The starting point for the proposal was the creation of a stop-motion animation titled ‘Afterpieces’, made in collaboration with Hongqiu Wang. The film is about animation through the dismantling of two obsolete technological objects with complex internal mechanisms, which were found in a vintage market in Thessaloniki. The film-making, motifs and themes of the animation draw influence from the Street of Crocodiles, by the Quay brothers. This influence is extended into the formulation of the proposal Animating Modiano, which is about the reconceptualization of the existing and abandoned Modiano Stoa Market as a place for the exchange of used technological goods.
Through a study of the urban fabric of central Thessaloniki, the unused Stoa (a linear covered walkway or portico) market building of the early-twentieth century was identified as a site of intervention. The Modiano Stoa is a landmark of Thessaloniki, a longitudinal public space that is located adjacent to the central Aristotelous square. The presented proposal juxtaposes the new commercial function with the animators’ housing, a dismantling tower, and a performance/screening space, all of which are formed as elevated structures within the existing building. These overlook the technology market on the ground floor, from which materials for film-making are scavanged. Used technology such as old phones and other devices are brought in and taken out of the market through mechanical lifts. In the dismantling tower, whose function is a direct continuation of the animation process, devices not used in the market are taken apart in preparation for recycling.
The name of the animation is a wordplay around the words “after“ (having dismantled) and “pieces” (parts of the objects) but also refers to the idea of the afterpiece, that was a light act after a dramatic performance in the 19th century. That has to do with the light mood of the film. The removed parts of both objects were gathered and placed on a glass with attached tracing paper, so that their shadows would be captured from a camera placed underneath the opaque surface.