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XXX-Rated rendezvous February 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Festivals, Movies Life Greek.
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01-02-08_john_holmes.jpg  Porn star John Holmes is the topic of a documentary in the Second Berlin Porn Film Festival.

Do you feel like spicing up your weekend? Well, you’ll certainly have the opportunity to do so, as the Second Berlin Porn Film Festival in Athens is currently under way at the Gagarin 205 club.

Following last year’s success, the event, which is jointly organized by Proud Promotions, Astra Productions and Stereomatic, kicked off yesterday and will run to Sunday. Claiming to highlight just how slight the difference between art and pornography is, and hoping to put to rest the stereotypes regarding the porn industry, the festival offers a variety of films and happenings to please all adult tastes. From soft to hard and post-porn films and live happenings, straight, gay and lesbians are all welcome at the Gagarin.

The festival opened with a classic, Radley Metzger’s award-winning “The Opening of Misty Beethoven” which is based on the myth of Pygmalion. Program highlights include the documentary “Llik Your Idols”, with various artists commenting on the porn industry and on New York’s Cinema of Transgression movement, as well as a documentary on legendary actor John Holmes, who was the inspiration behind the box-office hit “Boogie Nights”.

Todd Verow’s latest challenging production, which gives a revealing look at New York, is also part of the program as is Adam & Eve’s award-winning film “Pirates XXX”, a twist on “Pirates of the Caribbean” with lots of digital effects. Two films by controversial director Bruce LaBruce will be shown and famous lesbian porn filmmaker Maria Beatty will present her selection of the past year’s best lesbian films. The program further includes a film by Japan’s bondage artist Yukimura Haruki.

Every day, the screenings are followed by live performances by some of Europe’s biggest fetish shows and music acts, including Wendy Delorme & Louis de Ville from Paris as well as Lazlo Pearlman. The festival will end with the Closing Queer Party on Sunday night.

Gagarin 205 Club, 205 Liosion Street, Athens, tel 210 8547600.

Related Links > http://www.gagarin205.gr/


Enamels: Color over the course of time > An ancient decorative art form February 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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An exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum follows the long history of enamel making

A golden cuff bracelet from around the 9th-10th century.  A golden cuff bracelet from around the 9th-10th century. Enameling was perfected during the Byzantine period. It later spread to the West, where it flourished in the 12th century.

An art that was born in Greece during the Mycenaean period and spread throughout the world is the subject of “Enamels: Color over the Course of Time” an exhibition currently being held at the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens. About 170 items drawn from various museum collections (such as the Byzantine and Christian, the National Archaeological, the Benaki and the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki) as well as the G. Tsolozidis and the C. Antonakis private collections follow the development of the art of enameling from ancient Greece and the Byzantine period through the present and across Europe, to the Middle and Far East. Representative pieces from each period, such as jewelry, ecclesiastical vessels, religious icons and decorative or utility objects, reveal the inherent qualities in the miniature art of enameling: the detailed work, the various techniques, the intricate patterns and decorative motifs and the mixing of metals with color without the use of stones.

The raw material of enamels is glass that is pulverized in a mortar and mixed with various metal oxides to produce different colors. The powder-like mixture is then placed on a metal surface and fired in a special kiln, forming an inseparable mass with the metal. The process is analyzed in the exhibition.

Three rings that were found in 15th-century BC tholos tombs (circular, subterranean burial chambers) from Mycenae, Volos and Laconia place the origins of the art of enameling in the Greek civilization of the Mycenaean period.

One learns that the art of enameling was perfected during the Byzantine period. It was a costly, sophisticated art reserved for members of the imperial court and Church. Most of the objects from the period are jewelry and ecclesiastical or liturgical vessels. Some are made in the cloisonne technique, one of the most sophisticated enameling techniques and one at which the Byzantines excelled. In this technique, metal wires divide the surface of the metal objects into motifs which are then filled in with different colored enamels.

It was during the Byzantine Empire that the art of enameling and particularly cloisonne spread to the West, around the 12th century. In the exhibition, enamel objects from France date from the 19th to 20th centuries and include a vanity set and stationery (inkwells, seals and paperweights). From Europe, the art of enameling traveled back toward the East. In the 13th century, it became known in China and, toward the end of the 16th century, also in Japan. Decorative objects from China and Japan are among the most beautiful in the exhibition.

The exhibition ends with a large section that presents enamel works (large plaques that resemble paintings) made by Costas Antonakis, an honorary research director at the National Center for Scientific Research of France. In 1960, Antonakis began research into the materials used in enameling during the Middle Ages and the Byzantine period. His research led him to the development of new techniques which, in turn, helped create new visual effects.

His work helps preserve a decorative art that is not widely practiced today but, as the exhibition shows, is one of the oldest in the history of the applied arts.

“Enamels: Color over the Course of Time” at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, 22 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7211027, to February 17.

New Museum in Fthiotida offers stroll through history February 1, 2008

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The Museum is located in Ypati, on the slopes of Mount Iti.

01-02-08_fthiotida_museum.jpg  On the slopes of Mt Iti, the village of Ypati is home to the Fthiotida Byzantine Museum, set among a stunning landscape.

Once used as a military camp, the building dates from the first half of the 19th century and has been designated both as a work of art and an historic monument.

Today, having been restored by a dedicated team of people, the Museum is a credit to the area and a focal point in the town. A permanent exhibition has been set up with the cooperation of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine Antiquities Department, the Department of Museums, Exhibitions and Educational Programs, the 7th Byzantine Antiquities Ephorate and the Numismatic Museum. The Museum itself is managed by the 24th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, based in Lamia.

“The pioneering design and inspired museography,” said Yorka Nikolaou, a numismatologist and Byzantinologist at the Numismatic Museum, “highlight the permanent collection to the utmost.”

In the hall on the ground floor are the mosaic floors of Early Christian basilicas and other buildings; the first floor is devoted to thematic exhibitions of objects of worship and the coins that once circulated in the region.

Mosaic floors, marble architectural pieces and sculptures are included, along with lamps and other every-day objects that were in use throughout the region.

Psarokokalo > Audiovisual experiments February 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Festivals, Movies Life Greek.
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‘Saliva’ is one of the productions that will be screened at the Second International Short Film Festival Psarokokalo.

New and past technologies lie at the heart of a film festival presenting new audiovisual productions which explore novel approaches in cinema, image, rhythm and narration.

The Second International Short Film Festival Psarokokalo kicks off tonight at the screening hall of downtown hotspot Nixon, running to February 10.

The program includes 65 short films – including fiction, documentaries and animation – by Greek and international directors, tributes to Romanian and Basque cinema, short films by Swedish director Roy Andersson as well as special screenings of selections from the Salford Film Festival and the HollyShorts Film Festival.

Parallel events include an interactive performance, “Patakouna”, on February 5 and 6, an art exhibition and a closing party scheduled for February 8 at Soul Stereo.

Nixon, 61B Agisilaou Street, Athens, tel 210 3462077. For more information > www.psarokokalo.gr 

Design Walk 2008 > Creative cooperation in downtown Athens February 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
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Local bureaus and Greek and foreign artists have got together to present Design Walk 2008

It started with the galleries. “Let’s go for a stroll in Psyrri” became a motto encouraging Athenians to venture out to the downtown neighborhood whose ambition was to become the capital’s very own Soho.

A few years on, while the galleries appear to be fading from the area a new creative force is extending an open invitation to visit the neighborhood.

Organized by the creative design bureaus of Psyrri, Design Walk 2008 opens today and runs to Sunday. A project that took place for the first time last year with considerable success, Design Walk is urging members of various age groups to discover that besides the bars, restaurants and tavernas, Psyrri is also home to fresh minds and great ideas.

This year organizers have invited designers from around the globe (including from London, Paris, Milan, Hamburg, Madrid and the United States) as well as local talent to develop a series of exhibitions on all sorts of themes.

The starting point in Design Walk is a collaboration in visual communication in order to combine graphics with audiovisual means in exploring the relationship between design and artistic expression as diverse as cooking and architecture.

In an effort to shorten the distance between the transmitter and the receiver, the creative groups of Psyrri are once again opening their doors.

“Last year was a first encounter with the public,” said Anastassia Louri, one of the organizers. “We had to make the necessary introductions, to get the public to realize that we are graphic artists, not advertising agencies, and that we are not showing commercial work. Perhaps what impressed the public above all was that although we work in a competitive environment, we decided to act as unified body in the hope that Athens will gradually enter the international map of design.”

In contrast with last year, the works presented over the next couple of days were created exclusively for this interactive project. A number of designers have collaborated with architects and fashion designers, among others, to develop common projects. This is a network of up-and-coming professionals who share a dream and have a vision worth rediscovering.

The reason why designer bureaus have rallied round the Psyrri area is not due to the neighborhood’s (former) claim to trendiness, but rather because of the area’s easier access to the large variety of raw materials necessary for their activities.

Perhaps art galleries are on their way out of the downtown area, but there is still room for creative professions here.

Design Walk 2008 participating bureaus will operate during the following hours: Today from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. For more information go to > www.designwalk.gr.

Teaming up > These are the participating firms >

3 In a Box & Stylo Design, 1 Vissis & Aeolou Street, tel 210 3316123.

Bend & Designpark & NoLogo, 8 Protogenous Street, tel 211 4002187.

Bios & Belio & Raster-Noton, 84 Pireos Street, tel 210 3425335.

The Design Shop & Xavier Antin, 1 Kriezi Street, tel 210 3223410.

Mums Design & Maria Alipranti, 8 Kalogrioni Street, tel 210 3312170.

G & Company, 6 Miaouli Street, tel 210 3223636.

MNP & Ed Gill, 10 Voreou Street, tel 210 3252832.

Oxy & Eggandspoon, 12-14 Kolonou Street, tel 210 5226609.

Pi6 & Human Empire, 8 Melanthiou Street, tel 210 3216050.

Poor Designers & Dimitris Arvanitis, 1 Kriezi Street, tel 211 7507390.

Sereal Designers & Walm, 19 Miaouli Street, tel 210 3215102.

The Switch Design Agency & Fabio Novembre, 3 Sachtouri Street, tel 210 3219034.

Typical Mutations & Makebelieve, 21 Lepeniotou Street, tel 210 3244400.

We Design & Nobek Zeistein, 27 Aeschylou Street, tel 210 3232414.

Greek executives say little energy left in tank after work > Survey February 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Lifestyle.
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One in four Greek executives does not have the energy to enjoy their personal life at the end of the working day but the majority of them are prepared to put in more hours if that will result in extra money, according to a recent survey.

The research, conducted by consultants Stedima, highlighted imbalances between the work and personal lives of executives and the fact that about two-thirds of respondents would sacrifice more of their personal life to climb the corporate ladder.

“The large majority… choose to sacrifice more personal time if that would mean more duties. The response was the same among men and women,” said the researchers.

The respondents work an average of more than 50 hours per week with one in five spending more than 12 hours per day at the office. The survey, carried out via the Internet over a six-month period, targeted more experienced executives who occupy senior corporate positions such as that of general manager. One of the findings to emerge from the survey was the positive stance among respondents regarding how they feel about their work.

Work-related stress and fatigue remain among the biggest problems but most respondents said they view their job as creative and satisfying.

Those questioned are also fairly satisfied with their remuneration and happy with their supervisor, the research found.

“At the same time, 42 percent cited being treated unfairly as the main reason for a negative feeling at work,” said Stedima.

Noise blights Cypriot cities February 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Environment.
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Large portions of the urban population in Cyprus are exposed to excessive levels of traffic-generated noise, experts said yesterday.

On an island that shuns public transport, almost two-thirds of inhabitants along the most frequented avenues in the capital Nicosia are exposed to noise levels above 55 decibels.

In the port city of Limassol, that figure surges to 87.8 percent, the survey commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment said.

“Estimates show that more than 27,000 of Limassol’s inhabitants are affected by noise (exceeding 45 decibels). But in Nicosia, the number of those affected is 36,000,” said Constantinos Vogiatzis of the University of Thessaly in Greece.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not consider noise an agent for pathological diseases, but it is considered a source of neuro-psychological and cardiological disorders, Vogiatzis said.

Noise levels of 30 decibels can disturb sleep, and 35 decibels can disturb classroom communication, according to WHO.

Vogiatzis said simple measures, such as reducing speed could cut down the noise. “Decreasing speed limits from 55 kilometers per hour to 50 kmph and banning heavy trucks at night may result in a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in noise,” he said.