CULTURE

Summer tribute caters to young Greek artists

Greece does not boast many institutions to support young artists, and the public normally has to rely on exhibitions by graduates of the Athens School of Fine Arts. An annual summer tribute to young artists held in Thessaloniki, «Action Field Kodra,» is an oasis for those interested in studying developments in the Greek art world. Supported by the Kalamaria Municipality, this vibrant forum has, over the years, grown in size and stature, often revealing promising new talent. The forum takes place in an early 20th century army training camp, a 42-hectare stretch of land in the middle of Kalamaria. The former administrative buildings, barracks, mess hall and surrounding woods are now archaeological excavation sites. The overall effect is inspiring, drawing 50 young artists in 2001 to claim their space within the area and create in situ works of art. Events at the Kodra forum begin in the first week of August and include exhibitions, open discussions, workshops and a residency program. This year’s event focuses on Greek artists under the age of 30. Curated by Efi Chalyvopoulou, «Room to Let» shows a broad spectrum of art, from painting and sculpture to photography, installation and new media. As a counterbalance, there is also a display of works by artists over the age of 30 who have already made their way into the professional art world. The residency program brings together a curator and a group of Greek and foreign artists to create on-site works in a short period of time on the theme of «Dividing Lines.» The curator coordinating the project is Pier Luigi Tazzi, an art critic, writer and professor from Tuscany. «Kodra has a fantastic space that is very attractive to the artists,» Tazzi said. «It is like a free zone even though the buildings that surround it can seem threatening. I selected three foreign artists from countries with an Islamic element, because I thought it would be interesting to see their interaction with two Greeks in a city with such a rich Byzantine background as