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Tokyo events celebrating Greek culture November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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The Children’s Garden in Filothei, designed by Dimitris Pikionis in the early 1960s, is one of the phographs on exhibition

A number of Greek events that are meant to portray aspects of contemporary Greek culture in Japan are currently being held in Tokyo.

The events are under the auspices of the program on “EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges 2005” which is titled “On the Modern and the Contemporary in European and Japanese Culture”. The program is funded by the European Commission and was designed as a program of cultural familiarization between Europe and Japan.

The emphasis is on photography, video and architecture. The Hellenic Institute of Architecture has organized a large exhibition that charts the history of Greek architecture in the 20th century.

Alexandros Psychoulis and Andreas Platis are the two artists selected in the video art section. Atopos, an organization that works in the area of the contemporary arts, fashion and design will also be represented through “Infusion”, a video by artist Marcus Tomlinson that straddles the fields of art and fashion.

Collaborating institutions in the project are Germany’s Architekturbild e.v. and the Italian Change Performing Arts.

Info: www.hch.culture.gr/eu_japan 

Picturing one’s home as concept and mood November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Large, imaginative paintings in Io Angeli’s show at the Athens Art Gallery

In her show ‘Home Everywhere,’ a smiling female figure is found in each of Io Angeli’s compositions. The theme of domestic space is a steady motif in her work.

Asked to paint one’s home, most children will draw the standard four-walled box with the sloping roof, large windows and, at times, a chimney. It is usually meant as an enclosed space, a refuge that symbolizes security from the outside world. Even as adults, this is how we more or less imagine our domestic space to be: private, protected and cherished.

In the paintings of Io Angeli that are presented in “Home Everywhere”, the title of her solo show held at the Athens Art Gallery for a few more days, the archetypal shape of the four-walled house is a recurring theme. But instead of painting a compact shape, Angeli draws only its outlines and places this imaginary, void construction on top of a table or in the hands of a smiling woman.

One’s home is one’s thoughts and feelings, an idea rather than a reality, something that can be broken down into parts and reassembled. Home is not something that we leave behind but what we carry within. “Home is what is inside us, untidy and fluid, prefabricated, ready at any moment to be rebuilt, and torn down once more,” Io Angeli notes in the exhibition’s supplementary catalog.

In each painting, Angeli depicts a smiling female figure. Drawn in bold outlines, the figure is placed in a space of overlapping planes and diaphanous, hovering shapes. A red fish in a handbag or a hearth placed upon a table are examples of the prevailing surreal effect that typifies each composition.

Daubed areas of fiery red color interrupt the gray tones that dominate each painting and infuse the paintings with a fairy-tale, magical ambience.

In Angeli’s paintings one will find skill and imagination but also a blend of childhood innocence with adult maturity that will provoke a smile of familiarity. Her works at once communicate a sense of bonding and liberation and show that true bonds are rooted to our thoughts, memories and emotions, not in that which is material. One’s home is the vessel of these thoughts and emotions, something that we never part from, as far away as we may be from our actual domestic space.

“Home Everywhere” at the Athens Art Gallery (4 Glykonos street, Dexameni Square, Kolonaki, Athens, tel 210 7213938) through Saturday.

‘Eduart’ gets record 9 state awards at TIFF November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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In the film ‘Eduart,’ directed by Angeliki Antoniou, an Albanian criminal returns to Greece to face justice. The film is based on a true story.

Angeliki Antoniou’s “Eduart” earned a record nine State Awards at the 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival which ended on Sunday night. The film, based on a real story, documents an Albanian criminal’s return to Greece to face justice for a crime he committed.

Antoniou herself won prizes for fiction film (58,700 euros), direction (29,350 euros) and script (14,675 euros). Other prizes were awarded for the film’s set and costume design (Ioulia Stavridou), music score (Minos Matsas and Constantinos Christidis), sound (Nikos Papadimitriou), editing (Takis Yiannopoulos) and makeup (Fani Alexaki). Each of the last five awards were accompanied by a 5,870-euro cash prize.

The second prize for a fiction film went to Dimitris Koutsiabassakos’s “The Guardian’s Son” (the director also received the award for best newcomer director), while Giorgos Stamboulopoulos’s “Pandora” came third.

Vassilis Haralambopoulos won the best actor award for his work in the commercially successful “Extended Play” directed by Yiannis Xanthopoulos, while Theodora Tzimou won best actress for “Pandora”. Supporting acting prizes went to Christos Stergioglou for “False Alarm” directed by Katerina Evangelakou, and Maria Nafpliotou for “Soul Kicking” directed by Yiannis Economidis. The cinematography prize was awarded to Aris Stavrou for his work in Nikos Panayiotopoulos’s “Dying in Athens”.

In the documentary department, the awards went to Kimon Tsakiris’s “Sugartown: The Bridegrooms” and Antonis Boskoitis’s “Live at Kyttaro – Rock’n’Roll” while the short films awarded were Angela Mylonakis’s “Bach & Bouzouki”, Ilia Dimitriou’s “Coat Fitting”, Irina Boiko’s “Besides the Blue-Blue Seaside” and Bujar Alimani’s “Gas” (the last two tied for third place).

Wim Wenders, behind the lens November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Director and his wife exhibit images at Thessaloniki Museum of Photography showing stills from film shoots

Cinema for Wim Wenders is a wonderful language of light and motion, myth and adventure that can talk about love and hate, war and peace, life and death.

The central figure of this year’s 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival that ended last Sunday, Wenders had visited the northern port city to attend a tribute to his work, a master class and the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs taken by Wenders and his wife, Donata. The exhibition at the Thessaloniki Pier Complex’s Photography Museum runs until January 3 and is organized by the TIFF in collaboration with the Goethe Institute.

The exhibition, curated by Vangelis Ioakimides and Marion Inglessi, reveals the different points of view taken by the husband and wife of the same moments and scenes. It gives rare behind-the-scenes takes from “Beyond the Clouds” (co-directed with Michelangelo Antonioni in 1995), “The End of Violence” (1997), “Buena Vista Social Club” (1999) and “The Million Dollar Hotel” as well as previously unpublished photographs from “Land of Plenty” (2004) and “Don’t Come Knocking” (2005).

Unexpected portraits of the great Italian filmmaker Antonioni from “Beyond the Clouds” black-and-white shots of the usually colorful city of Havana from the filming of “Buena Vista Social Club”, moments showing Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange and Eva Marie Saint relaxing or getting ready for a scene in “Don’t Come Knocking” have all been captured by the lenses of Wim and Donata.

The display of the exhibition is especially interesting as it is organized in long corridors according to film, with Wim’s photographs on one side and Donata’s on the other, juxtaposing the two artists’ differing views of similar things.

Wenders was given his first camera by an aunt at the age of 6 and remembers taking strange photographs of the animals at his local zoo. Ten years later, he took his father’s Leica and has since never stopped snapping shots of the things going on around him, even when later in life he decided to get into the business of creating moving images.

The core of his photographic oeuvre is from the shooting of his films, and in his photographs one discerns a strong sense of space and frame that is perhaps more powerful than that seen in his more recent films.

The lukewarm critical reception of his most recent film, “Don’t Come Knocking” seems to have led to the director’s decision to stay away from the film set for a year and dedicate himself to photography.

Each of Wenders’s six wives have played a decisive role in his career, normally appearing in his films. Donata, who was married to Wim in 1993, shared her husband’s passion for the camera and began taking her own photographs of his film sets in 1995. Having worked for several years as a camera assistant and a cinematographer, the 40-year-old artist found herself in her natural location on her husband’s sets.

Bonhams spotlight on Greece November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions.
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More than 200 paintings of Greek late 19th and 20th century art that will be auctioned off at a London-held Bonhams sale in mid-December will be on show until Thursday at the Herakleidon Experience in Visual Arts Museum in Thiseion.

Also included in the sale will be paintings of Greek-inspired themes by foreign artists. Overall, most of the sale’s paintings refer to the Greek landscape, tradition and history. Examples include “Shores of Tinos” painted by Nikolaos Lytras in 1923-1925, estimated to be worth between 104,384 and 134,208 euros, or “Women Spinning Cotton” by Spyros Vassiliou, one of the artists of the Thirties Generation. The Vassiliou work is estimated to be worth between 44,736 and 59,648 euros.

Among some of the most important works are “Spring” by the renowned late 19th century painter Nikolaos Gyzis, an allegorical, late work of the artist. The work belongs to the collection of Gyzis’s friend, the artist Edward Kurzbauer.

The maritime painter Constantinos Volanakis, an artist from the so-called School of Munich’s late 19th century generation of academic Greek painters, is one of the most popular names at international auctions of Greek art. At the Bonhams sale, Volanakis’s “Casting the Nets” is estimated to be worth between 119,296 and 178,944 euros.

The sale is the ninth auction that Bonhams has held on Greek art. It will be held at London’s Bonhams (101 New Bond Street) on December 12 and is organized in collaboration with Art Expertise. A London preview will be held from December 7-11. An Athens preview will be held at the Herakleidon Museum (16 Herakleidon street, Thiseion, Athens) through tomorrow.

Info: Art Expertise, tel 210 3636404, or visit www.bonhams.com

Locals shine in leagues abroad November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Katsouranis, Gekas and Kyrgiakos among the scoring and top play in Germany, Portugal

It was a formidable weekend for some of the country’s soccer talent playing club-level competition in distinguished European leagues, with Costas Katsouranis, Fanis Gekas and Sotiris Kyrgiakos all scoring and putting in sturdy performances for their respective teams.

Greece midfielder Katsouranis, who moved to leading Portuguese team Benfica from AEK last summer, impressed yet again as one of his team’s leading players in a 2-1 win over Maritimo. Katsouranis scored the encounter’s winning goal, his fourth for the season in 678 minutes of total playing time.

The Greek international’s sturdy performance came just days after a solid midweek Champions League display in Benfica’s 3-1 win over Copenhagen that kept alive the Portuguese team’s hopes of advancing beyond the group stage. To do so, however, Benfica must overcome mighty Manchester United at Old Trafford in the last round of group play.

Striker Gekas, currently on loan from Panathinaikos to Bundesliga struggler Bochum, struck again last weekend for his sixth goal in 12 games with his German club, this time in a 1-1 draw against front-runner Schalke. Bochum lies 16th in Germany’s 18-team top league.

“He’s as quick as an arrow and scores. He has already scored six times, which is one-third of his team’s tally this season,” noted the German soccer magazine Kicker, in a feature story covering Gekas, now playing his first Bundesliga season.

Gekas, who has also scored two goals in cup action with Bochum, wasn’t the only Greek to score in the Bundesliga last weekend. A less likely scorer, the rugged central defender Kyrgiakos, now with Eintracht Frankfurt following a stint with Scottish club Glasgow Rangers, scored his first goal for the season in his team’s 1-1 draw against Dortmund. The goal put his team ahead before Dortmund struck back to share the encounter’s points.

“I wasn’t able to enjoy my first goal as much as I would have liked because we weren’t able to hold on for victory,” Kyrgiakos told Kicker magazine. Eintracht is 11th in the standings, four places below Dortmund.

A new National Park November 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Nature.
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Western Greece’s Amvrakikos Gulf, located close to Arta town, will become a protected National Park, according to a decision signed by the Environment Ministry yesterday.

The wetland area is home to 294 different bird species, of which 101 are under the threat of extinction, and covers an area of 1,300 sq.km.

Permits issued in the past for activities in the National Park will continue to be valid, the Ministry said.