CULTURE

High hopes, lost causes and accolades

Outlook This exhibition raised more expectations than it could handle. It promised to place Greece on the international map for the visual arts. It aspired to initiate the Greek public into the secrets of contemporary art. But in the end, what did it really accomplish? Because of a piece of art that seemed to counter religion and a unfortunate photograph, Outlook became a hot topic for talk shows. It also turned politicians, the clergy and the usual suspects on morning TV shows into art critics. It provoked derision and execration. However, this exhibition, the most costly visual arts production ever to have taken place in Greece, was not a failure. If nothing else, it succeeded in triggering a debate over what contemporary art stands for. It also drew in a young public, rekindled the public’s fervid enthusiasm, offered some wonderful works on display and was emblematic in its contemporaneity. Outlook sealed 2003. N.X. Maria Papadimitriou Artist Maria Papadimitriou can be found at all international exhibitions of contemporary art. Although other Greek artists remain professionally isolated in Greece, Papadimitriou appears to possess both the talent and a necessary network of acquaintances that helps her to participate in the right exhibition at the right time. She received this year’s DESTE art award, beating strong competition from the likes of Nikos Alexiou and Apostolos Georgiou. There had been no doubt she would be participating in Outlook, even when Christos Ioakimidis announced that only four Greek artists would do so. Her artwork impressed those who did not know that she is set on helping some Gypsies, currently in danger of losing their homes, find new lodgings.

M.P. Christos Loulis From the very beginning, 2003 promised to be a very good year for young actor Christos Loulis, who had already started to make a name for himself in theater, mostly because of his appearances with Lefteris Voyiatzis’s group. In early 2003 he received the Dimitris Horn prize for a new leading actor. Shortly after, he accepted actress/director Lydia Koniordou’s proposal to star alongside her in «Ion» at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus. This turned out to be the best ancient drama production of 2003 and Loulis was described as a revelation. In the meantime, he also appeared on television for the first time, in Christoforos Papakaliatis’s series «Close your Eyes,» in a role that confirmed his popularity.

V.A.