Discovering the Greek Museum of Cycladic art in a 3 minute video

After completing my Universities exams, I returned to Greece to spend my summer vacation and I decided to look for an internship for a couple of months. I felt extremely lucky and excited when I finally  got an internship at my favourite museum in Athens, the Museum of Cycladic Art.

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The Museum of Cycladic Art  (MCA) is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium. Today in the galleries of the Museum, the visitor can approach three major subjects. The permanent collections of  Cycladic Art, Ancient Greek Art and Ancient Cypriot Art.

Besides the permanent collections, the Museums temporary exhibitions constitute one of the most fruitful activities, constantly renewing the museum’s interaction with the public. The numerous archaeological exhibitions are meant to introduce the public to important aspects of ancient Greek art as well as of other Mediterranean cultures, with loans from other Greek and foreign museums. Apart from archaeology, the temporary exhibitions of the museum frequently focus on modern and contemporary art, aiming to introduce the public to important 20th century artists and explore the links between ancient cultures and modern artistic creation.

The following video, is a great opportunity  to become familiar with the beauty of the Museum

Let me know your thoughts and feelings after watching the video and  If you find yourself in Athens, make sure you visit the Museum of Cycladic Art.

Important links for information and news

www.cycladic.gr
https://www.facebook.com/CycladicArtMuseum
http://instagram.com/cycladic_museum#
https://twitter.com/cycladic_museum

Exhibition Suggestions

Hello everyone,

My university’s second term has come to its end, and I will be going back to Greece to spent the easter holidays with my family and friends. The good news is that I will try and keep up with my blog, focusing on the many interesting art events currently happening in Athens. The bad news is that because I don’t know the exact date that I will be coming back to London,  I will probably have to miss some great art exhibitions happening here at the moment. As a result of that, I have selected my top three exhibitions that I really wanted to visit but did not have the chance. I am hoping to be able to visit them when I come back, but in case I don’t, here they are; make sure that you take a look , be inspired and if you decide to visit them, let me know what you thought!

Momentum, at the Barbican Centre (Images courtesy of Barbican Centre)
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“Momentum consists of twelve pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing, drawing attention to the Curve’s vast arc, inviting you to journey through the space guided by your heightened senses. Each pendulum has been meticulously designed and built using steel, aluminium, and custom electronics. The sound is individual to each pendulum, prepared and tuned to seamlessly resonate as they move within the Curve”. Momentum creates an unique environment that has its foundations in detailed research, sophisticated computer technology and mechanical expertise. Yet, the effect is to create a space that feels wondrously transformed, one which you are invited to experience and explore.” (information taken from: barbican.org.uk)

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined at the Royal Academy of Arts

“Some of the most creative architectural minds from around the world have come to the RA, and we’ve set them a challenge: to give you a new perspective on architecture. ‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’ sees our Main Galleries transformed by a series of large scale installations. As you respond to different structures, textures, lighting, scents and colours, we invite you to consider some of the big questions about the nature of architecture. How do spaces make us feel? What does architecture do for our lives?” (royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/4)

Martin Creed ‘Whats the point of it”  Hayward Gallery (Images courtesy of Hayward Gallery)
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A survey of Martin Creed’s playful, thought-provoking art.Over the past two and a half decades British artist Martin Creed has pursued an extraordinary path by confounding the traditional categories of art.Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed is recognised around the world for his minimalistic approach that strips away the unnecessary, but preserves an abundance of wit, humour and surprise.Crossing all artistic media and including music, his art transforms everyday materials and actions into surprising meditations on existence and the invisible structures that shape our lives. This exhibition includes work containing nudity, bodily functions and some adult content and will be the first major survey of Martin Creed’s work, spanning its most minimal moments and extravagant room-sized installations.”
(Information from: southbankcentre.co.uk)

I really hope that this post will motivate you to go and visit these three wonderful exhibitions. If you do, please comment below and tell me what you thought of them, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for reading,
Elli

Go big or go home

What is it about large art pieces, from  photographic series to installations and digital projections that excites me so much? I recently revisited Saatchi Gallery in order to take a second look at some larger works that are exhibited there. I took a lot of photographs in order to take a closer look from home; View them as individual works and also as interactive ones with people being captured in the photos, moving inside the exhibition spaced thus becoming a part of the artwork.

Chantal Joffee – Untitled (Oil on Gesso on Board)IMG_3647

Chantal Joffe is a contemporary artist, who could be described to have a humorous eye for everyday awkwardness as she brings a combination of truth and honesty to the genre of figurative art. Her small, humorous drawings usually depicting women or girls have a beautiful sense of complexity that intrigues my curiosity to learn more about the artists intentions, the messages of each smaller painting and its role to the series. ‘The direct and liquid painting style that Chantal Joffe uses has the effect of filling her subjects with personality. The images possess an extra alarming humour that is highly enjoyable and strangely provoking‘ (saatchigallery.com)

The reason why I chose to photographed the piece using a panoramic effect is because I wanted to have a individual photo of the series, but at the same time have central focus. In this way, you can view and understand the many smaller paintings as a series, but you can also have a more detailed understanding of what is illustrated in each one of them by looking closer at the centre.

Denis Tarasov – Essence Series with Marianne Vitale – Installation Markers.IMG_3654

The image above represents two different series by two different artists. The photographys on the wall is by Denis Tarasov and the sculptures in the middle of the space are by Marianne Vitale. 

Denis Tarasovs ‘Essence’ showcases the strange phenomenon of modern cultures, one that celebrates material wealth in the face of death. In one of his interviews, he explained that the gravestones he includes in his photographs are not unique occurrences, but they exist in a number of large cities across Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet countries usually concentrated in one area within a cemetery. The artist focuses on the fact that even though all the gravestones are made in the same way and style, they are still different from each other and that is what made him find them all unique and visually interesting. ‘Each has some peculiarity, some distinguishing feature, something that is for me a kind of punctum‘ – Quote by Denis Tarasovs.

Marianne Vitale uses the concept of the process of deterioration and the act of repurposing discarded materials in her work and more specifically in her current sculptures. Made from reclaimed materials, found in old factories and barns, her new series of sculptures ‘Markers’ is composed of weathered wood headstones devoid of inscriptions or epitaphs. The artist uses a number of different techniques when working on her sculptures (burns, bruises, dents, cuts) and  references the passage o time by virtue of the natural decomposition of her materials (artsy.net)

Terasov’s photography and Vitale’s sculptures have very different messages and intentions behind them but when exhibited together in a room, they work as a larger and more complex installation which is the reason why I photographed them together and not as individual works. Since they both share the concept of death, they complement each other perfectly creating a mysterious and in my opinion uncomfortable atmosphere that transforms any exhibition space.

Eddie Martinez – The Feast (Mixed Media on Canvas)
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Eddie Martinez is a contemporary artist who’s works are well known for being colourful, bold and humorousHis work is a fun, colourful and crudely-rendered assortment of tablescapes with a number of similar abstract figures. Moreover, ‘is at all times evocative of the still lifes and  the portraits that dot the landscape of art history, executed in a manner not only revelatory of their influence but aesthetically on par with something else entirely’ (quote from huffingtonpost.com)

The scale of his art works has continuously been growing making the artist to comment in humour: Go big or go home‘. I loved how big, colourful and bold his painting was, so I tried to become a part of it by being in the photograph. Instead of simply posing next to the work, I decided to use a panoramic effect, and so  as the camera moved from the right to left, I ran in front of the painting trying to incorporate my movement to the photograph. In that way, I compared my size to the works proportions and included a sense of movement to the still shot.

After looking at these larger pieces in detail, I realised that what in my opinion makes them so exciting is that their large scale gives me the opportunity to view them from different angles and create different narratives. Moreover, I realised that large works and installations intrigue my curiosity and inspire me to experiment with photography; play with angles, lighting, effects (panoramic) and even include people and movement inside the frame, which gives the image different meanings and perspectives. Standing next to large scale works in exhibition spaces made me feel ‘small‘ and was intimidating at first, but after a while it just made me feel inspired.

What do you thing about large art works?

Thanks for reading,
Elli

Win two Wonderful Art-Books

Hello everyone,

I have been thinking of doing a competition for a while now, and since I am now moving out of my house, I have two wonderful books, that I have already read, and I am willing to give them away, in order to show my appreciation for reading and following my blog for these past months.

Joining this competition is very simple, easy and takes only a minute. The only thing you need to do, is provide your email, in the form of a comment, below this post. The competition will be open for only a week, so don’t waste anytime and remember: Apply by 20/03/2014

After the competition closes next week, I will collect all emails provided, randomly select one, and  post the email of the winner on my blog next Friday the 21st of March. To thank you all for following my blog, commenting and motivating me, I am willing to ship worldwide, so even if you are not a UK resident, you have the chance to win these two wonderful books!

Graphic Design, Referenced:
A visual Guide to the Language, Applications and History to Graphic Design.
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500 Handmade Books: Volume 2
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I encourage you all to take a minute and participate in my competition. I promise that you will not regret it. Both books are very interesting and different and I am sure you will really enjoy them. If you want more information on both books, here are two amazon links, where you can take a sneak peak of their content, view some images and read their description.

Thank you for reading,
Elli

First Kiss

Sharing a first kiss with somebody is definitely something personal, probably because it can be very weird, uncomfortable and very awkward. It can be nerve-racking, but it can also be magical.

Los Angeles-based, amateur filmmaker Tatia Pilieva, along with Wren Studio managed to create a three-minute video that successfully captures the most transient of human interactions, the fist kiss. Heart stopping and breathtaking moments are present in this unique and romantic video.

Twenty Strangers, straight, gay, young and old were chosen and paired off,  and with barely any guidance f they were asked to take their time and whenever they were ready simply share a kiss.

The neutral colour of the set, use of black and white  and the beautiful background music makes everyone look equal, and creates a sweet and romantic tone to the video. The artist managed to capture the beauty of strangers sharing a kiss for the first time, and for me, the weird, awkward and uncomfortable feelings experienced are what make this film so unique, true and beautiful.

It kind of makes you think, how do first kisses look like? How do they feel like? Because in ‘real life’, you don’t get the chance to witness fists kisses too often, and you definitely never get to kiss someone for the first time twice.

What did you think about this video? I have heard and read many different opinions, and I would love to know what you thought as well. 

Thank you for reading,
Elli

Vandal Lust

A few weeks ago, I created a post, asking viewers to answer ‘what is your favourite art form’. After looking at the results and comments, I personally found it hard to give just one answer. I really like to create paintings and mixed media art, take photographs and also create short films. At the same time, what I really love in exhibitions I visit are large scale installations. One of the reasons why I enjoy large scale installations is because I like  to take my time to view them, walk around them and try to the find small and beautiful details that are not that obvious at first sight.

A week ago, I visited Saatchi Gallery and viewed a work created by Andra Ursuta; Vandal Lust. Andra Ursuta was born in Romania in 1979 and has lived and worked in New York since 2000.

There is a thrilling and unnerving sense of destruction and metonymy in Ursuta’s works (sculptures/installations). Most importantly, the artist doesn’t steer away from using her personal memories and experiences, whether the damaged psychology of her country or her own body, which is often the inspiration of casts, to ignite her mixed-media creations. Ursuta’s narratives are convincingly bodied forth by a distinctively fractured, somewhat deprived sense of craft.

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What I understand from observing and researching Vandal Lust is that self-invention and self-destruction are endlessly interchanged. It is not very clear whether Longing and failure that fill the work are real or artificial. “By resurrecting an obsolete piece of battlefield technology generally reduced to recreational use by living history enthusiasts, Ursuta blurs the distinction between authentic private feelings and their reenacted, staged version.” (Source: zoominfo.com)

Vandal Lust is a life size tableau that was inspired by “The man who flew into space from his appartment’ and it centres on a crudely made catapult that seems to have been used attempting to launch the artist into space using a large medieval siege engine, built to the limits of space capacity and  based on reconstructions found online. The basic part of the installation, which is the catapult is not a solid monolithic structure but it includes a variety of materials ranging from cardboard, plaster, scraps of lumber, resin and remnants of destroyed or abandoned objects.

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The following section is a part of Ursuta’s interview with Christopher Bollen from interview magazine, focusing on her inspiration and what she tried to say through her installation.

Vandal Lust borrows from  Ilya Kabakov’s famous piece The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment ? where the man is presumed to have successfully launched himself into space. In yours, there’s a dent near the ceiling and the figure curled on the floor. Is that about failure?

Launching and failing. I guess it could be seen as being about the art world, that trajectory. But it was more about knowing you will fail but going for it anyway

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What I really enjoyed about this work of art is trying to find hidden details, walk around the art piece and try to imagine the story behind it. Moreover, I liked how the installation had many different elements, the larger part which was the catapult, but also a human cast which was on the floor, as well as the bodies ‘effect‘ on the wall of the gallery. All these small details were there to help and lead the viewer towards understanding what the catapult was and what was the story behind the work of art. If one of the three elements were not there, the work would not make sense. After leaving the exhibition, I was very excited to go back home and research the artist and the messages behind her work and personally, I enjoy viewing works of art that are that effective and make want to think and research about them even after leaving the exhibition.

Do you think vandal Lust is an effective installation?

Thank you for reading,

Elli

Learn

Are you a tourist or a traveller?

Have you ever wondered the reasons why people travel? Why do you travel? Is it a part of your job, are you visiting family, or are you going on holidays? In any case, thousands of people travel everyday for their own personal reasons, but what do they take with them from each travel?

This post is the last one, out of a series of three one-minute films ‘MOVE-EAT-LEARN’. Director Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of all films is an original and composed by Kelsey James.

The video shown, ‘LEARN,  is exactly what its titles suggests. With this film, the director and his team present their adventures and experiences throughout their travels. The most significant thing about the video, is that they don’t simply present the different countries and locations that they explored, but the new things they tried, experienced and learned. They believe that what is most important about travelling is learning more  about the places you visit. It’s not only about walking around, visiting touristic attractions and following tourist books, but engaging with the people of each country and making the effort to learn more about their lifestyle and culture.

Currently, tourism is an essential figure for modernity and one of the largest industries in the globe as it is an essential element in the structure of the economy of industrially developed countries. In the form of a economic practice, tourism is a commodification of space, place and movement. But it is a cultural practice as well. So why do people travel? Tourism can take many different forms and mean different things to people; economic and cultural practice, visual culture, mediation, ritual  performance, pleasure, identity status, power, wealth, freedom, search for  happiness, search for the authentic sacred. In any case, the meaning of this short film, is that we need to take advantage of our travels, and learn as much as we can from them.

The following quote I included, is one by the director of the short films, Rick Mereki,  after he was asked to give his Top Travel Tip, at one of his interviews from found at the Hostelling Blog.

“Open yourself up to everything and leave all your personal, cultural baggage and your insecurities at the door. The most amazing thing about travelling to a new country is that it allows you to shed the skin of who you are, you can be free to be the kind of person you have always wanted to be. Then open your heart up to everyone and everything and the world will open up in front of you”

Don’t leave everything you saw and experienced behind, take it with you. Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller. Don’t just observe, experience. Don’t just travel, Learn

EAT

This is the second post, out of a series of three posts, with the title MOVE-EAT-LEARN, each focusing on a different short film, created by Rick Mereki. If you have read my previous posts, you probably know the following information already, but for those who are visiting for the first time, I will provide some information about Rick Mereki, and his series of these three, 1-minute films.

Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as  an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of the films is an original composed by Kelsey James.

This post, makes me think about the new trend, that has been going on the last years that has to do with people that enjoy taking photos of their meals and posting them on social media (Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter etc) . I personally tend to do the same thing, I, am not really sure why, but I do. This film actually makes me connect the artistic part of taking photos of food with the cultural aspect as well. Food is not just something that we need to consume in order to survive, it says a lot about our personality, our lifestyle, our background and our culture.

The specific film focuses more on the cultural aspect of food. It illustrates in a quick but beautiful way, how food changes from country to country. Based on the countries climate and resources but mostly, traditions and culture, food is is thought and created differently. In  ‘EAT’ , I loved how you can see the image of different meals prepared, combined with other completely different ones from other cuisines and countries that are not connected at all. I found my self enjoying the film and trying to match every meal with the country I thought it originated. The rhythm of the music and the fast change from one shot to the other, made it harder but  fun and entertaining.

Rick Mereki posted the following quote to his tumblr account, as a comment to his own work for ‘EAT’ short film. In my opinion, the reason why he posted this quote was to focus on the fact that what makes food interesting is our effect on it. And by travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures, you get the chance to come across different people and understand why they create food they way they do from eating habits and traditions.

Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert… Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked             - Hunter S. Thompson

This short film made me look at photos of food in a different way. Look deeper into where the ingredients came from, the way they were cooked and combined and what that said about the person that prepared them, about his habits, personality, culture and background. I hope that this post will make you thing about those things when consuming or just when looking at food.

Thanks for reading,

Elli

MOVE

A form of art that I haven’t written a post so far, is film. Having numerous film classes in my current course, I have become very interested in watching and creating short films such as advertisements, promos, campaigns and documentaries. For that reason, I decided to research a very talented, in my opinion director; Rick Mereki. What made me choose the specific director was his great passion for travel. This post is going to be the first out of  three that I will be posting, all created from Rick Mereki and his travelling experiences, called: MOVE-EAT-LEARN. 

Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as  an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of the films is an original composed by Kelsey James.

I can’t simply choose what it is that I love about this film, because I would have to say everything. The music makes you feel like a part of the experience, the quick pace of the film makes you fully committed to it and does not let you get your eyes of the screen. Moreover, direction here is excellent. The way one short take follows the next one is directed and filmed in an incredible and detailed way, that makes the effect of the film so successful. In that way, Mereki has managed to present footage from six weeks, and shots from numerous countries just in sixty seconds.

In ‘MOVE’, every single second is precious, plays an significant part of the whole concept and has an different meaning. The concept of MOVE is powerful; showing people that traveling inspires us to do, to dare and to discover what lies beyond the consolations of our comfort zones.

Researching more about Rick Mereki, I was reading on of his interviews online, from the ‘Travel and Leisure’ website, and I was very interested to the following question, that was asking the director ‘What has travel come to mean after visiting so many countries in just six weeks’

The more you travel, the more you become attached and connected to the world as a whole. I think that if a greater number of us spent time outside our comfort zones and immersed in other cultures, even for a little while, it would help reduce the “Us vs. Them” mentality that still exists in the world. People will always naturally base their beliefs and opinions on what is best for their family, their city, their country…but I think travel helps create mindsets that are more global.

What I love in such short but original films is the effect they have on me. The specific film gave me the motivation and inspiration to dare, to want to do something different, to take the time to travel around, discover the beauty of our world and experience it in my own, personal way. 

How did this film make you feel?

Thank you for reading,

Elli