The idea is straightforward and practical: it takes hands-on ethics and moral integrity for people to change their perception of the world. Back in 2010, Athens-born, Munich-based Chiona Xanthopoulou-Schwarz was faced with the same question time and again in her conversations with Germans and Greeks: “What are you Greeks living abroad doing for the homeland, which is being tested?”
After pondering the issue, she picked Samos, an island to which she is bound by love rather than family, and founded the Samos Young Artists Festival. The annual event features rising classical music stars performing at the Ancient Theater of Pythagorion with the support of Munich's Schwarz Foundation. In 2012, the festival's cultural activities spilled into the visual arts field, through exhibitions hosted at the Pythagorion Art Space – a former hotel turned into an elegant exhibition space with fund from the German foundation.
Over the past five years the festival has developed into a cultural institution with an international flair. Besides generating a certain prestige for the eastern Aegean island, it also brings in revenues and employment opportunities for the local community. At the same time it has also fostered ties between Greece and Germany, two countries currently going through a particularly fraught phase in their relationship.
Despite ongoing difficulties, the Young Artists Festival will take place again this year, from August 7 to 13. Meanwhile, the Pythagorion Art Space is hosting “Hotel Marina Lucica,” an exhibition of works by artist Aleksandra Domanovic, opening on August 4, with a panel discussion set to take place on August 6. The show will run through October 10.
Born in Novi Sad, Serbia, in 1981, the artist witnessed the breakup of former Yugoslavia first-hand, while her personal and public stories are often mixed together in her works.
Based on her rejection of the rigid historical narrative, the artist takes a different view on historical research, while her work – which includes sculpture, video, photography and installations – frequently explores the silent, often invisible politics that form the basis of contemporary society.
In “Hotel Marina Lucica,” Domanovic presents work from the past five years, including a large number of new commissions. The exhibition's title is a reference to a former resort located on the Croatian coast, a location that changed use on several occasions depending on historical developments.
For more information on the festival, visit www.schwarzfoundation.com