Talmon Biran
HANG ON, old ruin Kampos tis Koris between Ozias and Mongonissi

Hang on
(Phrasal verb)
1. to wait or remain
2. to keep holding on to something
3. to continue, to go on doing, to preserve
4. to cling, grasp, or hold
5. to depend, to lean on, be supported by, to be a burden

The ruin of Kampos tis Koris, as many of the old houses in Paxos, stand roofless andstripped of its interior fittings. Its empty shell is a time capsule, telling the history ofthe island no less than it tells about its present. It is a memoir of family history, longtime ownerships, traditional construction methods and skills which are losing theirplace to progress, real estate investments, modern materials, building techniques andmachinery.

“Hang On” wonders on the tension between the two allegedly conflicting forces ofpreservation and progress. It is comprised of a series of installations within the spaceof the ruin, which make use of rope and the remains of the original structure found onsite such as stones, wooden beams and furniture. The installations explore states ofbalance between opposing forces: lifted elements and weights, movement vs. stability,in and out. Positioning these forces in dichotomy demonstrates their definition inrelation to the other and raises a question on the possibility of equilibrium: What willstand and what will fall? What should remain and what should change? Which of theopposing forces will prevail?

The construction process of the installation itself employed actions and techniques ofarcheological excavations, site surveys and architectural preservations: site clearing,reconstruction and repairs, piling, sorting and marking of the objects and buildingparts found on site.

A. Holding. Still.
Old wooden beams were tied with ropes to heavy stones on both edges. Thestones were hung on the external facades, acting as weights to balance thewooden beams up in the air of the interior space. Other stones were connectedto large stones on the ground, suggesting an imaginary grid of columns orfoundations.

B. The mound
The pile of stones, gathered together and piled in a straight line resemblearcheological mounds or ancient rituals for burial or worship.

C. The chair
A frame of an old chair was filled with stones in a traditional dry stone wallconstruction method. In this technique, typical for Paxos, the stones are heldtogether without the use of mortar but by their own weight through carefulselection and positioning of the stones to fit together in shape and heaviness.The chair which is characterized with mobility and lightness is here fixed, heavyand rooted in the ground.

D. Datum level
A series of wooden frames, dry branches and rusty work tools found on site leanin line along the wall. Their differences of shapes and height and the fragilecomposition they create together stand in contrast to the completely straight redline which is marked along them. The line acts as a datum level, often used inconstruction as a reference line for all elements of the building. A line in spaceand time. Its existence depends on the ability of the elements to maintainstanding.

E. The inventory
A pile of stones lies in a recessed niche within the wall. Each stone is tied with arope, recalling preserved food or stock lying on a pantry’s shelf. Each of thestones is numbered and marked with the signature of the family who owns theproperty – the common mean of declaring possession of building in paxos. Isownership an inventory? Is it transferrable?


“Hang on”
installation view

5.000 mt rope and found wood and stones
photos: Katie Rae