Art Seen: International

ARTWALL // ONE YEAR

by Vasia Rigou

The Artwall Project Space is a brand new hotspot in downtown Athens, Greece. The newborn gallery that features a range of contemporary artists who represent the vibrant, diverse Greek scene – celebrating its first year in July with 365 Art Days, a retrospective exhibition that ran for 3 months, just closing this September, invited back selected artists who have been crucial in shaping the gallery’s identity throughout its first year. Theatre, installation art, and performance, among others, create a mosaic of ideas and philosophies in this exhibition, curated by Fotini Kapiris.

Artwall Athens Project Space, installation view. Photos by Vasia Rigou, Photo Editing by Todd Rigos.

With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the gallery is completely see-through – a real “artwall” by name. In the entrance hangs Statement #1 by Theodora Malamou, a bright blue, vinyl record size disk stating, “MY MUSIC LIFE IS BETTER THAN MY LOVE LIFE.” Moving through the exhibit even brighter colors introduce the painter, Elli Griva with “Major Tom to ground control…that’s what I call love!!!”), a book art combination with heart shapes, vivid reds, yellows, greens, and blues. In Wasteland, Maria Tsimpourla uses acrylics on mdf to combine colorful floral patterns with bird motifs. Close by, Valia Gouzia presents the text “Neveragainwasthesamesincehesaidneveragain,” where words, phrases, and pictographs are turned into repetitive language patterns. Portrayed in sequence, almost like a ritual, the work in the exhibition conveys its own powerful message – inviting viewers to be a part of this straightforward, almost imperative, form of communication.

Dimitris Georgakopoulos, Chamber. Photos by Vasia Rigou, Photo Editing by Todd Rigos.

Across the hall, Anna Maneta, creates literal cabinets of curiosities – crafting small red boxes for display; the installation is symmetrically hung on a similarly red wall. The shadow boxes contain a miniature bottle of water and equally scaled bread loaf, each representing the city that’s indicated above it – London, Paris, Melbourne, Marakesh, and Dublin – along with a corresponding world clock illustrating the time in each time zone. One cannot overlook the two mysteriously interesting pieces that lay on the hardwood floor. The first, Chamber crafted by Dimitris Georgakopoulos, functions almost like a miniature playhouse. This tiny building, made of wood and foam, is white and yellow with a wooden ladder leaning against one of its walls, stimulating curiosity by inviting the viewer to a voyeuristic journey into the hidden secrets of its tiny rooms and corridors. George GyparakisG-String Chair, a low seat designed to reveal their g-string undergarment, fitting perfectly on the T-shaped attachment on the back of the seat turns viewers who choose to interact with the piece into pure visual representation. In other words, eye-candy.

Anna Maneta, Untitled. Photos by Vasia Rigou, Photo Editing by Todd Rigos.

Wandering around Artwall Project Space is like eye-candy itself. Reflecting multiple aspects of the urban landscape through the perspective of Athens’ contemporary artists, a new exhibit entitled Exaggeration just opened this October at the space.



Vasia Rigou
 lives/works between her native Athens, London, and Chicago. Holding academic degrees from Greece, Spain, and the UK, Rigou is currently a New Arts Journalism graduate student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Comments are closed.