Temporary Website

March 2018
Venice—Italy & Athens—Greece

Sometimes Archaeology Dreams of Itself is a syncretic collection of texts and images, conceived by Nicola Baratto and Yiannis Mouravas in collaboration with a crew of artists invited to reflect on the subject of their research. It includes an imaginative panorama of recollections sparked by the quest for a Byzantine pillar lost in the waters of Venezia. Through archaeo(day)dreaming the research stems out towards manifold non-euclidean directions. Moreover, it aims to artistically probe the matter of archaeological legislation and of history; identification processes constructed through monumental symbolism becoming the embodiment of a myth or a national narrative; and finally, perception of time conjuncted to memory and imagination, that hopefully will lead to an elimination of temporal distances.

The artist duo initiated this publication, as a work done for the visual and contextual research that expands the symbolic significance of their exhibition Sometimes Archaeology Dreams of Itself, held at HotWheels Project, in Athens, from April 12th till May 3rd 2018.

This publication would have not been so great, without the precious help of Viktoras Gogas, Theofanis Dalezios and Dolce Publications, Hugo Wheeler, Minke Havelaar and Giorgos Ploumidis of Istituto Ellenico di Studi Bizantini e Post-Bizantini di Venezia,  while appreciating to the maximum the condensed material of all the edition’s contributors; Benni Bosetto, Alessandro Cripsta, Egidio Cutillo, Anna Laederach, Tom Kemp, Federica Menin, Laura Lovatel, Thalia Raftopoulou, Grigoris-Aris-Rigas Stasinopoulos, Maria Tzanakou, Alberto Valz Gris, Giovanni & Gregorio Nordio, Chantal Nassef and Aaron Mclaughlin.

Text from the Publication Credits

HotWheels Projects
April 2018   

In 1172 the third column of Venice arrived in San Marco Square from the East. The column is thought to be 16 meters in height and 70 tones in weight. During its passage to the present day, the column was inexplicably misplaced; drowned within the depths of the Adriatic Sea, the monument’s factuality has been drifting from accurate history since.

Initially following the school of archaeologists and researchers, whose aims are to localise this sunken Byzantine artefact, Nicola Baratto (b.1989) and Yiannis Mouravas (b.1986) continued this research on a residency they undertook at Istituto Ellenico di Studi Bizantini e Post-Bizantini di Venezia, and then eventually arriving in Athens through a pilgrimage from the Oracle of Delphi. By wandering, digging and recollecting memories they have developed the practice of archaeodreaming.

Sometimes Archaeology Dreams of Itself employs archaeodreaming to discuss the legend of the third lost column of San Marco and its fellow monuments of Mediterranean antiquity. It also proposes experiential strategies to face the time we live in: as an agency to disentangle from immaterial capitalism and imposing national narratives. This aims to create a metaphysical space to spark collective imagination. When archaeology is a manifestation of ‘complex time’- it is as much about the present as it is about the past and future, it observes the residual marks left behind by forgotten histories, and it allows us to understand our anthropological behaviour in accordance with its topography.

Delving into the depths of history, an archaeological constellation of memories is unearthed, a platform for dreaming is ignited, and a stage for imagination through sleep is framed. These fragmented fantasies are used to fuel and imagine future relics and foster myth making.

Text from Exhibition Press Release

June 2017    

‘Embarking on the Impossible’ employs the legend of the third lost column of San Marco as a metaphor for seeing and seeking the projections of the collective imaginary.

As an artistic endeavour blending with an archeological enterprise the ‘Impossible’ aims to discuss – among others– the objectives of the scientific drive. Being aware that ambitious findings might reveal as untruth, the ‘Impossible’ states that the vision quest is the only experiential condition to be considered as ‘real’.

Text from Project Proposal