In & Out

While the visitors reach the harbor, they receive the following directive: let them be guided by the traces that the water leaves on the dry soil of the island. The route begins by means of car and leads to the discovery of the final destination. The water moves erratically and simultaneously with the road, indeterminately penetrating the wild soil of Milos, coloring the already multicolored landscape. There are moments where the water meets the movement of the visitor without however actually touching. It is a relationship evolving through time and distance and deliberately delays the encounter between person and the natural element of water. It is a feeling of waiting for the unknown. Approaching to the final objective these entanglements become more intense in frequency and size. Thus the visitors are spontaneously informed for their expected arrival. The landscape is revealed progressively through the rocks and the white cloths that wave with the soft passage of the wind. The route reaches the end and now the visitors experience the environment with all their senses passing from the remainder stages until they reach their final destination. Walking under the shade of cloths, on thin, wooden surfaces sculpted on the ground, they become aware of the existence of the old factory that stands still, placed onto the rocks and its presence is supplemented of the discretion of the use that accommodates today. The sound of the water in the baths, the sound of the water of the sea prevail and the visitors enter cowardly, guided again from the traces of water, towards the interior of the baths. The hot, controlled light that enters from the roof creates an atmosphere of relaxation and confidence. The semi-nude now visitors are going down de the long semi-transparent corridor that leads to the lift and transports them to the beginning of their treatment. The human body through this process “shows itself”, it is forced to be viewed, although through the material and the light, a balance is achieved between “give to viewing” and “showing” the human body. The body is offered as a spectacle without however being imposed and nearly not being able to distinguish it. It is given to the landscape and is absorbed by it. Through the material and the light they tend to become one. The naked now visitors after they abandon their last piece of clothing that covered their body, enter in a narrow, dark, humid, ascendant corridor that leads them to the first room of preparation. There they try to get familiar with the water of low temperature through cloths that impregnates each one in the long reservoirs of cold water. Low voices and few discussions are heard from the lower rooms with which the visitor gets in touch while going down from the first room of preparation to the next. The touch, the sense of hearing but also the smell participate in the perception of space. The smell of sulphur submerges the rooms of baths while the visitors remain in the water. Next stage: the contact of the body with the hot water enriched with sulphur. The treatment is continued with more tepid water this time and from there the body is prepared to enter in cold water in order to get accustomed to water with a temperature that it feels familiar with, and does not “suffer” anymore so as to complete the purification experience.

Ioulitta Stavridi
NTU Athens, Rehabilitation of the abandoned Sulphur Mines in Milos
Master Thesis, Oktober 201