Shared origins, diverse visions

When you come across a long list of well-known names participating in group exhibitions in Athens, there is always a little bit of suspicion attached to the news. This is because, more often than not, the works representing the artists are not A-list and when they all come together, no matter how imaginative the show?s concept may be, hopes for a rich visual arts experience fall flat. This is not the case with ?Polyglossia,? however, an exhibition opening at the Onassis Cultural Center on Tuesday, March 15, and running to June 30.

In this case, the coherence of the works going on display is centered around a common trait shared by all the artists involved: They are all of Greek origin and have all lived and worked abroad. The exhibition?s organizers are bringing together an impressive array of established artists, among them Jannis Kounellis, Stephen Antonakos, Chryssa, Lucas Samaras and Maria Antelman, as well as members of the younger generation, including Miltos Manetas, Christina Dimitriadis, Katerina Christidi and Athena Tacha.   

The show features 31 works by 31 artists — among them works created especially for the exhibition. According to Marilena Karra, in charge of the Onassis Center?s visual arts department, the show is neither about presenting a panorama of Greek artists living abroad, nor is it a historical approach to Greek art of the diaspora. What the exhibition aims to portray is the creative fusion created by artists of diverse cultures and experiences, as well as to show how the artists evolved within the different visual arts environments they were confronted with.

A well-edited catalog with plenty of reading material is always a plus, provided it adds substance to the exhibition?s overall experience. In the case of ?Polyglossia,? the mission is accomplished through the addition of texts exploring language through glossology, neurophysiology, psychology, criminology, dance theory, music and literature.

Onassis Cultural Center, 107-109 Syngrou, tel 213.017.8000. For more information, visit

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