Friday morning, February 14, we entered the space to begin the staging.
We have already changed the positioning of some parts.

We started immediately to assemble the information part and to make the columns that were a question mark as we were proving for the first time their real tightness.
If I think back to that moment I still perceive my concern in the success of the installation. Not because I didn’t have confidence in ourselves but because it was a long process and if something had gone wrong we wouldn’t have had the time to make others.

After assembling the mould we started mixing our coffee and ceramic material with water in the large buckets.
In a short time we found a way to proceed at a good pace by putting in 4 to prepare the material with the right amount of water by mixing with two drills and meanwhile another person took care of putting the material gradually inside and pressed it to make it uniform.

the mold initially had clamp stripes
Esmond pressing the material in the mold

When we finished the first column there was the big problem of how to transfer it to the column but with a bit of ideas all together we found a solution where at least 6 people worked together.
When finally the column was on the first pedestal I remember the explosion inside me and I believe also in many others present of satisfaction and happiness. It had worked!
We continued without stopping for the next two columns until we had to stop to understand how to finally position the columns and the surrounding space.

the happiness of the first column

We decided to use the last part of the coffee we had left to create an island between the columns. This island took the shape of South America, because of what I saw inside it, but actually I know that other people saw other meanings in it. The shape was actually decided as a solution to occupy the space in a harmonious way.
The more the installation took shape, the more tired we were, the more satisfied we were.

setting up the coffee island

In the middle of the preparation I decided to make a test for coffee tasting, and for a coffee that was urgently needed at that time.
The first attempt failed miserably but, fortunately, between my photos and Alina’s recording we managed to get the correct amount of coffee that Thomas had indicated to us. Ole!
A very good coffee, after a tasteless one.
Once again we saw the importance of correctly storing the information and having it at hand, the memory sometimes fails to store every detail with the passage of time.

15th February, h. 10:00

So the first day arrived, it started fast, right away a lot of people.
Start rehearsing the speech to explain the installation, speech that probably everyone explained by giving different references and comparisons.
It would have been interesting to record the first explanation made to the first person and the last one made on Sunday. During the two days, people participated and gave a lot of ideas to think about, with the passing of people changed the way I explained the project because it always enriched them with new details, some suggested by people and others noticed by me.

During the event a figure was created among us that took on a symbolic meaning for the public and also for us.
Since we were constantly falling coffee on the floor for the exploded bricks or for the children walking on the island in the middle, one or two of us were always ready to sweep away the fallen material. This sweeping away immediately was questioned as part of the installation. My interpretation was like eliminating the visible traces of system erosion and an imminent collapse of the system.

The day was positive, the columns were still all upright, a great turnout of people, the satisfaction of seeing so many people interact and appreciate the work we did.
Yes, it was really satisfying to see how people understood the message we wanted to send. Of course, there were also those who were more critical or not interested, but most people were open to dialogue and, for me, it was the first time I was able to show something to such a wide audience who were also interested in having an exchange of ideas.
The children during both days played a fundamental role, both good and bad, it was really nice to see them interact with the sculptures and get passionate about the process.

During the first day we made a timelapse of the space and the next day we decided to add a screen to show the process of the first day of column erosion and give a more complete view to the people passing by.

end of the first day
refreshing the sculpture

the process of making bricks

The information part was the first one you saw when you entered space. There was all information attached to the sheets and a screen with videos.
Many people stopped to see and read. it is important to see that what you have done in the previous months is of real interest to people. I know this is what happens in a museum, people who are interested in getting to know something new or are open to feeling emotions watching a work, but I had never had this chance before.

the collapse of the column

One of the most beautiful stories that was told to me by one of the people who passed by was that the visitor, after making the bricks and listening to the explanation, gave up his coffee earned from his work precisely because he was more aware of his coffee consumption and that therefore at that moment there was no need to drink it for him.

the card with the stamps for the coffee

The part of feedbacks and stories has been used quite a lot.
People’s stories about coffee and the exhibition were left behind. Light thoughts and deeper reflections, all done on coloured posts, created an angle of expressive freedom.

Dismantling the installation happened so fast that we finished already on Sunday evening, so that the next day we only had to spend the next day loading things into the van.
A great satisfaction to have worked with such harmony all together and to have received positive feedbacks from visitors and staff.

This is a video of the event that we made one week later to submit the project to the Instanbul Biennale.