”Peiraios 260” is much more than the venue that hosted Primal Matter.
It is a large building complex that used to house an office furniture factory; it was called Tsaousoglou. Located close to the city centre, in a 10km-long industrial street linking Athens with the port of Piraeus. When the factory closed, the premises came under the control of the National Bank of Greece, which made some of the site available to the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, in 2006. Since then, performances and exhibitions are held there regularly.
The architecture is typical of 1970s industrial buildings. The Tsaousoglou site consists of four large buildings/warehouses, all of which have now been given listed status by order of the Ministry of Culture. And, according to Greek press, the Ministry of Culture will actually be relocating there, soon.
I loved the air of abandonment and the eerie buildings in various states of disrepair; some windows broken, grey walls and dusty surfaces, machinery and objects scattered in disused rooms, a strange, unfamiliar smell of a life that was… one of my uncles worked here all his adult life, until retirement; his office was behind one of these windows…
I found its conversion to a cultural centre a great idea… but a Ministry?
Renovation-Transformation-Urbanisation… Spoiled ambiance to be sure!
More industrial view, just across the steet :
Alongside the performances, there where some modern art exhibitions:
Contemporary street art:
Photography by Vassilis Koltoukis with street musicians he encountered on his wanderings between the Balkans and Africa:
And Geografia Sonora, an ambient sound and visual landscape. A dark room, a video projection on all four walls of a bright sea in constant movement. The sonic material was collected in various places around the world; the sounds and images were combined in real time, by a sophisticated computer programme, in the room. A leisurely stroll through image, light and sound. By entering the room, you became part of the installation:
Athens, 23 June 2013
Photos by Konstantinos Implikian