Agathophron, the Collector’s Atlas
An experiential installation

1840: A collection of 3,696 rare books are carefully stored into wooden boxes to be mailed to the Peloponnese, leaving their permanent home at the attic of Rue Castillon 12, in Paris. The private collection belongs to archaeologist Agathophron Nikolopoulos: his life's work. Following the foundation of the modern Greek state, Nikolopoulos decides to donate his collection to his father's birthplace, Andritsaina. However, Nikolopoulos is injured at some point during the packing process and succumbs to tetanus, all alone, in Paris. The orphaned books make the voyage to Greece on their own.
1931: Almost half a century later, another devoted book collector, Walter Benjamin, while unpacking his library, writes down: 'Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories'; thoughts that Agathophron himself might have formulated had he lived to unpack his collection.
Employing these two stories, the creative platform werkraum brings together professionals based in Athens and Zurich, active in theatre, architecture, and books, attempting an experiential installation on the hidden treasures of knowledge and their endless journey through time.
Developed in situ for Benaki Museum, this installation unveiles a library, both in its actual and in its narrative dimensions, highlighting it as an atlas of memory travelling all around us. The books bear witness to this journey, connecting the urban reality of life in Athens with the actual exhibition in Andritsaina, a veritable treasure trove hidden in the mountains of the Peloponnese.
Throughout the exhibition period, both the visual and the sonic atlas will be continuously updated and remain an in-progress project, supervised by Daphne Kokkini and Kornilios Selamsis respectively.

Free admission

Opening days & hours: Thursday & Sunday: 10:00-18:00, Friday & Saturday: 10:00-22:00

The sonic atlas of the library - the various sounds singalling that the library is 'awake' - will be active on the following dates and hours:

Friday 19:00-22:00
Saturday 11-14:30 and 19:00-22:00
Sunday 11:00-14:00

Part of Athens - UNESCO World Book Capital 2018. Supported by Athens Culture Net, founding donor: Stavros Niarchos Foundation