13,700,000 km^3

    Maarten Vanden Eynde's work, a sculpture made of plastic debris coming from the five major oceanic gyres, titled "Plastic Reef" is situated in the foreground in the main hall of Art Space Pythagorion. In the background, the hall's large window faces the blue sea, swimmers and the shores of Turkey.

    Maarten Vanden Eynde, Plastic Reef, 2008–12 (installation view)
    Photo: Panos Kokkinias

    03.08 — 30.09.2019
    Art Space Pythagorion, Pythagorion, Samos

    Participating Artists

    Centre For Political Beauty
    Depression Era
    Mark Dion
    Kyriaki Goni
    Newton Harrison
    Panos Kokkinias
    Stefan Kruse
    Rainio & Roberts
    Maarten Vanden Eynde


    Katerina Gregos

    13,700,000 km3
    Text by Katerina Gregos

    The summer exhibition at Art Space Pythagorion takes as its cue the symbolic location of the venue and particularly the view from the main window of the exhibition space onto the Mediterranean Sea. The view of the sea assumes a central position in the architecture of the building as well as the exhibition space. Through the windows, visitors gaze at a vast expanse of deep turquoise waters, reminiscent of holiday brochures. On the beach, holidaymakers sunbathe nonchalantly, while the flight path of numerous charter flights from and to colder climates passes right over their heads, as the airport is a stone’s throw from the picturesque harbour of Pythagorion, reminding us of the ever-increasing phenomenon of mass tourism. An image of stereotypical Greece: sun and sea, and carefree holidays. On the surface, the scene appears idyllic and serene; however, the multiple invisible dynamics at play — geopolitical, environmental, cultural, religious, and economic — tell a different story. Across this “Big Blue” expanse, a host of critical issues are being played out. The sea functions here as a kind of an invisible liquid screen, a buffer between imagination and reality, paradise and dystopia.

    The Mediterranean region was — and still is — an extraordinary melting pot in the history of humanity and civilisation: Numerous wars, conquests, and expeditions have taken place in — or because of — its waters, and it has been the epicentre of commercial, artistic, and cultural exchange between different peoples, shaping the identities of the countries around its shores, and beyond. In antiquity, it was a centre for knowledge production — the so-called “cradle of civilisation,” home to the seven wonders of the ancient world1 and the birthplace of Christianity and Judaism. It boasts some of the world’s most historic and celebrated cities: Athens, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Cairo, Rome, Florence, Venice. The Mediterranean Sea itself (the “middle sea” or “Mare Nostrum,” as it has been called) is surrounded by 21 modern states and connects three continents, forming an essential part of their economies. It exists as a shared resource, a space of coexistence between these countries, the one place where they are asked to find a “common ground.” The most prominent historian of the Mediterranean, Fernand Braudel went further, defining the space as the “Great Mediterranean,”2 which extends to include Transalpine Western and Northern Europe, the Mashriq and North Africa, right down to the Sahel zone. This is due to the fact that trade, goods, and people were, and still are, on the move on these transcontinental routes, in this wider “Euro-Afro-Mediterranean area.” The entanglements between Africa, Arabia, and Eurasia are thus age-old as well as ongoing.


    The Great Pyramid at Giza; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; the Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus; the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus; the Colossus of Rhodes; the Lighthouse of Alexandria.


    Fernand Braudel, “The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II” (New York: Harper and Row, 1972/1973).

    • Sunday, August 4

      Film Screening Albatross (2017) by Chris Jordan at Cine Rex

      • Sunday, August 4

        Public Programme

        • Faye TzanetoulakouArt Historian
        • Kostas DamianidisNaval Architect
        • Anastasia MiliouScientific Director of Archipelagos
        • Guido PietroluongoHead of Archipelagos’ Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Research

      Art Curatorial Residency Programme

      The art curatorial residency programme is a Schwarz Foundation initiative aiming to bring together young professionals from different fields of science and art. Participants acquire professional experience by actively working together with internationally acclaimed art curators. In the inspiring ambiance of a historic and cultural area of high geographic importance, residents work at a freshhold between West and East. Residents meet, interact and develop ideas and references to an extensive community. The residents actively participate in the curating and production of the Art Space Pythagorion exhibition under the curator’s guidance. The production of complementary side-events, such as opening activities, lectures, workshops, educational programmes for children and screenings also fall in their line of work.

        • Adriënne van der Werfresident curator
        • Christina Botsouresident curator
        • Georgia Liapiresident curator
        • Myrto Kakararesident curator

      Education Programme

      Culture education is one of the main goals of the Schwarz Foundation. Each exhibition presents a specially designed education programme. In the context of the exhibition 13,700,000 km3, the education programme titled “Water Calculation” will take place at Art Space Pythagorion. The programme is aimed at high school and lyceum students as well as primary and secondary school teachers. It will take place at the beginning of the school year alongside seminars for teachers.

      Designed and prepared for the fourth year by Katerina Zacharopoulou, this year’s education programme is based on both the title of the exhibition — a number — and the content of the works which were created following extensive research and analysis of statistical figures that illuminate the urgent issues of the Mediterranean Sea.

      Katerina Zacharopoulou

      Exhibition Partner


      Exhibition Brochure

      • 13,700,000 km^3


      • Concept/Curator: Katerina Gregos, Assistant curator: Ioli Tzanetaki, Partner: Archipelagos Institute for Marine Conservation, Installation & AV: Yorgos Efstathoulidis (Constructivist), Transport: MOVEART, Media Relations: Fotini Barka, Zuma Communications, Graphic Designer (education programme): Zozi Frangou, Assistants: Evangelia Vakiarou (Education Programme), Vasileios Pristouris (Media Relations).


      • Special thanks to: Anastasia Miliou and Dr. Guido Pietroluongo (Archipelagos) | FRAME, Finland (Raija Koli, director).
      • Sphinxes would like to thank: Kostas Damianidis, Petros Sofianos, Yorgos Kiassos, Andreas Karamaroudis, Georgia Papadimitriou, Stelios Markou and Matrona Ktistou.
      • The architectural structure of Depression Era has been made possible due to the generous support of Yorgos Efstathoulidis (Constructivist).
      • The project of Kyriaki Goni, Networks of Trust, is a commission by The New Networked Normal partners (NNN). The New Networked Normal explores art, technology and citizenship in the age of the Internet, a partnership project by Abandon Normal Devices (UK), Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) (ES), The Influencers (ES), Transmediale (DE) and STRP (NL). This project has been co-funded with support from the Creative Europe programme.

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