Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A stroll around Kolonaki


 
A delightful stroll around Kolonaki last week. We took the bus to Syntagma and then
 
 
 

 
walked up Pindarou Street. This neo-classical building is very charming - such intricate plasterwork!
 
 
 

 
 
On Alopekis Street we came upon this modernist glass building sandwiched between two neo-classical ones: a good development, I think
 
 
 


the building on the left of the development





with an abstract sculpture on the grounds





and the building on the right.

 
 
 
 
We then walked past Cake, a coffee shop, and I loved this scene: friends sharing a table, one sitting inside, the other outside





Sweet Alchemy, our next stop




 
delicious cakes, pastries and chocolate
 

 
 


cakes wrapped in multi-coloured cloth





dried fruit





and lots of Easter eggs.





We then went to Aithousa Technis Athinon, to see the work of Marc Raymond: sculpture, decoupage and monochrome prints - clean lines reminiscent of Bauhaus and the constructivists.




 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 






 
Next stop was Astrolavos Gallery in Dexameni to view Giorgos Papakarmezis exhibition 'Understand Atlas'.
 
 


 
Atlas II




 
C II
 
 


 
On our way to Haritos Street we stopped at the top of these steps to look at the view
 
 
 

 
zooming in
 

 
 


We just had to go in Les Connaisseurs as we were passing the shop





where the displays are always interesting




 
I am very taken with these ceramic hens
 

 
 

 
which are dotted everywhere around the shop
 
 
 


around Easter time




 
very tastefully arranged
 

 
 

 
I think they're wonderful
 

 
 


as are these ceramic birds




 
lots of eggs around as well.
 

 
 


Some street art further down the road





When we reached the square, business was as usual - tons of people sitting in cafes, enjoying the sunshine








Monday, 14 April 2014

No Respect

 
 

No Respect, 40 graffiti and street artists exhibiting at





Stegi Grammaton kai Technon which has been suitably 'dressed' for the occasion.





In the foyer with the bar at the far end




 
The stairs that lead to the gallery downstairs
 

 
 



and the official poster by the small foyer before the main exhibition space. The title of the exhibition refers to the fact that the public does not respect street art; that street artists are seen as not respecting public spaces, and the fact that those who participate in the exhibition might lose the respect of their fellow artists who did not participate. Athens has furthermore more street art and graffiti than most other European cities, a fact that is an indication of  its citizens not respecting a city that seems to disrespect them.





Another set of posters in the foyer.





 
The first piece of street art. A political statement, critical not just of the street art scene, but of contemporary society in general. It's also a pun as 'fame' (to eat in Greek) in some ways encapsulates the era we are living in, not just because some people don't have enough to eat in these difficult times, but also because of the statement that one of the politicians made to the effect that 'we all ate it together', meaning we all took advantage of the good times - a statement that angered people as it's just the politicians and the industrialists who filled their pockets and no one else. But, maybe this pun is something that only Greek people would understand.
 

 
 


looking closer




 
various tags on the opposite wall
 

 
 


and then we entered the main exhibition space, and it hit us: anarchic, intense, vibrant, electric, buzzing - incredible atmosphere, and so many people





who actually engaged with the art. My experience of exhibition openings is that looking at the art is the one thing that people do not do: they come in order to be seen as art lovers, to drink wine, to chat,  but the one thing they do not do is look at the art.





The other thing that was so refreshing was the people themselves: the usual crowd who go to openings, but also lots of young trendies, 'alternative' types of people, children, 'followers' of the street artists - a lovely mix so that at times it was as interesting looking at the people as it was looking at the exhibits.





There was a DJ, the music was vibrant and loud - another ingredient in the creation of a wonderful atmosphere
 
  
 

 
I took a lot of photographs, but unfortunately missed photographing the person who was going round photographing those who were taking photographs
 
 
 


Once the organisers put the word out, 165 street artists responded and 40 were chosen to exhibit. They were given free reign to use the walls, pillars and floor of the exhibition space. They were asked the work with 'the attitude of the street'. 'I wanted the space to consist of a continuous piece of street art, I had this vision of a psychedelic space, of being able to get immersed in the form, the colour, the intensity', says one of the organisers.








 
 
 
 

 
We talked about how the image of aliens of a recurring theme 
 
 
 

 
 


 
References to classic works of art abound in Love Kills Slowly 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 


This was my favourite - cubism of the 21st century, the fractured self?





looking closer




 
Three cars within the space, all three given the 'treatment' 
 
 








 
Interesting hieroglyphics, not sure what they're referring to 
 
 







 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 







 
 
 
 




 
 












 
 
 
 

 
I love the coffee cup detail on the roof of the car - a symbol of today's Greek, if there ever was one.... 
 
 
 








There were television screens showing the artists at work


 
 

 
wonderful floor design 
 
 







 
 
 
 


 
This was Ken's favourite - I think it was the word Control at the top that did it - another strong political statement
 
 
 



A brick on the floor with the words 'That is your Weapon', a reference to the resistance waged by the Greek people to the economic, political and social policies of the government.





 
Education as slavery - an interesting concept. Brainwashing by the-powers that be?
 
 

 


We arrived at 9:30 and left at 12:30 and the space was crowded the whole time









Notice the ear on the left













 


The lights dimmed when the party started at 11:00





 
I play with my enemies like a game of chess 
 
 
 
 
 
The bar was very crowded. There were endless supplies of free wine and beer. The food was appropriately street food, mini hamburgers and hot dogs - again, no expense was spared





I took this photograph of the bar benches, tables and stools at 12:30 when the crowd had thinned as I really like the design






and I love the pebble cushions by Elena Votsi - I want some





 
This is what was going on outside the building as we left after midnight.  An awesome event. Probably the best night we had during this stay in Athens.