CULTURE

An ambitious art project in Athens

One of the largest and most discussed projects on contemporary art held in Greece in recent years opened over the weekend in three large city venues along Pireos Avenue: Technopolis in Gazi, the exhibition hall of the Athens School of Fine Arts and the new building of the Benaki Museum planned to host contemporary art exhibitions in the near future. «Outlook,» the name of the project, is the biggest exhibition on international contemporary art ever held in Greece. It comprises 200 works by some 85 artists (many of them made especially for the exhibition) and is officially organized by the Cultural Olympiad Organization for the Promotion of Greek Civilization. ARENA, which is a non-profit organization that aims at the promotion of contemporary art, has implemented the project. The total budget of Outlook is given at 2.3 million euros, which the organizers say is a very modest cost for organizing an international art exhibition of Outlook’s scale. Outlook’s artistic director is Christos Joachimides, an arts curator long based in Berlin and just recently settled in Greece. Since the early 1970s Joachimides has curated significant exhibitions of contemporary art, some in cooperation with Norman Rosenthal, director of London’s Royal Academy of Art. «Metropolis» in 1991, «Zeitgeist» in 1982, «A New Spirit in Painting» from 1981 and «American Art in the 20th Century» from the early ’90s are some of the most important of Joachimides’s projects. This is the first time that Joachimides has organized an exhibition of the scale of Outlook in Greece. In a press conference held on the occasion of the exhibition, Joachimides mentioned the new attention focused on cities – such as Athens – located on the artistic periphery. He also said he hopes that Outlook will help place Greece on the international cultural map, an ambition long harbored by artists and curators in this country. Eleven Greek artists will be participating in the project, a number which according to Joachimides far exceeds the number of artists representing several of other countries. The exhibition will last until January 25. Open every day from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Closed on 28/10, Christmas and New Year’s Day and 6/1/03. During the course, its organizers have planned for tours and lectures. Website: www.outlook.gr.