Platform Project. Open studios.

ASFA 21-24/10/2021

the lure



An engram or memory trace is the physical imprint on the brain that forms the background of memory. The term engram was coined by the German scholar Richard Semon to describe the physical change that occurs in the brain as a consequence of a stimulus that represents a memory; it was first formulated in his book “Die Mneme”. According to Morris Moscovitch, “the engram is a supposedly physical imprint on the brain that occurs as a result of experience, which lasts and is somehow important for the subsequent expression of memory”. He argues that “the engram or memory trace is the representation of an event or experience. It is not yet a memory, but it offers the necessary (natural) condition for the emergence of memories “.
Plato, in his text “Theatitos”, has already used the metaphor of the “wax mold” in the soul, to describe the process of memorization as an imprint (“…printed, as ring points marked …”). The role of this wax mold, then, is “to capture what we want to memorize from what we may see, hear or understand ourselves.” Semon also used the term ecphory to denote the “awakening” or “rising” of the imprint from its latent state (ie the revocation of the engram) in a state of active manifestation.
Regardless of all this process, which takes place in the unconscious, man has invented other ways to maintain or even activate memory. From small objects (souvenirs) to majestic buildings were recruited to remind or assist the recall in memory of events, situations and persons. Thus, man filled his environment with souvenir creations, creating in parallel with the engrams in his brain and engrams on the external environment, which, either individually or collectively, help the expression of the memory imprint and at the same time its strengthening and maintenance.

the story behind the project

Diary excerpts

Excerpt one:

Today was a very special day. Today I had to give a death certificate for the first time. I cannot express in words exactly how I felt when they came and told me. I took my bag and the portable cardiograph and started going up to the house they had indicated to me. I was thinking different things all the way, most of them irrelevant. I thought I should get a pet, that I should check the air in my car tires, that… – things unrelated to what I was going to do.

The room where the dead woman was lying was full of light and the windows were wide open even though it was December. It was cold, but it was a sweet cold and it smelled of pine and sea. The dead woman’s face had an almost creepy serenity. She had died in her sleep and might have had a sweet dream. Almost with mechanical movements I started to undress the dead woman and asked her daughter to help me. Reaching the middle of the chest I felt a hard mass. I thought for a while, but in the end what was waiting for me made me freeze. In the part of the heart, between the two breasts, wrapped in an old yellowed handkerchief, there was an old key. The key to our house in Smyrna, her daughter cried. I grabbed it almost reverently and gave it to her. The key imprint was left on her body. Connecting the cardiograph I discreetly ran my fingers through the fingerprint…

I have seen similar keys on my island. I remember one we had found in the abandoned tower opposite my paternal home. Where do I have it…

I think I will start collecting keys…

Excerpt two:

Today I asked Ms. Angeliki if she still has the key of her house in Smyrna. At first she was surprised by my question. She stared at me. No, I do not remember, she said; such were the situations that I do not remember. I remember we only had one key. I remember it because it was big, bigger than my palm. My father sometimes let me hold it. But we did not use to take it with us. We left them under a brick that we had between the two large jasmines in our yard. Maybe our mother left it there that night when we left hurriedly. Our father was in the army … she may have left it for him to find when he came back… I do not know … I do not remember … She said this and then her gaze disappeared, she sank…

I did not speak anymore; I stayed with her for a while, greeted her and left…

ecofest 2021

remains of a funeral

(glass urn and plastic chops. Dimensions: 45cm x 25cm x 25 cm)

… we  therefore  commit  this  product  to the ground;  plastic to plastic;   in sure, but not in hope  of  eternal  life…. (…έτσι  όλοι  μαζί  αποδίδουμε   αυτό το προϊόν στη γη·   πλαστικό σε πλαστικό· ελπίζοντας ότι δεν θα διατηρηθεί για πάντα….)

Παραφράζοντας μια ρήση από το της Αγγλικανικής Εκκλησίας: “ …we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life…”

platform project 2021

in memory

(glass urn and ties)

techne/threads of freedom

breaking the fence

(wood, textile, clay, metal. dimensions: 80 cm x 80 cm x 25 cm)

Copelouzos project 2021


( surviving manual in eleven languages)