We were commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens to design the visual identity and all print tools for the project “Park Fables” that takes place between 02-16 May 2018 at Pedion tou Areos — Athens’ biggest public park. The project is part of the fifth edition of Fast Forward Festival, which this year revolves around the relationship between the science of archaeology and contemporary art. “Park Fables” is a project by Russian art collective Chto Delat in collaboration with Ukrainian artist Anton Kats that revisits the park’s multilayered histories and retells them through symbolism, myth and public dialogue.
We felt it was crucial for us to tune into the creative process already underway between the festival and the artists in order to grasp the various aspects of “Park Fables”. And since the project emerges to a great extent from the current state of the park and its people, we decided to conduct our own fieldwork on-site and incorporate our findings into the design process.
For this reason, a busybuilding workgroup visited Pedion tou Areos on 28 March and 13 April 2018 to collect material and document visual elements within the park. We took photos of graffiti, engravings, posters, signage and other texts that could feed our process. We also documented the many monuments, old buildings and objects we came across, many of which were vandalised and written upon. In addition, we collected objects from the park — mostly garbage picked up from under the trees. This way our process applies similar site-specific and site-sensitive methodologiesto those followed by the artists leading the project.
The festival’s research team and the visiting artists embraced our work and ideas with enthusiasm and treated the visual design as an integral part of the project. This is why they invited us to contribute a short text to the project’s catalogue to share our methodology and how it relates to its context.