Following its hosting at the Holy Theological School of Halki and Istanbul’s Sismanoglio Hall, a group exhibition entitled “Tracing Istanbul” and featuring 101 Greek artists last night took up residence at the City of Athens Technopolis, in the Kostis Palamas and Angelos Sikelianos Halls, where it will remain for a month (6/10 – 7/11/2010).
Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis inaugurated the exhibition at the Athina Municipal Radio 9.84 FM Amphitheatre in the presence of Turkish Ambassador to Greece Mehmet Hasan Gogus and Bishop Theodoritos of Nazianzos, who represented Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymos.
Also in attendance were Technopolis governing board chairman Fotis Ignatiou , art historian Iris Kritikou who curated the exhibition, and White Fox SA director Anastasia Manou who gave birth to the idea and organised the exhibition.
Mayor Kaklamanis thanked all who were involved in the creation and success of the exhibition and said:
“The group exhibition which we are hosting as of today at the Technopolis has already made history, Because it was this exact exhibition which, just last August, put the key in the door of the Holy Theological School of Halki, opening it after 30 long years. And apart from the fact that, in this way, it fulfilled a longstanding demand of Hellenism as a whole, it is an exhibition which is of artistic value in itself as it serves as a libation to memory, a tribute to creation, a perpetuation of the legacy of Greek contribution to the magic of Istanbul .”
“Just as Byzantium served as a bridge between the historical tradition of western civilization and the limitless sources of Greek ideals, the ‘Tracing Istanbul’ exhibition constitutes a perceptible bridge of culture and inspiration between Greece and Turkey , Athens and Istanbul .
And this is why this specific exhibition clearly demonstrated that where official government diplomacy often fails, city diplomacy triumphs.”
For his part chairman Ignatiou said:
“There is not a great deal I can say about the exhibition as the works speak for themselves and expose the greatness of a city with unique character and more than 100 different faces, that is, equal to the number of participating artists. Through varied images of its history, mythology and daily life but also through colours and symbols, the past, present and future of an eternal city is formed.”
Turkish Ambassador to Greece Mehmet Hasan Gogus, who conveyed greetings and wishes from Turkey ’s Culture and Tourism Minister for a successful exhibition, said:
“It is very difficult to describe Istanbul . It is a city that someone could trace, follow with their eyes and emotions wide open.
On the occasion of the launch of this exhibition, I invite all of you to see Istanbul as you have never seen it up till now through the eyes of the many artists who worked hard to bring you their visions of this amazing and wonderful city. Certain exhibitions, such as this one, contribute substantially toward bringing two nations, those of Greece and Turkey , ever closer.”
Bishop Theodoritos of Nazianzos, Iris Krtikou and Anastasia Manou also spoke at the launch.
The exhibition, which is open to the public, is being held under the auspices of the Greek Consulate in Istanbul, the City of Athens and its Cultural Organisation, the Princes Islands Municipality and Unesco Hellas.
The works cover a wide range of artistic expression by individuals of different generations who used varied art techniques, thereby revealing the soul of a “city with a thousand faces” through varying mediums of expression such as painting, sculpture, installations, photography, video and hagiography that depict mythological and historic images as well as day-to-day moments.
Items from the Princes Islands ’ Adalar Museum also feature in the exhibition space, while a documentary of the same name, produced by Anastasia Manou and curated by the Holy Monastery of Agios Dionysios Olympus, will be screened for the first time.
The exhibition coincides with the declaration of Istanbul as a 2010 European Capital of Culture.
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00