Claudio Gobbi

BEY HAMAM (2009)

In June 2009 I was invited to produce a specific work about the city of Thessaloniki within the frame of the International Artists Workshop of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale for Contemporary Art. After few days of wandering and enjoying the loud vitality of the city I decided to focus my attention on a charming silent place, the Bay Hamam, also know as the Paradise Bath, an ottoman building of the XV Century partially abandoned and converted into an exhibition space for the Biennale itself.

In the series of images devoted to the Paradise Bath, as with my earlier projects, my main photographic interest lies in the possibility to identify a pervasive cultural trace in a specific territory. The architecture and experience of the hamam, normally a feature of everyday life, but here stripped of its original function, becomes an open question in space and time, a fleeting border between two cultures, hidden within the raw and vital contemporary life of the city. *

* From the exhibition catalogue: Same Place Different Times. 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece.