CULTURE

Athens’s visual arts are mapped out

The Athens art crowd which justly complains that there is no specialized magazine on the visual arts will be pleased to learn that, if not a magazine, there is at least a newly issued guide to the Athens visual arts scene. «Athens: Contemporary Art Map» which just came out, is a bilingual (Greek and English) leaflet that lists all of the exhibitions at the city’s galleries, museums of modern or contemporary art and galleries of private art collections. It will be issued every two months (the January/February issue is out) and will be handed out for free at all major distribution points, which include the listed galleries, some central bookstores as well as the city’s art schools. The map lists the galleries in alphabetical order and includes the name of the artist or exhibition on display, dates of duration, gallery location, website and telephone number. The indication of the metro station sign suggests accessibility via the underground, while each gallery is indicated on a drawn city map. The guide contains no advertisements and is self-subsidized through a small fee payed by each participating gallery. Both the concept and its implementation belong to Lakis and Aris Ionas, brothers and artists, who having recently returned to Athens from London where they studied at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. They set up an arts project office and have issued the map as their first venture. Modeled after similar art guides that circulate in all major European cities, the idea was to provide the public with a handy, useful and comprehensive leaflet on the Athens art scene. Another objective is to provide an opportunity for any young artists whose work may be shown to be mentioned along with other galleries in a guide that is an objective and not a select list of exhibitions. An electronic version of the map is planned for the near future. So is its availability at further distribution points, such as hotels, and the inclusion of more galleries. Lakis and Aris Ionas also have plans for other projects including a television documentary on contemporary art. Like the Athens contemporary map, the idea is to enable the flow of information in the field of visual arts.