Eriphyli Veneri (*1983 Athens) studied Painting at the Fine Arts School of Athens (2002-2007) and continued with master studies at the “Public Art and New Artistic Strategies” program at the Bauhaus University Weimar in Germany (2008-2010) with the support of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. She also realized second master studies at the “Art in Context” program of the University of the Arts Berlin in Germany (2011-2013) with the support of the Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation. Since 2014 she is a doctorate student at the Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly in Greece.
The research thesis under the title "Greek restaurants in Berlin: Culture and interculturalism, fiction and everyday life" concerns the documentation and interpretation of everyday practices of the Greek community in Berlin, Germany, and its history. Combining numerous voices from different disciplines such as Architecture, Visual Arts, and Social Studies, this research will specifically focus on the spaces of Greek restaurants in Berlin; spaces of great anthropological and aesthetic interest. The analysis will place special emphasis –besides the structure of the spaces and the influence of the human factor in them- on the objects/artifacts with which these spaces are enhanced with stereotypical decoration. The specific subject of research will thus provide the relationship between these three basic coordinates: first, the functional/ structural characteristics of the restaurant, second, the human action, or otherwise the behavioral grid in this area, and third, the stage-designing features, or otherwise, the decoration and its impact on the way in which the subject perceives, understands and interprets the space.
Sciences such as Anthropology or Cultural Geography have intensively dealt with studies of leisure spaces, or of consumption and leisure, as well as everyday aspects of social reality, such as eating. Also in the fields of Sociology, Social Geography and Political Science one encounters numerous examples of extensive studies about the economic and cultural influence of Greek immigrants abroad. It is true that in recent years Architecture and the Visual Arts are increasingly linked with issues relating to public -and hence semi-public- space and dialogue. Considering therefore the issue of Greek restaurants through an essentially architectural/ artistic vision will add a further perspective to the wider research related to the analysis and understanding of semi-public timespaces of consumption. Generally restaurants, and in this case the Greek restaurants in Berlin, are on one hand organized spatially operating systems, but are also on the other a predominantly cultural theme with particular semantics. This creates multiple readings around them, which are associated either with the realistic elements, like their socio-historic identification and development, their social subjects and components (owner, staff and visitors/customers), their typology and their decoration, or by conceptual/ semantic elements, like their distinctive aesthetic, that is, their elements of culture, their viewing symbols, their providing of an experience.
In summary, the purpose of the thesis is a comprehensive interdisciplinary and interdepartmental analysis and presentation of the matter, with the ultimate goal the designing and producing of a series of new methodological tools for reading and interpretation of all possible ways in which the phenomenon of Greek Restaurants in Berlin draws meanings from its cultural context and creates meaning for its cultural context. In parallel with the theoretical work of the thesis, the fieldwork, or else the primary field research in Berlin, will be supported by video- and sound recordings of the restaurant spaces, as well as semi-structured interviews of subjects related to them (personal stories/portraits). Comments, stills and excerpts of interviews will be listed in the thesis in a specific annex.