CULTURE

The largest Athens Art Fair ever draws 20 international galleries

The Athens Art Fair, an event that began almost a decade ago and has admittedly gained enormously in strength during the past couple of years, will open to the public from tomorrow to Monday with 54 Athens galleries participating along with 20 international galleries from Europe, the United States and Israel. This is the largest Athens Art Fair ever and one that is estimated to attract important collectors. The so-called Art Athina is also an important indication of the levels of supply and demand in the Greek art market. The increasing interest shown by foreign galleries in participating in the Athens Art Fair demonstrates that Greece, although on the periphery of the art world, is nevertheless a fast-growing art center. It also reflects the appeal of the work of international, renowned artists for Greek collectors; the predominance of works by foreign artists in last year’s events is proof thereof. One country at a time Another feature of Art Athina is that it runs an exhibit featuring the contemporary art of one country each time. «Make me Feel: Eight statements from the Nordic region,» which is the title of this year’s exhibit, focuses on contemporary Scandinavian art and is curated by John Peter Nilsson, editor of the Swedish art magazine «Nu: The Nordic Art Review.» The Scandinavian countries are known for their age-old welfare state policy, a tradition which in the arts world translates into human-oriented and «democratic» Scandinavian design and the inexpensive, functional and comfortable furniture which some of the world’s most famous designers – such as Finnish Alvar Aalto and Danish Arne Jacobson or Verner Panton – have produced. In a certain sense, «Make me Feel» evokes this tradition, as it shifts our attention away from the fast pace of contemporary, technology-ridden life to human emotions. One of the issues that the exhibition raises is the ways that contemporary, media-governed realities twist our perceptions of the world and repress our emotions. Among the participating artists are Norwegian photographer Torbjorn Rodland (in the past he has run an editorial in Purple magazine for the Italian fashion house of Prada), Swedish Anneè Olofsson, whose work addresses the fragility of human relationships and Sophie Tottie, who mainly addresses social issues in her work. The Athens Art Fair will open tomorrow at the HELEXPO exhibition center (39 Kifissias, Maroussi, near the Olympic Stadium) from 12 p.m.- 9 p.m. Greek distributors also selected two of the 16 entries in the International Competition section for the public’s entertainment: «Under the Stars,» by London-based Cypriot Christos Georgiou, a film revealing the scars of a divided country, related through a road trip of self-discovery; and «Bar,» another film by a Cypriot artist, Aliki Danezi-Knusten.