My last show took place at Yeni Camii a former mosque, which in the past used to be shared by both Muslims and Jews at the same time. This unusual combination gives the place its uniqueness and made it attractive to create a show in. Everything in the mosque follows the laws symmetry, which made me decide to respect its structure instead of working against it. There are always those two possibilities – either work with a strong given space or try to challenge it by working against it. This mosque stopped its religious activity approximately 100 years ago and became the first archeological museum of Thessaloniki. Nowadays it is used as a contemporary art space.
Displaying faces in a mosque is not something you can do under normal circumstances. Since it was a mosque used by Jews and Muslims I enjoyed the idea of adding some Buddhist monks, especially considering the time we live in, where religious wars begin to happen again. I found it appropriate to add another religious cult to the buildings interesting history.
Creating an exhibition in places like this can be tricky since they have a very strong presence already. But using this presence in the right way the showcased pieces can be put even in a better light. A floor with a strong pattern like the one that can be found at Yeni Camii demands a work which is powerful enough to stand along to the tile pattern. Considering the placement I chose the mortar to be put exactly in the middle of the mosque corresponding to a circle from the ceiling.
Post by Wolfgang Stiller, wolfgangstiller.com