Fernando Garcia-Dory: Department of Islands

Aegean Chapter

This long-term intervention project by Fernando Garcia-Dory focuses on Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean islands as semi-enclosed ecosystems that stage the classic neo-liberal drama in which local economies succumb to the promissory spectacle of worldly paradise. It ranges from promoting an Elemental Crafts School in Mallorca to the reconstruction of Dream-Farm system in Fidji. 

The Department proposes in this occasion based in an on-going collaboration with A Whale’s architects that some distant Greek islands could be taken not only as periphery of the periphery or potential objects for sale, but also as sites for a revived utopianism based in local heritage with its mix of modernist architecture, agriculture, crafts and seasonal rites. 

The project links the Aegean Sea islands current research stage to Athens through different elements including an installation and public talk.

Fernando García-Dory drawing on his studies of art, sociology, and agroecology, rethinks the role of the artist as cultural producer, addressing the intersection of culture and nature within interrelated contexts: landscape, the rural, identity, crisis and utopia. He uses representational forms including drawing, expanded sculpture, and models towards social self-organisation

Team/ Research:

A Whale’s architects is an office based in Athens and Brussels doing research, objects and edifices. Their activity is based on the standpoint that design is a manufacturing process that transforms raw materials and creates employment. Thus, they support craftsmanship and freelance labor in the making of things. Their present research, described as design realism, focuses on the social and cultural practices behind the making and the habitual use of objects and space, taking Islands as the case study. 

Valentina Karga is an artist and architect, currently fellow at the University of the Arts Berlin (UdK), Graduate school (Graduiertenschule). Her work addresses issues such as autonomy, the DIY, the commons and the role of participation and collaboration in the contemporary society and the arts. She is founder of the ‘Summer school for Applied Autonomy’ in Berlin.



For courtesy of images and films, discussions, sharing generously material with us, research, advices, assistance and early mornings in the farm.

Pantelis Voulgaris, Athens / Elsa Kiourtsoglou, Paris / Ermis publications, Athens / Ben Koulentianos , Paris ans Skyros / Anastasia Faltaits, Athens and Skyros / Charalambos Vlachos, Athens / Iňigo García, Madrid / Kostis Velonis, Athens / Phoebe Giannisi, Volos / Nadia Charmani and Soulis Charmanis, Athens / Kosmas Nikolaou & 3137, Athens / Maria Sereti, Athens / ERTOPEN.GR / Rodopi Trachana, Skyros / Giorgos Zacharias, Skyros / Anthi Tzakou

Department of Islands was shown at the Dissolving Frontiers exhibition at HIAP Gallery Augusta on 2014.