My decision to write about this spot came from stumbling upon this oddly beautiful sight while exploring Patision St. I thought this decrepit old building next to an equally decrepit Coca Cola ad summed up the visual identity of the center of Athens quite nicely. Old ad murals like this one are slowly disappearing, but finding one (e.g. the one I’ve also written about in my IWATSU Japan article) always gives me a twitchy shutter finger. The slogan under the ad reading δίψα για ζωή (dípsa gia zoí – thirst for life) just makes this portrait of modern urban decay all the more compelling.
Those of you with a keener eye for details might notice another ad (about a furniture shop, by the way) hidden beneath – or is that laid over? – the one about Coca Cola. The past and the even deeper past get entangled, just like they eventually do in our collective memory, until no-one knows, or cares, what came first.
Talking about collective memory: the apartment building on the left, with its two floors, eight apartments and more than a century of life clocked in already, is apparently Athens’ oldest apartment building still inhabited today! You can check out more pre-war apartment buildings on Patision street here.