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As part of Open House Athens 2023, Alessia De Pasquale opens the doors to a residential apartment in the heart of the Kipseli neighbourhood, Athens. Once home to revolutionaries and prime ministers, Kipseli was redeveloped in the 1930s and became one of the first sites for modernist architecture in Greece. In recent years it has become popular and begun to be rebuilt again, by a new influx of Greeks and foreigners of a new generation - De Pasquale, who is Sicilian by origin, among them. The apartment is presented as an artefact: a home built in 1960 that has changed hands through different families over time, imbued with its own layers of a private history. The renovation is the result of a yearlong collaboration between De Pasquale and the pioneering Greek architect, Dionisis Sotovikis. Merging the artistic language and expressions of De Pasquale with Sotovikis’ notions about sentimental structuring and building time, they challenge the traditional idea of home and its components. The design is playful and raw, the new shape of the space contrasting with parts that have been stripped away to make the previous owner’s decisions visible like scars – from the old wallpaper and paint to the original flooring. The apartment also becomes a stage for a new body of works, including sculptures, art objects, installation, video and an interactive piece by De Pasquale. Each series explores different notions of home and belonging, moving from personal memories to collective ideas of home and belonging as a physical and psychological space. The exhibition's fundamental question is how do we find a sense of home within ourselves, beyond the bricks and mortar of a house?
Words by Charlotte Jansen, Photographed by Giorgos Vitsaropoulos
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