ingenious visual art event opened out in the streets, on squares,
in archaeological sites and the historic centre of Athens. In
their workaday life, the public came across works of contemporary
art which conversed with the historic, urban and social environment
of the city.
ΑΘΗΝΑ BY ART was one of the cultural events that the Municipality of the City
of Athens organized to celebrate the Olympic Games. Eighty three artists, established
but also many emerging ones, came forward in a dynamic way by installing works
of art in town, works which had been specially designed to be exhibited outdoors.
This visual route was materialized by the Association of Art Critics, AICA HELLAS,
who also engaged with its planning. The selection of the artists as well as the
land-planning study for the installation of the works were made by fourteen art
critics, all members of AICA HELLAS, giving shape, thus, to the ingenious idea
which the Municipality of the City of Athens suggested.
More specifically, fourteen art critics submitted proposals for works of rising
young artists and, at once, made out a selective list that consisted of sixteen
artists (according to merit), whose work is historically related to the approach
of the public space through the use of pioneer means of expression.
There had been visual information galore that referred to the great event of
the Olympic Games held in Athens. These contemporary Greek artists invited the
people to re-discover their city through the artists’ sensitive eyes, marking
off, in this way, various spots of the city and establishing different relations
with the day-to-day and historic surroundings.
The presence of the contemporary visual arts potentialities in the public spaces
of Athens fulfilled two objectives: to put the visual arts in touch with the
public –within the general festive atmosphere that prevailed in Athens- as well
as to project the contemporary Greek culture to the international world as a
continuation of a creative attitude and thought within the global course of events.
In this unprecedented diffusion of art through the Athenian everyday environment,
works and interventions were on public view, representing a wide range of means
of expression: sculptures, three-dimensional constructions, video projections,
interactive works, environments, etc, which stretched within a great radius of
the centre of Athens: from Syntagma Square, the National Garden, Zappeion and
Dionyssiou Areopagitou pedestrian street, the area of Loumbardiaris, Apostolou
Pavlou pedestrianised street, Thisseion, Keramikos, Monastiraki, Athena’s Street,
Mitropoleos Street at the location of Dimopratiriou Square, in the surrounding
area of Roman Market at Aerides, Kapnikarea’s Square, Vassilissis Sofia’s Avenue,
to Koumoundourou Square, Gazi and Egyptou Square, at the junction of Alexandra’s
Avenue and Patission Street.
The public, as they passed by or wandered about, came upon the works presented
in ΑΘΗΝΑ BY ART, a visual arts action, which ran from August through September