Wednesday March 4, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Atopos: Visionary, made-in-Greece culture

By Dimitris Rigopoulos

February is turning out to be a great month for Greek public relations abroad, as two major Parisian cultural venues, La Gaite Lyrique and the Palais de Tokyo, are hosting two large-scale, made-in-Greece exhibitions.

At La Gaite Lyrique, a former opera house which was completely transformed into a state-of-the-art digital arts and modern music center in 2010, Athens-based cultural organization Atopos is once again displaying its extrovert character, which has comprised a major part of its activities to date, through the display of a revamped version of “ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion,” an exhibition which first opened at the Benaki Museum in 2011. In Paris, the show runs to April 7.

Meanwhile, at the Palais de Tokyo, one of the world’s most renowned centers for contemporary art, curator Nadia Argyropoulou is working on an 100 percent Greek exhibition exploring the ongoing debt crisis and the country’s image abroad. “Hell As Pavillion” features works by young and established artists and goes on display from February 25 to April 4.

This creative Greek presence in the French capital provides an opportunity to examine how a private organization such as Atopos developed its singular, dynamic, based-in-Athens cultural diplomacy. This is a story of Greeks mounting exhibitions locally while at the same time ensuring a Greek presence in museums and other cultural institutions around the world. So far, Atopos shows have traveled to Luxembourg, Antwerp and Zurich, for example, while the most complete version of a previous Atopos exhibition, “RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion,” which opened in Athens in 2007, recently went on display at the Stihl gallery in Waiblingen, Germany. At the same time, the cultural organization has developed a steady collaboration with London’s Barbican Center, with the latter having taken on the management of “Paper Fashion.”

In just a few years, Atopos’s founders, curator Vassilis Zidianakis and architect Stamos Fafalios, succeeded in developing an important network of contacts and relationships with artists, museums and research centers across the world.

How did this network grow to the point of international cultural institutions extending invitations to Atopos to present its productions abroad?

“Through a lot of hard work,” said Zidianakis, speaking from Paris, during a short break prior to the exhibition’s opening on February 12.

Meanwhile, the general impression back home is that Atopos’s two biggest productions, “RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion” and “ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion,” are traveling through Europe in their original form.

“That is not the case,” noted Zidianakis. “Our shows develop following years of research and this work continues in the aftermath of the first presentations, which usually take place at the Benaki Museum in Athens. We are approached by artists, designers and others and, as a result, half of the items going on display in Paris, for instance, are completely new.”

For Fafalios, who undertook the design of the Paris and Waiblingen exhibitions, the organization’s recognition speaks for itself.

“We haven’t spent a single euro when showcasing our exhibitions abroad, instead they pay us. This has been the reward with relation to our ideas, professionalism and hard work,” Fafalios said, reminiscent of Atopos’s initial conception, when he and Zidianakis shared their first thoughts on the project. “We wanted to demonstrate that Greece was capable of presenting itself in any museum around the world through something contemporary, conceived and made in Athens.”

So what’s next, after Paris?

“We would like to see Atopos’s next major exhibition organized and produced by a global cultural organization abroad,” said Zidianakis. “For someone to believe in our idea and take it to the next level.”

One more recognition, no doubt, for all that Atopos has accomplished so far.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 13, 2013 (17:36)  
Ancient site of Philippi unveils candidacy for UNESCO list
Greek selections at the 17th Thessaloniki doc fest
Thessaloniki doc fest returns with tribute to Austrian, Romanian filmmakers
Arcade Fire rocker rallies for Greece in new song
Extra US expat tax seminar for Americans living abroad
More than 400 US citizens have registered for the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce Tax Seminar on March 10 for US citizens, including thousands of Greek Americans, who live in Greece. I...
Art collector Ion Vorres dies at the age of 91
Acclaimed art collector Ion Vorres died on Friday at the age of 91, leaving behind the chief oeuvre of his life, the Vorres Museum in Paiania, eastern Attica. A native of Messinia in the sou...
Inside Community
Inside Gastronomy
Inside Travel
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Four-star hotels more profitable than five-star units
2. All personal finance data to be studied
3. Fitch in new downgrade warning
4. Flambouraris: Bank boards have been told to quit
5. Talks with Brussels on reforms for cash
6. Greek-Turkish diplomacy set to resume after Ankara mistake
more news
Today
This Week
1. The Greek tax drama
2. Varoufakis to make six reform proposals at Monday's Eurogroup
3. Draghis QE moves to starting line as economic outlook brightens
4. Greece approved as recipient of EBRD funding through 2020
5. Convicted Conspiracy of the Cells Fire member to face magistrate
6. Investor survey shows 38 pct chance of eurozone break-up in 12 months
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. A fierce battle looms
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. The Greek tax drama
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
Advertiser Link
AMF PROJECT FINAL CONFERENCE-REGIONAL UNIT OF THESPROTIA
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.