The “Art Athina 2017” International Contemporary Art Fair took place at the Tae Kwon Do Hall at Faliro from the 25th to the 28th of May. This fair is an annual event in Athens and is highly anticipated by many. The artwork presented in this article is just a small sample of what was showcased and in random order. Photographs don’t do the artwork justice as the pictures were taken with non-specialized equipment, during a tour of the fair.
George Apostolakis makes a reed musical instrument, called the ney, in his workshop in Ritsona, close to Halkida. The ney produces a warm and hoarse sound. It has its roots in the Near East and gives Greek traditional music a special quality.
The Acropolis Museum is amongst the most modern in the world. It has a weird energy, which can be accredited to the immense beauty of the statues. The most beautiful statues of all times stand one beside the other and enchant the visitors. The Greeks visit the museum with their children. Classic ancient art is part of everyday life for Athenians. The huge glass surfaces of the building let plenty of light in regardless if it’s winter of summer. Sundays at the museum strongly resemble old-style celebrations. Crowds of visitors’ flock to the museum; a tight squeeze, but a wondrous one.
We recently watched "The Apology of Socrates" by Plato at the grove in Nea Smyrni, a play directed by Dimos Avdeliotis. As long as people like Avdeliotis continue to work, we don’t fear for our country. He is a beacon of sensibility, compensating the raggedness of modern society. He sees theatrical plays like musical scores and teaches his actors in a unique experiential way. He is simple and does not favor pretenses and aimless experimentation. The audience perceives his performances in the same way, regardless of age and level of education.
The Stavros Niarhos Foundation Cultural Center enchants numerous visitors. The "heart" of the center is the amazing building complex, by the hand of architect Renzo Piano, where all the sophisticated concert halls and galleries are housed. The complex is surrounded by a garden which extends for hundreds of acres and includes outdoor concert halls and a water canal for sailboats. It is truly a monumental project which will be completed in 2016 and will be donated to the Greek state in 2017. (Editor's note: Τhis album includes photographs from the outdoors. An album with photos from the indoors will be created at a later date)
The International Contemporary Art Fair “21st Art Athina” kicked off on the 26th of May and ended on the 29th. The fair is an annual event and every year, it is a little bit more successful than the last. It was organized for the first time by the Hellenic Art Galleries Association in 1993 and since then it has been steadily helping contemporary art gain more fans in Greece.
Constantine Cavafy was born in Alexandria in 1863 and his parents were of Constantinople descent. He was a cosmopolitan, since his family roots were spreading from Constantinople to Alexandria and from Trapezounta to London. He lived as an authentic Greek and as a world's civilian at the same time.
Writer Alexandros Papadiamantis lived in Athens for a big part of his life, under great poverty conditions. He used to live in rented rooms inside the yard, where other families were being housed too. His residence conditions were so bad, that one night he almost got killed when an old house's roof at 18 Aristofanous Street collapsed because of the rain.
Greece had a very successful entry at the international theatre festival of the Black Sea in Trabzon, Turkey, May 2012. Greece entered the competition with the play “Ichneftes” by Sophocles, directed by Dimos Avdeliodis. The play was sponsored by the non-profit culture organization "Anagnosis". It was the first time that a Greek play took part in the festival of Trabzon, and it has since evolved into a prestigious competition.
"On the 29th of August we go to Limpovissi, for the celebration of St. Ioannis outside Theodoros Kolokotronis's house. At six o' clock in the morning we are very proud to put on our costumes and go to the church and have our arms blessed by the priest. Then we bring around the icon and have a memorial service at Kolokotronis's house. And then what? We begin to sing about Kolokotronis and the echo of the gorges gets really creepy".
Manolis Rasoulis used to travel a lot to explore the world and write music. We are close friends and fellow travellers in some journeys and found out we have a common artisitc purpose. He had his pen and I had my camera to express the world and people's lives. We met for the last time a few days before he died, when he was reciting a prologue during a music event for Manos Hadjidakis at the haunt of "Ianos" bookshop. "When one loses limits one must take measures" he said among other things to the audience, referring to the economic crisis that's plaguing our country.
When you knock on someone's door in Crete a smiling face comes into sight saying: "Welcome, have some raki". Offering raki is like an invitation to a more intimate approach and communication among people. Especially people who take part to the production “ritual” of the drink reach high levels of comradeship.
"I have written fifteen books and four more containing articles I wrote and were published in newspapers. I don't try to publish all of them because I couldn't sell more than twenty or thirty. I am satisfied with giving a photocopy to my children and some friends".