OCC: Strange Cities Athens

Onassis Cultural Centre: Diplareios School, Plateia Theatrou, Athens, Greece

Strange Cities Athens
Visualising Athens Unseen

20 April – 31 July 2015

An exhibition inspired solely by non-visual references of the city of Athens.

Exhibition

Double Decker invited 25 award-winning visual artists, none of whom had visited Athens, to create new pieces in response to the city, inspired by a box of non-visual elements. Strongly contemporary works colonised the aesthetically dilapidated exhibition venue, offering up a series of encounters with painting, installation, graphic art and digital interactions from which the dazzled visitor emerged with a new perception of their own city. By working closely with the OCC team, Double Decker ensured that ‘Strange Cities: Athens’ was one of the Centre’s most successful exhibitions, attracting over 8,000 visitors, and was supported by a rich programme of engaging talks, workshops and activities.

The Building

The exhibition was installed in the Diplareios Building, constructed in 1932 to be Greece’s flagship design school but now a ghostly, dilapidated presence in the heart of the city, in a neighbourhood steeped in history and the unexpected. Inevitably then, the experience of Strange Cities: Athens began in the building’s cultural neighbourhood, before the viewer even reached the threshold.

Whatever country my words may evoke around you, you will see it from a vantage point like yours.

– Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino (p. 27) Translation: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Vintage Classics, 1997.

The Inspiration Box

Double Decker provided each artist with a cache of non-visual clues, including Yorgos Seferis’ poem ‘Jasmine’, a vintage popular song (‘A Magical City’ by Manos Hadjidakis), ‘2’ (a contemporary  piece of instrumental music by Konstantinos Vita), a recipe for stuffed tomatoes (beloved by Athenians), excerpts from ‘Single Line Athens’ (Petros Markaris’ reflections on Athens through its old electric train line) and a field-recorded soundtrack of the city. No visual research was allowed.

Participants

Adam Dix (UK), Alexander Egger (Germany), Amy Friend (Canada), Angela Moore (UK), Craig Redman & Karl Maier (UK, USA), Daniel Gotesson (Sweden), Emma Lofstrom (Sweden), Eva Roovers (The Netherlands), Eva Stenram (Sweden), Fernanda Rappa (Brazil), Jarmila Mitríková & David Demjanovic (Check Republic), Jesse Treece (USA), John Diebel (USA), Joris Vandecatseye (Belgium), Kakofonia (Brazil), Kazuhiro Hoshimoto (Japan), Kit Miles (UK), Michael Mann (Germany), Peter Judson (UK), Ryan Russo (USA), Seb Jarnot (France), Tom Radclyffe (UK), Thomas Robson (UK).

Curation

Double Decker

Communication & Marketing

Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens: Afroditi Panagiotakou

Exhibition Design & Supervision

Spacelab Architecture: Sotiris Hainis, Vana Krimnioti

Facts

25 photographers, painters, graphic artists, illustrators & interactive designers from 11 countries

90 artworks in various media

Exhibition opening attended by 3,500 visitors

8,000 visitors in total

30 wraparound programmes & workshops

Strange Cities: Athens Entrance

Strange Cities: Athens Entrance

Strange Cities: Athens Entrance

Strange Cities: Athens Entrance

Inspiration Box

Inspiration Box

Adam Dix

Adam Dix

Entrance - Egkania C Christos Tzimas

Entrance - Egkania C Christos Tzimas

Craig Redman & Karl Maier

Craig Redman & Karl Maier

Alexander Egger

Alexander Egger

Angela Moore

Angela Moore

Eva Roovers

Eva Roovers

Kit Miles

Kit Miles

Michael Mann

Michael Mann

Amana

Amana

Ekta / Daniel Götesson

Ekta / Daniel Götesson

Emma Lofstrom

Emma Lofstrom

Jarmila Mitríková & David Demjanovic

Jarmila Mitríková & David Demjanovic

Seb Jarnot

Seb Jarnot

Joris Vandercatseye

Joris Vandercatseye

Ryan Russo

Ryan Russo

Amy Friend

Amy Friend

Pop-up Photo Studio

Pop-up Photo Studio

The Diplareios Building

The Diplareios Building

Opening Eve - Photograph by Egkainia C Stavros Petropoulos

Opening Eve - Photograph by Egkainia C Stavros Petropoulos

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