“Voyage to Arcadia” via Hilton Athens

This information originated in American English.

January 21, 2010

ATHENS -  For many years, Hilton Athens has been a point of reference for the promotion of the contemporary artistic trends in Athens. In this context, it hosts, from the 11th of February until the 26th of March, a collective show of four young Greek artists curated by the renowned Belgian art historian Els Hanappe, titled “Voyage to Arcadia”.
The show is referring to an actual place, a prefecture in Peloponnese, known to be a mountainous and difficult-to-access area. Here it has a symbolic connotation, as in ancient times Arcadia was a place of refuge that gradually and through references made by poets and artists changed into an imaginary heaven where life remained innocent and happy, the nature undisturbed and the landscape bucolic. The concept of the earthy paradise has been excellently depicted in two famous paintings, “The Arcadian Shepherds” (1638-40) by Nicolas Poussin and “Pilgrimage to the island of Cythera” (1717) by Jean-Antoine Watteau.

In this exhibition the artists use various techniques to comment on the changing conditions and perceptions that have come about in the way we travel, on the effects of tourism and our limited view on the topography of our destination. Maria Konti uses carbon paper to make copies of 19th century drawings by Athens visitors, which might seem real but they are actually idealized. George Stergiou, who has chosen to live away from the city, in Limni, Evia, depicts landscapes filtered through his emotions by using oil on canvas. Apostolos Karastergiou has always been interested in the confused perception of culture versus nature and managed to “captivate” the memory of the plants that had been planted in the Galaxy Bar veranda. Eleni Kamma uses the printing technique of blueprints, often used within the field of architecture and ship building, superimposing photographs or floorplants of nuclear power plants with the imprint of real plants.

The art show will take place at the Lobby and Aethrion Lounge of the Hilton Athens. The entrance is free to the public. For any further information or clarifications please call 210-7281230.

Some words regarding Els Hanappe, the curator of the exhibition: She studied art history in Gent, Belgium. She has been based in Athens for almost 15 years, working in the field of contemporary art. She directs ITYS, a private initiative that aims to bring thought back into art. ITYS so far has organized two group shows in collaboration with the National Bank Cultural Foundation, ‘Selective Knowledge’ in 2008, and ‘Vlassis Caniaris. In Contrapunto.’ in 2009. Since 2008, she has been developing a creative management office that links art with the private world, which resulted into the opening of SIAKOS.HANAPPE – House of Art, a commercial art space in Glyfada that shows contemporary art in curatorial settings that include objects and antiques.

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