The exhibition "city.reality.show" was conceptualized, designed and organized by the Vakalo College of Art and Design in September 15-29, 2009, after an invitation by the then Mayor of the City of Athens, Mr. Nikitas Kaklamanis. It aimed to present the ideas, arguments and questions of new creators about the phenomenon of megalopolis, considered as the space in which socio-political and economic functions are realized, and personal life and interpersonal relationships are taking place.
The main concept, summarized in the title "city.reality.show", consisted of three basic approaches:
1) urban space as reality, experienced in a daily basis by the city's inhabitants,
2) megalopolis as phantasmagoria, (re)produced by cultural industry, tourist politics and "beautification" works,
3) contemporary Athens as a big "reality show", in which the limits between reality and spectacle are blurred and frequently abolished, letting thus problems, frustrations, fantasy, dreams and desires appear.
The exhibition's thematic areas included the aesthetics, historicity and representation of the city, the experience of urban wandering, forms of pollution (physical, visual and auditory), urban order and classness, surveillance and control, the contribution of immigration to the city's function and aesthetics, artistic and architectural propositions of alternative uses of urban environment and its elements, etc.
The exhibited works belonged to a great variety of forms of expression and application, such as artistic representation, photography, architectural drawings and models, collage, assemblage and three-dimensional constructions, textual and printed material, public actions, happenings, etc.
Despite the fact that the main part of the exhibition consisted of works that were produced in the context of Vakalo College's educational programme, the exhibition "city.reality.show" did not aim to be a student show nor a specialised presentation of artistic works or architectural studies. It mostly attempted to offer to the spectator a total "experience" of urban space, constructed by the use of the ideas, questions and fantasy of new creators, just a little before they would be called –as professionals– to compose the urban landscape and environment of the next decades.
Opening: 15 September 2009
“Technopolis” City of Athens
Curators: Manolis Iliakis, Iordanis Psomas, George Vlachos
Exhibition Design-Architectural Design: Manolis Iliakis