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"Arts in windows" revives bankrupt shops in Athens

23 December 2011 / 20:12:21  GRReporter
3522 reads

Victoria Mindova

An initiative of the Academy of Fine Arts brought life to empty shops in Athens around Christmas holidays. Young artists sought the support of the Athens Municipality and the Chamber of Greek Merchants to implement a project carried out in many European cities: abandoned commercial sites hit by the crisis become the home of works by students and artists and revive for a few weeks. Installations, graffiti, paintings and other art forms are filling spaces that not long ago were shops for clothes, shoes, cosmetics or accessories.

"Our works express the general mood that is prevailing in the country and the world as a whole," Sotiris Fokeas is 22 years old and is a last year student at the Academy of Fine Arts. He and his colleagues have expressed themselves in a shop on 10, Stadiou Street, which the owner has placed at their disposal for the artistic initiative. Sotiris did not hide the fact that in Greece it is still not easy to show art outside of galleries and other usual places. It was difficult for the students to make institutions understand their idea for the project. Some works have been rejected for not having festive spirit, others simply have been declared inappropriate. However, it was not necessary to make serious compromises in order to send the message of the new generation.
Christmas and New Year are holidays, which always bear the hope for better and more successful days, but there is no way to ignore the facts of reality. Unemployment in Greece is almost 20 per cent, swarms of young talented people seek and find fulfilment abroad, and families see how the results of their long work are vanishing. The works of Sotiris and his friends on 10, Stadiou Street reflect these sentiments. "We had several days to complete the assignments. The first day, municipality representatives said that some works could not be displayed. We had to change the concept and make quite a few changes. The result shows the chaos and confusion reigning around us." This is the view of the group that has developed the project on 10, Stadiou Street. Other students have expressed themselves in spaces on the streets Akadimias, Solonos, Amerikis, Voukureshtiou, Periklis, Nikis, Patriarhou Joachim, all in the city centre.

The project will be on display until 7 January 2012 and everyone can spend some time between work, walks or holiday shopping to understand the perception of young Greek artists.



Tags: ArtsAthensArts in windows
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