The traumatic marks of war cease to be geopolitically controlled or to constitute a form of conflict between periods of peace, becoming a universal destiny. In this sense, these areas are now removing the old reassuring divisions between history and fiction, and, more importantly, between territory, politics, architecture and the collective imaginary. The multiple distribution of such images among various forms of civilization, more as an expression of grief for "the pain of others," certifies that these are ideal self-representations of our time which transform the popular myths of technology and modernity into signals of menace. Just as psychoanalysis made us suspect that the essence of language lies in ambiguities and slips, so can we suppose that the essence of modern city planning lies in the bombing targets, in the destroyed and abandoned areas. Perhaps that was what Benjamin had in mind when, in his controversial "Thesis 9 on the Philosophy of History" he described Angelus Novus "seeing a single catastrophe, piling up continuously ruins upon ruins," [7] where "we perceive a chain of events."

1. J. G. Ballard, "News from the sun," in Myths of Near Future (1982), London 1987, p. 96.

2. R. Smithson, "Entropy and the New Monuments" (1966), in N. Holt (ed.), The Writings of Robert Smithson, New York 1979. On this topic see also Y. Tzirtzilakis, "Edafikes praktikes tou dievrymenou pediou" (Ground Practices of the Expanded Field), Architektones, 49, 2005, pp. 54-57.

3. J. G. Ballard, Concrete Island, (1973), London 1985.

4. G. Agamben, Homo sacer. Sovereign Power and Bare Life, transl. into Greek by P. Tsiamouras, Athens 2005, p. 276.

5. G. Agamben, "No Longer Citizens, Only Bare Life," in Form-of-Life, transl. into Greek by P. Kalamaras, Athens 2002, pp. 41-45. "'The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the "state of exception" in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is keeping with this insight.' Benjamin's diagnosis, which is by now more than fifty years old, has lost none of its relevance. And that is not so much, or not only, because power today has no other form of legitimization other than a state of exception but also and above all because, meanwhile, bare life has become everywhere the dominant form of life." ("Form-of-Life," ibid., p. 7).

6. P. Virilio, Pure War, A Discussion with S. Lotringer, transl. into Greek by A. Dantzidis, Athens 2003.

7. W. Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History" (1940), in These on the Philosophy of History. Surrealism. On the Image of Proust, transl. into Greek by M. Paraschis, Athens 1983, p. 12.



 Conversation with Katerina Gregos (2006-08)

Katerina Gregos: Your projects hover between sound, installation, drawing and painting. How would you describe your working method?
Zafos Xagoraris: For the last 5 years I have been working on a series of drawings, events, devices and arrangements, trying to identify the range of a certain source. For example a fence created by arrows, around an archer, materializes the range, the ability of his bow. In order to examine variations of this arrangement, I draw, describe or install different devices/sources which are able to create similar conditions.
Katerina Gregos: In that sense, recently, you have moved more to the more immaterial 'medium' of sound. What drew you to focus towards sonic practices and interventions?
Zafos Xagoraris: When a traveler walks, for example, towards a village, there is a certain point at which he is able to almost hear the distant sound of the church bell. Around this bell a virtual periphery, a certain space exists where the ringing is audible. Trying to create situations similar to this example, I began to work with the immaterial element of sound, materializing its limits, manipulating its capacities or even reversing its volume.
Katerina Gregos: In your work for the Bienal you have taken into account the notion of local geography. Can you tell me a bit more about this project, how the project came about and how it will be manifested?
Zafos Xagoraris: The starting point for this project is the work ? did in the divided island of Cyprus. In Cyprus there exist a number of abandoned villages or neighborhoods which are often surrounded by fences. There, in certain locations, I temporarily installed a number of sound devices, which were able to amplify the existing conditions, thus turning the blow of the wind or the crack of a window, into a blast. The Sound of Acre - Avenida Rio Branco, my work for the Bienal, was based on the same principles of sonic enhancement or amplification. Acre is a geographically remote area, where the Amazon forest begins and where the borders of Brazil with Bolivia and Peru meet. As an attempt to expand this area, to bring it closer to the notional center, its sound was transferred and transmitted in many places within the urban environment of Sao Paulo. The sounds of the forest, rainfall, the cries of animals or human activities were recorded, reproduced and - for a limited period of time - were broadcasted live. This public sound installation was aired on the streets of Sao Paulo for the duration of the 27th Bienal.
Katerina Gregos: One thing this project shares with previous projects of yours is the idea of acoustic transference transferring sounds from one place to another, where the context is different. In that sense you are not only dealing with sound as such, as something that engages people emotively, but with the social reception of sound. Can you say something a bit more about the relationship between all these elements?
Z. X.: During an installation in one of the abandoned villages of Cyprus, for example, there was an absence of audience and it is this absence that the amplified sound I employed tried to allude to. If there are site specific and community specific works, as Miwon Kwon suggests, I suppose that this kind of installation is more a non-community specific one. On the contrary, there was a plethora of audience as regards the work on the Avenida Rio Branco. The work itself was almost lost in the crowd and the sounds of Acre were audible simultaneously with the noises of the city, the car engines or the different conversations. This way the residents or the visitors who were confronted with these minimal installations could only conceive their existence one by one, discovering the sudden reminders of this remote area as they walked through the street. The people who hosted the small sound installations which consisted of one or more loudspeakers, a CD-player, a flag of the state of Acre and a wooden box containing pamphlets with a map indicating all the spots of the project - also had to operate the CD-players and sometimes explain the whole procedure to the passers-by. As far as I know, until this moment, almost a year and a half after the exhibition, the people use the installations, only instead of playing my sounds they listen to radio stations or to CDs with their own favorite music.
KG: So your work then takes on an additional life of its own. Was this intentional?
Z. X.: In many installations I use different devices which trigger a series of unpredicted public reactions. Also deciding to leave the equipment to the people, I was hoping that they would use it.However I cannot predict all the possible uses or a possible alteration of context and this is something that I like. Another work with uncertain fate is the aluminum bell I installed last year, on the surface of the sea, at Ushuaia for the Bienal Fin del Mundo. This bell was hanging on an aluminum structure. I also left it there after the end of the exhibition and I didnt ask what happened. So now there are three options: the bell is still there, is sunk or installed somewhere else.
K. G.: What do you first and foremost want to achieve through this process of acoustic transference?
Z. X.: With the work The Sound of Acre Avenida Rio Branco, I wanted to expand the range of Acre, to bring flags and sounds of this area of the remote Amazon region to the center of the largest city of Brazil (the sound also became a symbol of this area, a sound-flag). Notice that Acre is pronounced the same way with the Greek word akri - AKPH, which means the end of a place, the edge or summit (see acrophobia, acropolis etc.) so there was a movement from the edge to the center (AKPH - KENTPO). With this sonorous flag decoration I wanted to create a feast and some kind of parade dedicated to Acre.
KG: So in fact, you chose Acre for its symbolic and semiotic connotations? By extent, one could also say that this relates to an interest in the wider notion of center versus periphery. Is that something that continues to preoccupy you, geographically and geo-politically speaking?
The state of Acre was an area-topic indicated by the curatorial team of the 27th Bienal of Sao Paulo (Lisette Lagnado, Jose Roca, Adriano Pedrosa, Cristina Freire, Rosa Martinez and Jochen Volz). However the reasons I selected this topic to work with are all the above and also the way that is related to my research concerning the limits around a source or sometimes the limits around a dead source. (An example of this is my work The Silent Center, 2003, a documentation of the boundaries around Varosi, the abandoned neighborhood of Famagusta, Cyprus, where no entrance is allowed since 1974.)
K. G.: Do you see the way people react to sound installations as different to that of when they look at a picture?
Z. X.: It is probably more difficult to find similarities.
K. G.: How would you compare the reception of an acoustic work to that of a visually-based one? Also in relation to your own work, which in the past was more visually oriented?
Z. X.: In the work based on the concept of Range, I was trying to materialize the limits of a source, to create whispers and shadows. The viewer or the listener was able to identify the source, an enclosed bell or a sender (the electronic signals of a sender are able to be sent into a certain range and out of this range interference occurs), but was also able to identify the same approach, the same kind of examples. Drawings, sound installations or other arrangements are attempts to describe or create similar conditions. For example there are drawings describing the two installations that will take place in Teramo and Brooklyn where certain fences define private properties. My intention is to install 1m inside each fence an inner, identical one and leave the door of the outer fence open and of the inner one closed. This way a narrow public space will be created, allowing the movement of the visitors between the two fences. The final images or the accidental events cannot be predicted but there is a focal point, common to all these steps.
KG: How did you first become interested in this idea of spatial boundaries?
Fences, banners, barricades, walls, trenches, various two dimensional obstacles and other barriers were parts of my first drawings and installations. They stood for property, order, revolt, impenetrable limits, war conditions and silencers. But a spatial boundary is also a building regulation permitting the different uses of the common spaces. During the event I organized for the 1st Biennial of Thessaloniki, 2007, a temporary alteration of the 5 Galileou St. building regulation, allowed the free entrance and the various uses of the roof. This way the roof of one of the many polykatoikies of this neighborhood was full of people together with drying clothes.
KG: I like the idea that sound is one thing that can challenge the limits of physical space as this implies a certain loss of control, dont you think?
I agree. Sound (as law) is light, able to travel easily and fast and is perfect to fill huge areas.
KG: Lastly, all your work, indirectly, always reminds me of the problem of the demise of public space. As an artist, how do you feel about this in social terms? Would you say your work is an attempt to counteract this rather sad phenomenon?
I suppose that the territorial reclaim of the city by artists, groups and other social initiatives, is one of the many substitutes of the cancelled universal change. But at the same time it is a way to move forward, step by step, re-examining issues like the common possibility to alter minor urban regulations or legal texts, the elimination of borders and others.




 BIOGRAPHY

zafosx@hotmail.com

Zafos Xagoraris (Athens, 1963) has studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His Ph.D. from the department of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens was about the construction of miracles by Hero of Alexandria.
He has presented various personal exhibitions and his work is consisted by drawings, obstructing devices of visual or other signals and public installations of sound amplification mechanisms (for example at the deserted villages of Cyprus, 2003-5).
He has participated in exhibitions such as: Sotto quale Cielo?, Museo Riso, Palermo, 2011, ETICO_F, Termini Imerese, 2010, Manifesta 7, 2008, 1st Bienal Fin del Mundo, 2007, 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, 2007 and the 27th Sao Paulo Bienal, 2006.
He was one of the curators of the Greek Pavilion of the Venice Biennale of architecture (2004) and the 2nd Athens Biennial (2009).
Hes currently teaching at the Athens School of Fine Arts and has also taught at the University of Patras and Sassari. He was a visiting scholar at the Columbia University, NY, (2004) and invited to present his work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, DAnnunzio University, Pescara, IUAV, Venice, Academy of Fine Arts, Palermo, School of Visual Arts, NY and others.
Books about his work have been published by Patakis Publishers, The Arrow and the Eye, Athens, 2002 and Amps, Athens, 2005, from the Athens National Museum of Contemporary Art, Three Bells, 2003 and from the Postmedia Books, Silencers and Amplifiers, Milan, 2009.