An ‘alternative’ artistic scene

The DESTE Foundation of contemporary art has embraced the contemporary, local art scene by inviting curators and artists to propose projects that reflect new tendencies in Greek art. From the 250 proposals that were submitted recently, many of them from foreign curators, a committee that includes the DESTE Foundation, Deitch Projects and Wrong Gallery chose «Anathena,» a curatorial project signed by Marina Fokidi and Marina Yioti. The decision was announced a few days ago and the exhibition will be held in the fall in the DESTE Foundation’s Yellow Room, a space in the expansive premises of the building in Nea Ionia which will be open to projects that are not DESTE productions. «Anathena» will feature Athens-based artists whose work lies outside mainstream culture and the institutional structure of museums. It is meant to highlight a dynamic yet rarely shown aspect of contemporary artistic production that can be said to be «underground» and has affinities with street art and the music scene. Most of the artists that «Anathena» will present are not visual artists in the conventional sense; many work professionally as graphic designers, Internet specialists, are film or media experts or DJs. Their work draws from different aspects of what is broadly termed «visual, contemporary culture» and is community-based. It often relies on collaborative work; it grows from contacts and friendships and has an interactive, lively aspect. Among the 17 artists featured in the exhibition are Panos Koutroubousis, a writer and artist as well as a key player in the Athens underground artistic scene of the 1950s. Pantelis Pantelopoulos is a DJ and self-taught graphic and set designer whose work has mainly been shown in comic books. Another self-taught artist is Angelos Plessas who works mainly with the Internet. «Anathena» will also show collaborative work by artists of a loosely knit group that is related to music, film and graphic design and whose work appears in fan magazines, independent film festivals and music concerts. Another group has been singled out for its focus on the medium of drawing. Among the rest of the projects submitted to DESTE, «Part Time Punks» by Aris and Lakis Ionas and «The Symposium» by Sayra Art were commended by the committee for their originality and are most likely to be realized in the future.