Krini’s tales is an audiovisual installation on water scarcity. It was particularly created for the project ‘Water Springing from the Centuries’, in collaboration with DISSCO in response to the European Innovation Technology (ΕΙΤ) cross Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) call to find innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe.
Its name incorporates the Greek word "κρήνη" (Krini), which means "well", “spring” or "fountain," embodying its symbolic and metaphorical representation to the themes of water scarcity and our long-standing tradition of public and community fountains that covered the daily water needs of every household from ancient times to our modern history. Community fountains, wells and springs were a public space, a place of meeting and social gatherings. At the same time they were a place of toil, but also places of rest, sightseeing and meeting, a purpose they still serve today in the various villages of Greece for the travellers.
We created an easy to assemble structural base/frame from aluminium square tubes. The choice of material was selected because of its technical characteristics (small weight, corrosion resistance) but also because of its high reflectivity, pure nature and elemental connection to water as an abundant, fluid and sustainable material.
The aluminium frame holds a wooden or metal box similar to a fountain’s basin or trough. Τhis box has special pockets for printed communication material, an adjustable-tilting stand for a tablet and a speaker enclosure that connects to the tablet via bluetooth. By using the tablet, the audience can browse through the visual material created by DISSCO; videos and podcasts with narrative real stories about failure, effort and occasional success on water management and scarcity. These are stories that have been told for thousands of years as a product of our Oral History, so the language of the stories is symbolic with extensive use of metaphors. These do not include stories that refer to and analyse water in a literal way, instead, they speak to the audience with images of rivers, wells and other sources of water, images that spring from myths, traditions and riddles with power and imagination.
The translucent tanks filled with water placed on the base of the frame are used in a similar way. They bring emphasis and weight to the installation, both literally (for safety in case the installation is placed outdoors), and metaphorically as they create a dialogue with the stories, while at the same time incorporating the symbolic and metaphorical representation of water as a physical element. An action that evokes an intriguing sense and reflection of the work's essence.
In traditional greek krines - fountains, the “ξινάρια” - xinaria, are the marble decorations, at the point where the water gushes out, with themes drawn from religious and mythological traditions or with motifs of flowers, fruits, birds, fish, etc. We similarly used a transparent inscription with a modern graphic element and engravings that relate to the specific project.
Finally, a dim light source spreads out into the surrounding environment of the installation through the inscription and the water tanks. Just as the candelabra and candles marked the way to the fountains, here the light that diffuses through the water and the decorative engravings invites the public to interact with the installation, but also to an in-depth exploration of the importance that water plays in our lives as a common good.
You can find more information on the project “water springing from the centuries”, as well as the podcast episodes here: https://water-scarcity.gr/el/#stay-tuned