Thessalonica. Salonica. These alternate names for present-day Thessaloniki speak to the Aegean port’s ancient status as an international city. While it endures as such, the built environment has withstood improvised forms of development indicative of other issues facing Greek society.
The uncontrolled modernization of an age-old city is the frame of reference for LA-based George Kontos’ video essay Decumanus. Inspired from Aldo Rossi’s L’Architettura della citta, video work revisits how in recent times recoding the minimum standards for building has quickly rewritten history and disappeared many of Thessaloniki’s urban artifacts. Traveling through its dense skyline, viewing its localisms, sedentary culture and circulating in central districts, we arrive finally along the ancient road of Via Egnatia, a Roman-era trade route connecting the provinces between the Adriatic and Black Seas. Decumanus looks dispassionately at changing expressions of Mediterranean urbanism in Thessaloniki.
Production Stills, 2014