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Exploring gender issues at Bios April 1, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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An intriguing festival organized by the Goethe institutes of Southeastern Europe comes to Athens > Berliner Joy Gutthardt’s performances explore stereotypes of the female gender. The artist is one of many German performers who will be coming to Athens for the Genderpop festival this week.

An unusual festival featuring cinema, performance art, video installations, live music shows and contemporary dance kicked off at downtown Bios yesterday. What brings all the different artistic genres together? A look at the role of the sexes and people’s identity.

The series of events comes as an initiative of the Goethe Institutes based in Southeastern Europe, the cultural centers are currently approaching the issue of gender, participating in a contemporary and global discussion on the socially predetermined, fabricated and stereotyped roles of the sexes.

Many are already acquainted with so-called gender studies, in the last few decades alone, they have made their presence increasingly felt in university programs around the world. Perhaps those familiar with these developments on the academic front will have a clearer picture of what lies ahead at Bios this week.

They may have also heard of Judith Butler, the American writer and professor at California’s Berkeley, author of “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.” Published in 1990, the book examined the notion of sex as a role. A feminist, Butler put forward the idea that a person’s sex identity has to do with specific moments and actions, she called it gender performativity. Difficult ideas to deal with back then, and not much has changed.

Don’t worry about the academic aspect however when it comes to the Bios events this week. The festival kicked off with a screening of Athanasios Karanikolas’s “S” and continues with short films shot by Jan Kruger between 2000 and 2007, along with a collection of films by Ula Stokl and Edgar Reitz from 1970.

Besides cinema, Genderpop, the three-day program starts in the Bios foyer on Friday, featuring art and music videos, performances, concerts and DJ sets. Among the guests is Berliner Joy Gutthardt, an actress whose performances explore the stereotypes of the female gender, Berlin singer Namosh, as well as female trio Rhythm King & Her Friends. All in all an intriguing group of artists taking over the downtown space this week.

Bios Venue, 84 Pireos Street, Athens.

Related Links >  www.goethe/de/athen


An all-puppet version of “The Sound of Music” March 29, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Stage & Theater.
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The von Trapp family singers as marionettes in “The Sound of Music”, the world’s oldest marionette theater, is coming to Athens next week

Finally, great entertainment for the family: The Salzburg Marionettes will be presenting the true story of the von Trapp family of singers in an all-puppet version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music”.

The company is the biggest and oldest marionette theater in the world, founded in Salzburg, Austria by sculptor Anton Aicher in 1913, and now directed by his granddaughter Gretel. The company gives 160 performances a year of classics such as “The Magic Flute”, “Tales of Hoffmann” and Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

“The Sound of Music”, adapted from the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews, premiered on November 2, 2007, in Dallas, Texas, at the beginning of a five-week US tour. In Athens, there will be five performances, beginning on 4, 5 and 6  April at the ACS Theater in Halandri, Athens, organized by Maria Frezadou. 

Frezadou was also responsible for bringing Mikhail Gorbachev to Athens, as well as Umberto Eco, Marlon Brando, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli and Placido Domingo. Part of the proceeds will be donated toward Special Olympics Hellas. Performances will have Greek supertitles.

ACS Theater, 53 Garyttou Street, Halandri, Athens, tel 210 639334. For information and tickets call 210 7234567.

Greek President and the Olympic Flame March 29, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Olympic Games, Shows & Conferences.
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This evening, President of the Hellenic Republic H.E. Karolos Papoulias, will be attending a ceremony at the Athens Concert Hall to mark the beginning of an international conference by the Athens Academy’s Center for Research into Greek Folk Art, to mark its 90th anniversary.

The subject of the conference is “Traditional Music and Modern Creativity”.

Tomorrow afternoon, the President will be at the Panathenaic Stadium for the handing over of the Olympic Flame to the organizers of the Beijing Olympics.

Art Athina 2008 growing in stature > opens end of May March 28, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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New plans announced for the annual, contemporary fair which is scheduled to open at the end of May

Art Athina, the capital’s contemporary art fair, attracts the local public as well as a number of international collectors. This year’s event will be held at the Helexpo grounds and will be even more extensive than last year’s event.

28-03-08_art_athina.jpg  Art Athina, the city’s contemporary art fair that is scheduled to open May 22, is one of the most happening and international events on the city’s contemporary art scene. At an informal meeting with members of the press, Art Athina’s Artistic Director Christos Savvidis and General Director Michalis Argyrou [essentially the event’s organizers], presented the main sections of the event, spoke with enthusiasm of their expectations of it and stressed the fact that this Athens art fair is gradually becoming a recognizable, international event with a growing, sound reputation.

The Hellenic Art Galleries Association has been the event’s organizing institution from the start. Savvidis and Argyrou are in charge of the Art Athina fair for the second consecutive year. Last year, the change of hands from the previous organizers to the current ones was one of the reasons that caused confusion and dissent. As a result, several Greek galleries refused to participate. However, last year’s success seems to have changed the negative attitude, bringing most of the dissenting galleries back to the event.

According to the organizers, another accomplishment is the fact that some of the most important, cutting-edge international galleries which participated in Art Athina for the first time last year have shown a willingness to participate at this year’s event as well: Peres projects from Germany, Monitor from Italy, Christian Nagel Gallery from Germany, and the Maag Gallery from Switzerland are among them.

Does that mean that Athens is coming to the attention of the international art market? According to Savvidis, Art Athina not only attracts Greek buyers but many international art collectors as well. To a certain extent, this is due to the work that has been put into the so-called VIP program, which aims at luring international buyers to the Athens art fair by organizing special events. Savvidis also noted that recent art events, such as the two contemporary art biennials held last year in Athens and Thessaloniki, have helped create a buzz around the contemporary art scene in Greece. He also said that the fact that Art Athina is relatively small in scale when compared to the big European art events means that it can retain a more homogenized and focused personality, something which adds to its attraction.

Held at the Helexpo building, as in previous years, the 2008 Art Athina will be based on the same idea as last year’s event: “Basic Plan”, the main exhibition hall, will include 45 booths by Greek and international galleries. Isabella Bortolozzi will curate an independent section. Presented on a different floor, “Open Plan” is a separate, large display in which the art shown and the galleries represented are selected by a specific art curator. For this year, the curator is Bettina Busse, who works with the Vienna Museum of Modern Art.

Sarah Belden who works with Curators without Borders – a platform for independent art curators based in Berlin – has prepared “Focus: Berlin-New York, First We Take Manhattan Then We Take Berlin”, a curatorial project that compares the contemporary art scenes of Berlin and New York City.

Art Athina also hosts a range of parallel projects, exhibitions that show the different facets of contemporary art. In the basement of the Helexpo building, Marina Fokidi has curated “The Garage Project”, an exhibition on the local contemporary art scene. Intended as a cool and hip exhibition, it encourages interaction and creates a relaxed, playful environment. Video art projections, for example, are designed in a way that resembles a summer, open-air cinema.

Also part of the “Parallel Projects” section of Art Athina is “Lion under the Rainbow: Art from Tehran”, an exhibition on contemporary Iranian art which is curated by artist Alexandros Georgiou and produced by D.ART. The exhibition will be held in a building in the city center [at 48-50 Aeolou Street, Athens].

“Elements of Light” curated by Boris Manner, professor at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts, is an exhibition that presents the works that the Russian artist Eugenia Emets and Austrian artist Markus Proschek produced during a residency on the island of Syros. The exhibition, held at the Hellenic American Union, is organized by the University of Applied Arts in collaboration with the Stella Art Foundation. Based on a Russian private art collection, this foundation is in the process of opening a Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. Savvidis has said that the Museum will be directed by Robert Storr, director of the Venice Biennale in 2007 and a former dean of the Yale School of Art. The foundation has acquired several works from Art Athina. Savvidis said that the new Museum will include a section on contemporary Greek art.

Also part of the parallel project events will be an exhibition that will present works from the Costakis Collection of early-20th-century Russian Avant-Garde. The State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, which owns the collection together with the Museum of Cycladic Art which will host the exhibition, are the organizers.

During the three-days of Art Athina, there will also be round-table discussions, art presentations and lectures by artists, collectors, gallerists and international curators. Independent curators Catherine David and Christian Viveros-Faune are among the participants.

By building an international network, Art Athina hopes to gradually give more exposure to Greek artists but to also offer the Greek public a more rounded view of the international art scene. Organizers seem confident that this is already well under way.

Art Athina 2008 will open on May 23 at the Helexpo Palace, 39 Kifissias Avenue, Maroussi, Athens and will be open to May 25.

Related Links > www.art-athina.gr

Greek film director Athanasios Karanikolas tribute in Athens March 28, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.
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Berlin based Greek film director Athanasios Karanikolas tribute in Athens

28-03-08_makra.jpg  A scene from “Elli Makra – 42277 Wuppertal”, which helped acquaint Greeks with the work of Athanasios Karanikolas.

28-03-08_karanikolas.jpg  Six films by the German-based film director will be screened at Bios in Athens this weekend as part of a focus on the artist co-organized by the Goethe Institute.

Athanasios Karanikolas, 40, studied photography, video and film in Germany, lives in Berlin, and already has eight years of completed work in short films, experimental projects, documentaries, video installations and one feature film behind him. We would have known nothing about him had he not taken part in last year’s Thessaloniki International Film Festival with “Elli Makra – 42277 Wuppertal”, a film that impressed and earned a Best Actress award for the role played by Anna Lalasidou.

Conceived and made in a minimalist fashion, the film is surprisingly deep in terms of how the actress manifests the inner world of the main character she portrays, a Greek immigrant living in Wuppertal, Germany, who is caught between superficial and violent worlds. Judging by his work, the filmmaker is open to poetic ways, experimentalism, new technology and the close observation of people in various living conditions.

Saturday and Sunday, Bios Venue, 84 Pireos Street, Athens. Six films by Athanasios Karanikolas will be projected. A parallel video installation by the artist will remain on show for an additional week, until April 7.

Art Festival for Human Rights triggers dialogue March 28, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Festivals.
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The neighborhood of Exarchia in central Athens is about to be transformed into an alternative art center for a week.

Different kinds of art, including painting, street art, photography, installations and video screenings, will take over the block surrounded by Arachovis, Themistocleous, Coletti and Zoodochou Pigis Streets, as the second “Wo + Man =?” festival kicks off tonight.

Organized by the Open Horizons organization as part of the 6th Art Festival for Human Rights, this year’s event will explore sexuality, gender and identity issues. With the focus being on street art, 40 artists will redefine the use of public space as a venue for communicating with the public, by selecting outdoor and indoor spaces of bars, restaurants, cafes and other stores to exhibit their work. By exploring the possibilities that public and private venues can offer, they are hoping to send out a message about art and society. The aim is to create a bridge of communication with visitors and passers-by and trigger dialogue and a collective conscience.

28-03-08_human_rights.jpg  The festival’s central venue will be the Cosmos of Culture Center on the corner of Andrea Metaxa and Emmanouil Benaki Streets. That is where the official opening will take place, at 7 p. m. today and where information regarding all of the scheduled events will be available. Cosmos of Culture will also host all the video screenings.

Participating artists include Alexandros Avranas, Artemis Alkalai, Alma Bakiaj, Margarita Gelada, Giorgos Gyparakis, Antigone Kavvatha, Anna Laskari, Caroline May, Costas Beveratos, Giorgos Tserionis, Dorota Zglobicka, Ioanna Ximeri, Vangelis Raftogiannis and many others. The event was conceived and curated by Costas Theonas.

The festival will run until Sunday, April 5 and will be open daily 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to all venues is free. For further information call 210 3303385 or 210 8846038.

Related Links > www.humanrights.gr and www.cosmosofculture.gr

Celebrating today’s World Theater Day March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Stage & Theater.
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Performance > Thessaloniki > Tonight

Celebrating today’s World Theater Day, the National Theater of Northern Greece will stage Anneli Xiroyianni’s play “Volume” at the Lazariston Monastery Small Theater tonight, directed by Christina Hadzivassileiou. Admission is free. Advance bookings are necessary.
Lazariston Monastery, 21 Kolokotroni Street, Thessaloniki, tel 2310 589102.

Theater Discussion > Athens > Tonight

The Ianos bookstore will host a discussion on theater today, on the occasion of World Theater Day, at 8 p.m. Participants will include academics Hara Bakonikola and Platon Mavromoustakos and others. There will also be a tribute to theater music, with live performances.
Ianos Bookstores, 24 Stadiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3217917.