Maria Papadimitriou, Miltos Manetas and Simona Vergani worked collectively, albeit not in a typical team format, on a project called Special Lighting – an allegory of the town’s industrial past in a disused string and rope factory. Founded in 1908, the “Cannavourgio” was situated on a plateau under the waterfall park beneath the old town. It remained closed since 1967, hidden behind the rampant vegetation which had taken over the building and hidden it from view along with the paved lane that led to it. Access to the site was restored only now for the needs of this project, at the same time reconnecting the building with the town after all these years.
The project used the factory’s machines as pre-existing “cultural forms” on which to place one thousand small white birds that scattered along their surfaces. Lighting was provided by two rows of milky bulbs like those used when the factory was operational. The birds had been made of polyester paste which cured and hardened when placed in the moulds. In addition to the facility and the equipment, the work also incorporated the viewers’ own memories and experiences, since the audience was the former factory workers, their friends and their families. This reversal or shift of function from rope production to the production of ‘meaning’ abolishes the traditional distinction between massproduced goods and a unique and privileged object of art as well as the distinction between individual and collective work, since the artists’ collaboration alludes to the workers’ joint effort.