Juan Sandoval (first one from the left) with shipbuilders from Eleusis, photo credit: Constantinos Theodorou, Eleusis 2021
The “Eleusis Terracotta Army” is a large-scale portrait of contemporary Eleusis and the broader area of the Thriasian Plain, which derives from the mixing of two local “materials”: clay from the Thriasian Plain, and the local workers themselves.
The project conception and initiation belong to the Colombian artist Juan Sandoval, who lives and works in Italy, is a close associate of Cittadellarte and works regularly with projects of a social nature.
At a time when China is making huge investments in the ports of Attica and the Thriasian Plain area, we are creating an artwork with clear references to the monumental Chinese Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang, which represents the historical and cultural heritage of China.
Each of the figures is a faithful portrait of one of the soldiers who composed the army of the emperor.
Sandoval supports that the cultural value in current industrial city lies in employment.
The aim of the project is the creation of a temporary monument for the people working in Eleusis.
Juan Sandoval will create a clay helmet for each of the workers, which will bear the worker’s personal data (his name, the names of his beloved ones, his favourite sports team, his favourite artist, his favourite work or his favourite symbol).
Helmets will be created and baked during special events with the participation of associations, unions, schools and the area’s labour force.
We intent to create between 7000-10000 helmets, corresponding to the number of workers in the area, thus building a huge portrait of the area’s labour force; a portrait of the people who produce contemporary development of Greece.
In 2021, all helmets will be displayed in a single exhibition.
After the exhibition, the helmets will be given to their owners.
In this way every home in the area will own a piece of the mosaic of the “Terracota Army of Eleusis “
Juan Esteban Sandoval (1972), artist and Director of the Art Office at Cittadellarte.
He has exhibited internationally since 1994.
He is the co-founder of “el puente_lab” art collective in Medellín – a platform for artistic and cultural production, which uses contemporary art as a tool for the social development of local communities.
Since 2002 he is the director of the Art Office at Cittadellarte coordinating the implementation of 13 editions of “Arte al Centro” exhibitions on the premises of the foundation and several exhibitions in other locations such as MuKHA in Antwerp, San Servolo Island for the 50th Venice Biennale, Modena Civica Gallery, the MAXXI Museum in Rome, among others.
He co-organized the Cittadellarte exhibition sharing transformation at Kunsthaus in Graz, the first two editions of the “Methods-research project on art-society” seminar and two workshops for a joint interdisciplinary study in Venice and Gorizia, Italy