Traces of commerce is an urban initiative for the activation of the Gallery of Merchants and its empty shops, a space in the center of Athens that during the last years remains inactive. The goal of this initiative is the formation of these spaces according to the contemporary needs of the area and its users in order to be connected again with the viable urban network of the city.
12 interventions from multidisciplinary teams of Athens. Young practitioners from the creative industries, artists, architects, creative networks, multidisciplinary work-groups and informal collectives are collaborating to revive, experiment and curate one of the empty spaces at the Gallery of Merchants. The gallery of Merchants, which constitutes a sign of the small scale commerce extinction and craftsmanship and the public administration’s decline, leaves behind the traces of an old social structure and a city that tends to fade. This extraordinary exhibition is realized in the context of the operational program of the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency «Project Athens» of the city of Athens. The goal of the program is to project misused spaces of the city center offering at the same time space for experimentation to young creative practitioners and multidisciplinary collectives to question and provoke the future of the migrating industries and the disappearance of the old trade and craftsmanship.
12 teams were chosen after an open call for experimentation on the materials and the activities of commerce in the city center and translate them through participatory processes and tools in order to build an interactive proposal for a new space. The teams were asked to propose a participatory methodology of an open workshop, through which they will investigate and experiment with the materials and the activities of commerce in the city center that disappear. This process will result in the construction of an installation mixed media, which will be exposed in the space. Practically, the design concept of each team is the reason for the open workshops to occur, through which this concept will be evolved, materialized and finally presented at the exhibition that will take place.
On the 9th of May the open workshops start and on the 5th of June the spaces will be ready for the opening of the exhibition!