Salamis is a Greek ruin city on the eastern coast of Cyprus. People come from all over the world to see the stone columns and brick walls of antiquity, preserved, petrified, and frozen in time. They come to witness that which was and will never be again; a prototype of the passage of time. For some, the contemplation of this passage is a marvelous mental recreation of the past; conjured images of Greek philosophs and Mediterranean Sea traders walking stone streets, the sound of bronze and ceramic clamoring in carts. For this visitor, the site of a historic ruin is like a virtual cultural tour, where the old is not simply old; it’s meaningful, evocative, and reminiscent. Reinterpreting contemplation is less about changing exactly what or how someone contemplates a historic object. It’s more about creating something that gives reason to pause, to question, to tilt one’s head to the side out of curiosity and ask why; it’s not to shock.
This project wraps the gymnasium at Salamis within a dense canopy of flowing, metal wires welded together to create a three-dimensional man-made web. It takes inspiration from cob webs found in nature, a back yard, maybe even an attic, not only for a web’s geometric interest, but also for the symbolic value cob webs possess culturally. In one moment the web intends to penetrate the petrified scene, dragging the frozen time of the past up to the dynamic time of the present in a material contrast of stone primitives and metallic meshes. In another, however, it pushes perception of history; how can such a historic object be encrusted by something so new, something that, although new, is evocative of something that usually forms in places time (but not nature) has forgot?