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The installation is inspired by a street in one of the old neighborhoods in Athens associated with my project. 

This old neighborhood is called Psirri, near the base of the Acropolis (other neighborhoods around include Plaka, Thiseo, and Monastiraki). It is a place where many layers of history lay exposed, but not always recognized. The Acropolis is  visible and accessible from here, but other signs of  national and personal history are also part of the landscape for me, including markets that look and are run in the way they have been for  a hundred years, bullet holes still in walls from the terrible civil war begun soon after world war II, and places where my family lived and worked (still standing, though in states of neglect and disrepair). 

I still have relatives in the neighborhood. They are part of a small local Sephardic Jewish community, one that may be disappearing.

It is also a place where tourists, locals of many economic strata, and new immigrants mix and create, side by side. I  find it to be a vibrant place place full of old and new, ideas and stories.


On this one street, there are cloths hanging from a line above, much like colorful lights would on any city street with restaurants and shops. They provide the same decorative element with an added reference to life in the neighborhood, an intimate place for people, not just consumers. 

I was very drawn to it.

As the clothing hangs above peoples heads and perhaps blows a bit in the wind, there will  be images I have collected from the streets of  Psirri and places close by. I am tentatively calling this installation "What we bring", which refers to the connection we  have to these items of fabric that we  pack and wear as a public surface but also as a place where personal memories reside.

Cortland documentation still.jpg


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