Tradition anew!
Biennale of Western Balkans, Ioannina, Greece

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Travelling Talismans – Ilias Toliadis (Journal)

Α journal that is being ‘crafted’ during the making of the stools, in order to refer to the methodology and the meaning of the stool creation…

Day one Oct 6th,

Meeting the morning light in the alleys of the old market it was like entering in the territory of an altered time, reassuring you that you are going to meet people or ghosts of other times. The process of meeting the wood to make stools starts with this need of this entrance. But is for the sake of the present time, of what we do now. As the professor of aesthetics and philosophy and writer Brunella Antomarini observes “the forgotten past leaves traces that remain undetected, until some time in our present space – or ‘spatial time’ we awaken to the call of re-enacted event, or found object, or memory” (Ludovisi, 218). It is exactly there that the stool making starts, when you are awake to see these traces and recognize the shape of a stool in the abandon wood, then you are obliged to make it . At this point it starts the need of tools and temporary space to build them, so better prepare yourself because there it starts the practice of the artisan, simple, honest and transparent that will expose the inner world and will ask the human presence. Each stool takes to build half hour and while you are building you talk with them you sing songs and allow other memories to obtain presence, memories that you will need in order to touch the tracing paper later. Today with collaboration, flexibility and awareness we achieved these all; in that sense it was a process of participation, therefore a social one, and happily fine new stools five new voices are awaken.

Giacchetti Ludovisi, Stefano . Nostalgia for a redeemed future: critical theory. Rome: John Cabot University Press, 2009. Print.


Day two, 7 Oct.

There is a very crucial point that you have to reach in the process of making stools that verifies that you are in the right pathway and guaranties the continuation of the process itself. A point that you moved ahead and there is no way back; the point of no return. Today it has been achieved this. You realize it while you are sitting and making them because you do not want to leave, you feel responsible about them, the tools are neatly arranged around you,
you know where the glue or the hammer are without looking for them. And you obtain a pace and they obtain entity and despite their roughness as objects are showing an inviting character allowing approachability. It is also a point that you feel good as artisan. As the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben (11) observes:

“the humble activity of the “τεχνίτης”, who, by opening for man the space of work, built the places and objects in which tradition accomplished its incessant process of welding past to present”.

These stool making process have this characteristic of artisanal functionality; they do not claim the value of an artistic object and they are messengers of clear messages that go straight to your memories. Sometimes, although this might sounds an exaggeration to say, they look like children, or better they take you back to the childhood when you liked to hear stories and next to you was sitting on similar stools your grandmother and she was telling to you a story in a way that only a older person can say to a child, a story of fantasy, of dreaming with honesty. Back in the stool making practice suddenly you feel you have to stop after a hard working day, as when you work in the fields, but with that taste of satisfaction in your mouth. That means you are in the right pathway; but who knows where it will take you though?

Agamben, Giorgio. "The Melancholy Angel” In The Man Without Content. Stanford:
Stanford University Press, 1999. Print.