PROJECT | The Symbolic restoration of the Elements


The ship graveyard in Muynak -the once biggest fishing port on the Aral sea, now a desert town more than a 100 kilometers from water.


The project is structured upon the Chinese scheme of the interaction of the 5 elements of nature (earth, metal, water, wood,

Five indicative locations of environmental destruction -one element per continent- give rise to the setting up of a both material
and virtual, global network.

The "symbolic restoration of the elements" develops in three levels (nature, communities, cities/metropolises).
The proposal consists of architectural interventions functioning as telecentres (or community multimedia centers), as well as
a permanent video art installation created to symbolically reinforce the missing element of each site.

These places disadvantageous in many ways, gain a significant account towards a new spiritual awakening.


→ "Starting point in my thinking was an image that I came across in a pack of Xeroxed paper kept for some years during
my studies in Architecture. The scheme had to do with the interaction of the -according to the Chinese thought- 5 elements
of nature. When the first stimulus began generating some more concrete thoughts, I discovered that the scheme matched
perfectly with my interest in ecology, the element of sacredness and the primitive spirit. Moreover, it gave me the opportunity
to form a conceptual basis of a project that I would be able to structurally elaborate with the use of symbols.

Today, October of 2002 I presume that a first phase of my work has come to an end, even though the project is of course
still open. The "symbolic restoration of the elements" consists of interventions in three levels (nature, communities,
cities/metropolises) and is a combination of architecture, internet, video art and CD-rom/ theory. Five indicative locations of
environmental destruction -one element per continent- give rise to the setting up of a global network. These places
disadvantageous in many ways, with the buildings and the infrastructure like the material equivalent to the network, gain a
significant account towards a new spiritual awakening."    efi amanatidou - october 2002


→ "...My priority was to give emphasis to the social role of art - at least in my way to perceive art. I wanted the artist playing a
role analogous to the one of the shamans in primitive societies. I believe that art is a means through which people get in touch
with the ritual and the sacred elements that were once expressed in the life of past societies, but which are now repressed. To
put it in a different way, I presume that at these times art was more directly integrated into everyday life. Art, as well as the
function of the ritual, had a balancing, intervening and therapeutic function -and this is what I am aiming at.

One of the main issues I want to raise within my project has to do with the conservation of the cultural diversity along with
biodiversity: At the same time as species of flora and fauna are vanishing rapidly, so is happening with human races and
cultures as a result of the dominance of western culture. One of my main objectives is to raise questioning on the issues of
avidity and the lack of respect towards nature and man, a theme characterizing modern societies"    efi amanatidou - may 2003


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