Athens acquires new art venues

Three new arrivals will soon be added to the list of Athens galleries bringing more diversity to the city’s existing mixed bag of art venues but also greater choice in what nevertheless remains a limited art market. Lab Art Projects will open in early November with the exhibition «Disturb,» the show curated by artist Dimitris Antonitsis which opened on Hydra over the summer and is currently showing at the Mylos complex in Thessaloniki. Located in the heart of Psyrri and run by Niki Georgopoulou (curator Marina Athanassiadi will be a steady collaborator), the gallery is geared more toward experimental rather than commercial work. It will host performances, happenings and video work and will also encourage audience interaction. Another new gallery is Gazon Rouge, a three-level, spacious art venue right off Syntagma Square scheduled to open to the public in early November. Run by Marialena Kougia and Loraini Alimantiri, both young art historians (Alimantiri is also an architect and has worked for the National Gallery in London, where she has lived for the past decade), it has all the credentials of a promising, trendy gallery. Among the gallery’s regular activities will be an ongoing collaboration with Tribal Booze, a theater located on the building’s top floor. The exhibition’s inaugural show, showcasing two Milan-based Japanese artists, will include a video based on the theater play «When the Go-Go Dancers Dance.» There are also plans for a cafe and art library that will move Gazon Rouge closer to the concept of being a meeting point rather than a mere art exhibition hall. An ephemeral, site-specific project will open next week by the Geneva-based «dot galerie.» Run by Anne-Laure Oberson, the idea here is not to create a permanent gallery but to mount an exhibition (a joint show on artists J.F. Watkinson and Phyllis Anne DuCoyne) to test the ground for future projects. Conceived as the very opposite of the «white cube,» dot galerie is a nomadic gallery based on the idea of flexibility, mobility (the next project is in Germany) and exchange. The idea is to mount projects that are attuned to the artistic mood of the city, the characteristics of each work and the audience’s response. In a sense, the gallery is an experiment in how an art venue can most effectively operate under specific conditions. In the past, dot galerie has organized site specific projects but also exhibitions in such alternative venues as parking lots or garages. Anne-Laure Oberson also plans to organize an exhibition on contemporary Greek artists living in Geneva, the only city where dot galerie has a permanent location.

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