Artists explore beauty

Today is Human Rights Day around the world and in Greece the event is being marked by the fourth Art Festival for Human Rights, hosted by the Eugenides Foundation and organized by the Open Horizons non-governmental group, with the support of the European Commission and the Greek Ministry of Culture. Taking its cue from the Olympic Games fever that has struck the country the past couple of years, the festival organizers’ theme this year is «The Other Body,» tying in with 2004 as the European Year of Education Through Sports. The starting point for the artists participating in the three-day event was to explore the concept of the human body beyond the boundaries set by ideals of athletic perfection. The artists were challenged to create a dialogue between the arts, science and technology that would re-examine and reassess the standards used to qualify beauty, normally equated with fine muscular tone, beauty and youthfulness. The aim, in effect, is to highlight the basic concepts of human rights by addressing the manner in which we as a society judge people by their outward appearance and in redefining how we define beauty. There are 30 Greek artists showing their work at the foundation, using media ranging from conventional painting and photography to experimental applications, sculpture, constructions and video installations. What they all have in common, however, is an exploration of the social consequences of a changing perception of the body brought about by the encounter between the natural and virtual worlds. Apart from the exhibition, the program of events also includes the screening of 20 films (dance, animation, artistic and documentary) whose main theme is the human body, while there are also two performances: «Mass Production,» which is being performed today at 7.30 p.m. for the inauguration of the festival and «C.I.P.O. 03,» which will be shown today from 7-10 p.m. and tomorrow and Sunday from 6-10 p.m. «Mass Production» is dance theater created by choreographer Apostolia Papadamaki and artist Christos Delidemos in which 20 amateur dancers and artists comment on the lack of communication between people who appear close, at least on a physical level. «C.I.P.O. 03» is an interactive video installation by Costas Daflos in which a camera records the movements of a dancer and sends the movements into a robot that translates them into images, in a comment on the way images sent through closed-circuit television are skewed. Last but not least, the Arts Festival for Human Rights will hold a symposium tomorrow on «Journey to the Body» which is to address the theoretical and historical aspects of body perception, as well as a series of workshops on «Athletic Training Through the Arts.» Eugenides Foundation, 387 Syngrou Ave, Kallithea. Admission is free and events take place daily from 6-10 p.m.