A lot of people have talked about the special colour of light in Athens. Others like Athens because of its history. Personally speaking, my own special thing in Athens is walking at Aiolou Street towards the Acropolis. The combination of the central hipster life with the amazing view of Erehteion Temple constitutes the absolute life snapshot of Athens. But what is so special in spring in Athens?
A lot of people tend to identify places by the archaeological sites, the museums or the nature of the area. Athens, though, apart from all the antiquities and the great food, has an extra special thing to identify the city especially in spring.
Despite the fact that in Athens centre one won’t see parks with great ponds, it has it one kind of ‘green statement’ . All pavements from the very centre to the green suburbs are full of tangerine trees.
All year long they give a bit of natural life in the grey city. But in spring, the city is like being again full of Christmas decorated trees with all the orange tangerines giving colour to all the city.
What is special with this image is not the image, but the smells and the feeling. In April Athens transforms to a city full of smells like orange blossom due to the trees. The sun and the cool breeze and the little cafes with seats outside give a unique experience to the visitor with an unforgettable….waft
Last but not least to this trip in town full of fresh flower smells, is the visit to Athinas Street. It is one of the oldest commercial streets downtown. Having the central meat and fish markets running there for decades, as well as the market of spices, the street has a unique identity all year long. In spring Athinas Street one could say is the prettiest street in Athens. It transforms to a street full of beautifyul flowers that smell amazing! The street is full of lilacs from both sideways and it is like walking in a long arcade full of colours and odours that make you dream. At the end of the walk one lookup to the sun with the clear blue sky, the shining sun (which is not too hot in spring) and the unique of the Acropolis. And all this makes visiting Athens in spring so special J
Since a year now Athens Archaeological Museum is hosting ‘Odysseys’ exhibition, a commemorative event on the occasion of the 150th anniversary since the foundation of the Museum.
If anyone is visiting or living currently in Athens, it’s a definite must see!
The exhibition is included to the museum ticket (5 euros) and it is a hidden gem within the rest of the masterpieces there.
The whole exhibition is a well-organised combination of antiquities, myths, poetry and history exposed in contemporary way with special light design, etc.
It is separated in three parts that allow the visitor to understand Odyssey, but also the meaning of Ithaca in its broaden explanation as well described at Cavafy’s poem that shares ideas that link life of the past with today.
A deep and meaningful exhibition that show the impact of Odyssey in art, ancient religion, poetry, theatre, etc. What a better welcoming to the exhibition than a video with the great blue Agean sea view – maybe the only thing that remains the same all these centuries and hides all the great Odysseys– and the reading of C. P. Cavafy’s ‘Ithaca’ by Sean Connery.
Congratulations to all the people who created this magnificent exhibition and a big thank you to Stavros Niarchos Foundation as without it, nothing of this great work would be possible to be exhibited. There is a lot to see and learn there for the past and for nowadays as well.
For more info regarding this lovely exhibition, check the Museums’a site: http://www.namuseum.gr/museum/pressreleases/2016/pressrelease_ODYSSEYS16_paid-en.html
This year’s Athens Photo Festival just finished this Sunday.
Once again located at the lovely Benaki Musuem(at Pireos St. Annexe), the Festival celebrated its 30 years under the title “Still searching” exploring the social impact of the ever-changing visual culture. The exhibition was more international than ever with 30 entries. Nonetheless, for a visitor that has seen the exhibitions of the last three years, it was a disappointment.
As a whole, the exhibition was nice with photos that capture the visitor’s attention and feeling. Many of the artefacts had strong political messages that made the viewer realize that in every corner of the world, there are and there were in the past too, similar political issues just named differently. As far as curation is concerned, some of the exhibits of the main programme did not have any relevance with the title. Furthermore, “Still searching” was mentioned only at the very beginning of the exhibition. Even at the relevant website the title of this exhibition was “hidden” for some reason. The circulation among the artefacts had no easy to see order path and the information of some installations were located on the right and some on the left of the entries. That made it difficult to follow, especially for a two floor exhibition.
Nonetheless, it is still very important and nice that the effort to keep arts alive in Greece andto keep being international continues and has success as there were many international visitors and Greek too. We expect to see an even better Exhibition next year!
Last weekend (May18-21), the Athens Digital Art Festival 2017 took place for another year! “Postfuture “, the theme title of this year’s festival describes long story short what one could see.
These kinds of projects prove that despite the financial and sociopolitical issues, Athens remains a city “thirsty” for creativity and new ideas!
Ti begin with, the thing that made me happy as a visitor and art lover in this Festival, was the number of visitors and the variety of people (art students, youngsters, tourists, but also families with their kids).
Two more outstanding elements of the Festival were the international character of the showcases, including pieces from all over the world (one was made by Bjork!) and the great organization of the event and the work of the volunteers(despite the long hours of work since the festival was open tall day till midnight). One could see that all the people working in the exhibition were happy about it, loved it and they were really helpful and well informed. I took the guided walk and it was very informative. It took us a bit less than 3 hours to see the exhibits in all 5 floors but it was very interesting and our tour guide knew everything by heart, she had humor and a great plan for moving in the exhibition, despite that large number of the group.
Located in the heart of Athens, in a quite new building that combines neoclassic architecture with modern lines and materials, the exhibition was easy to access and very audience friendly with all the freebies, the labs and the augmented reality games offered by the sponsor.
As far as the exhibits are concerned, each and every piece of them had a very special character and approach. What is interesting is that despite the different mediums or ways of expression, one could notice that contemporary artists, no matter what background and were they come from, have the need to showcase with their work same kind of issues and concerns like socioeconomics, environment and the question of the different dimensions that exist and that we cannot see. Thus, all the pieces were to the point of the title of the festival ”postfuture”.
Last, but for sure not least, I feel I need to talk about the floor dedicated to kids… and maybe not only the kids! There was a floor dedicated to interactive projects that invited kids to play and enjoy and older people to find the kid hidden in them and just have fun. A very educational way to enjoy technology!
Let’s hope next year we will see something as exciting as this year! It was a definite must see! Congrats to all participants, volunteers, sponsors and the organizing team!
Like every year for the last 12 years, Art-Athina took place from the 4th to the 7th of June in Athens. It is supposed to be the biggest and most international contemporary art fair in Athens. Most (if not all) art galleries in Athens participate in it. Last year, though nobody can deny the large number of galleries that participated in the fair, it was not very “international,” nor was there any spectacularly different media apart from the classic paintings in frames. So, in those terms, though there were nice pieces of art, one would not say that last year’s fair could be compared to any of London’s contemporary art fairs. (This is not to say that the art pieces were not interesting.) For all these reasons, I was very curious to see the evolution of this fair this year and also the reaction of the audience . . . . This year I visited the exhibition with art students from the U.S. It was really interesting to ask their opinions, too. To begin with, it was great to see that there was a large audience that visited the fair. The sad part, though, is that there was a bit less participations of Greek galleries, and knowing the situation from the inside, I can tell that this is the result of the financial crisis, since art, unfortunately, is considered a luxury and not a commodity. Nonetheless, the happy part is the fact that Greek galleries have started supporting artistic experimentation with different materials, construction, lights, etc. For once, one could see art pieces that do represent our era and not the past! And it needs to be like that, if this fair wants to continue to be referred to as a “contemporary ” art fair. This fact means that both the galleries and the audience are ready to embrace a more open view and widen their perspectives. Another great thing at this fair was the great support from sponsors and institutions, such as the Fulbright, and the support of the Art Schools of Greece. Finally, it was also nice to see collaborations in projects and an entire part of the fair dedicated to galleries from many countries, as well as the interesting lectures taking place at the fair. The most innovative pieces, of course, were the ones from the international galleries. Asking the people with whom I visited the fair (that were no Greek), I was happy to see that, despite the “fear” of using new ways of expressing themselves, some of the Greek artists gained the interest of an international audience. Let’s hope that for the best for the future J
It is true that since 2014 that the Onassis Cultural Centre opened, a new era for cultural events started in Athens. The Centre, or better “Sgt”, has become a hub for visual arts, dance and music that keeps Athens up to date with the evolution of creativity. By bringing international productions and also offering the chance to Greek artists to present their work in a high standard designed venue with international resonance, Sgt has inspired other venues in Athens too, making the city a multicultural place that one can find any kind of show that expresses contemporary creativity and interdisciplinarity.
The Onassis Cultural Centre presented the new programme for 2014-2015 last week. The whole building celebrated the upcoming event by becoming a hanging garden full of flowers by the installation of Rebecca Louise Law. The idea of the garden continued at Sgt’s stage, where the people of the Centre presented the programme having as a background the National Garden of Athens. At this point, it is important to mention that the Centre has always supported diversity by being accessible to everyone, having the right infrastructure for deaf or people with disabilities.
Regarding the new programme, it was presented into three circles: theatre, music and visual arts. This year there will be taking place amazing productions like Milo Raou’s “hate radio”, the transitions festival, Houvardas’ production of “Hamlet”, Jazz nights and many more! The Centre continues to support programmes like “Re-think Athens”, In Mute Festival, the educational programme “Film Factory”, Fast Forward Festival, Disabled Theatre, Music Festival for Kids, the EVGE awards and many many more exciting things!
The people that attended the event left with a bag full of goodies and ..flowers! The Programme is a quite heavy publication design by Beetroot creative bureau. As the Centre has a lot of interests, it is a quite difficult booklet to follow. It has a chronicle order but I suggest checking the website for information of the current events, as the it is very well structured.
For more info about the schedule, check the following link:http://www.sgt.gr/gr/programme/event/2104
The evening finished with a reception full of flowers, photo booths , greek finger food, wine and amazing house music by djs! A night to remember! 🙂