Universality of soccer at the Benaki

Soccer’s newfound popularity in this country (due to the extraordinary success of the Greek national team in Portugal recently) provides the perfect backdrop for an exhibition at the Benaki Museum’s new wing. «Planet Soccer» features the work of 50 Magnum agency photographers on the occasion of the 11th Photography Month currently under way in Athens. Under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, the exhibition is co-organized by Magnum and the Goethe Institute in Athens, with the collaboration of the Greek Center for Photography. Universal game Don’t expect to come across photos of landmark soccer moments, great matches or the game’s stars – though the latter do appear occasionally. Instead, the exhibition focuses on the universality of soccer and the way it draws to it people of all races, religions and politics. One man, for instance, takes a nap on the beach, using a plastic ball to rest his head, while a group of Iranian women exchange passes. The Benaki show features works by Abbas, Bruno Barbey, Rene Burri, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Carl De Keyzer, Thomas Dworzak, Nikos Economopoulos, Patrick Zachmann, Martine Franck, Stuart Franklin, Harry Gruyaert, Josef Koudelka, Herbert List and Philip Jones Griffith, among many others. The exhibition was originally presented in Thessaloniki, followed by Volos, while it also traveled to Portugal during the 2004 Euro Cup. Following the Athens leg, the show will travel to a number of countries before reaching Germany, the host country of the 2006 World Cup. Benaki Museum – New Wing, 138 Pireos & Andronikou, Gazi, tel 210.345.3111-3. To October 31.