Maria Papadimitriou’s project A Way to Grow took place in the outdoor courtyard of the Greek pavilion at the 12th Architecture Biennale in Venice. This event was part of the overall explorations of the Ark group whose research projects included concepts such as “territoriality,” metabolism, hedonism, networking, conutrition and “companionship,” as well as tracing new options for re-inhabiting the countryside in an era of universal diffusion of urban cultures.
Papadimitriou’s work showed a perfectly clear method of approaching the topological dimensions of the metabolic process. This was a succession: to eat, to spit, to plant and to grow as a topological diagram in which the cycle of the four “actions” completes the biotic relationship of the human body with the earth. With the spitting of the seed and the growth of the plant, the body coalesces into with the ground through the action of one (body) becoming part of the other (ground). In this way, physical metabolism is not understood as constituting an independent, self-referential process in which the body is the object, but rather comprises part of the earth’s metabolic process.
Papadimitriou traveled by gondola through the canals of Venice carrying food and seeds. With her team she distributed the seeds, transforming the opening of the exhibition into an action event. Guests followed the fourfold exhortation To Eat, to Spit, to Plant, to Grow and with the help of wine transformed this temporary community into a collective subject of the earth’s metabolism.
text by Phoebe Giannisi, Zissis Kotionis