CULTURE

New-generation artist’s work focuses on Athens with ‘City III’

“Athens by Art,» Athens Municipality’s ambitious art program on display for the duration of the Olympic Games, has brought us closer to contemporary Greek artists. On large pedestrian streets, squares and main roads, people stop in front of artworks and bend to read names of acclaimed and upcoming artists. One of the representatives of the new generation is Christos Athanassiadis, whose very interesting installation is on display at the pedestrianized end of Ermou Street. Combining traditional methods and new technologies, the work is titled «City III»: On the white outer wall of the Kerameikos Museum the artist has drawn with charcoal a view of Syntagma Square which, in the evenings, serves as a screen for the projection of the shadow of thousands of pigeons flying in the city. «When dozens of works are exhibited around the whole of Athens, artists come out of their isolation and talk to the public. They receive observations and comments and are exposed to creative criticism that helps them move forward. Besides, art is communication,» said Athanassiadis, whose most recent work focuses on the city. In the past, Athanassiadis had been a candidate for the DESTE award with another unit: painted-on styles from well-known European and American films, like «Psycho» and others. «I believe cinema is an unbreakable part of urban culture. Our memories from our favorite movies are registered in the collective subconscious,» he said. «It was a natural consequence for me to focus my next project on the city, the urban landscape, the little corners that we love and have linked to experiences.» Born in Athens in 1967, he loves the city and is proud of its new look: «What is happening is very beautiful. I hope it can continue after the Games.» In his last exhibition, at the a.antonopoulou art gallery, he presented a series of works with parts of his favorite cities: his birthplace, Paris, Prague, and Milan (where he studied at the Academia di Belle Arti). The works were large digital prints, painted over with oil and charcoal. At the installation on Ermou Street, he manages to add life and movement to the image instead of freezing it. Passers-by are willing to be taken by the work’s dreamy attitude and quite often go into the installation to see how the hordes of birds are imprinted on their bodies.