Guides to shed light on exhibition

It was anticipated to be one of the most promising exhibitions of international contemporary art in Athens. Organized by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, «The Grand Promenade,» which opened in mid-July, is a sprawling exhibition on display outdoors in the historic center of Athens and other cultural venues. But there were problems. With the exception of the «New Palestinian Museum of Natural History,» a construction by artist Khalil Rabah that was positioned at the start of Dionysiou Areopagitou, the rest of the works along the same route and its expansion at Apostolou Pavlou were hardly discernible. One risked traversing the entire promenade and seeing no works whatsoever. This is what makes the four different guided tours that have been organized by the museum beginning next Tuesday and throughout the month (the exhibition ends September 29) most valuable. Art historians who work for the museum will be giving tours to the public. Each of these tours evolve around a particular topic and involve different works each time. The first tour addresses works which have been made especially for Athens and reference the city’s urban environment and history. It will take place along Dionysiou Areopagitou and Apostolou Pavlou streets, Ermou Street and the Roman Forum. Artists whose work is on display include Ulrich Ruckriem, Susan Philipsz, Anish Kapoor, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Andreas Angelidakis and Miltos Manetas. The dates of these tours are September 12, 19 and 26 at 6.30 p.m. and September 17, starting at noon from the Acropolis metro station. The second guided tour is on works that address existential issues such as the notion of time, experience and dreams. Works by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Rachel Whiteread, George Hadjimichalis, Wolfgang Laib and Janine Antoni are included. The dates are September 13, 20 and 27, starting at 7 p.m. from the Institute of Greek Archaeologists (134-136 Ermou). Another tour explores issues related to urban space and life, multiculturalism, immigration, globalization and national identity. Works by Vlassis Kaniaris, Lina Theodorou, Santiago Serra, Ghada Amer, Kutlug Ataman, Evanthia Tsantila, Garry Hill, Adrian Paci and Ernesto Neto are included. The dates are September 14, 21 and 26, starting at 7 p.m. from the entrance of the Kerameikos archaeological area. A final tour is on public and private life and politics. Artists whose works will be shown include Costis Velonis, Steve Roden, Silke Otto-Knapp, Pawel Althamer, Fouad Elkoury, Gulsun Karamustafa and Michael Blum. The dates are September 15, 22 and 29, starting at 7 p.m. from the Melina Center Foundation (9-11 Polygnotou, Plaka). The tours are free of charge. On September 24, all tours will begin at noon at their appointed meeting points. For details: 210.9242.111-2,