Thursday, 20 September 2018

Margarita Ecclesiarchou

Margarita Ecclesiarchou at the Hadjikyriakou-Ghika annex of the Benaki Museum

Ecclesiarchou is one of my favourite Greek ceramicists. There was quite a large selection of her early work at the Hadjikyriakou-Ghika annex of the Benaki museum last time we visited. One of the things that I admire about her practice is how she is constantly experimenting, so that each new body of work is quite different from the previous one.

Finally, a video showing the artist at work:

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Odysseus and the Bathers - Paul Chan

Odysseus and the Bathers by Paul Chan

at the Cycladic Museum, Athens.

Odysseus and the Bathers brings together a major body of new and recent works by Paul Chan. Since the early 2000s, the New York-based artist's wide-ranging activities have encompassed sculpture, animation, publishing, performance and education.

At the heart of this exhibition is a sequence of bodies in motion. Chan calls these sewn fabric figures 'Bathers'. Each one is fashioned from a nylon shell attached to modified electrical fans. Drawing from pattern-making as much as from physics, Chan is able to choreograph these 'breathing artworks' to create different varieties and shades of motion. The artist sees these sculptures as acting like moving images, but rendered in three dimensions. For centuries, artists as different as Titian and Matisse have returned to the motif of the bather, in order to explore changing attitudes to nature, sexuality and the body.

In recent years, Chan's work has been deeply shaped by his reading of ancient Greek philosophy and poetry. A number of the Bathers presented here have titles that refer to characters and episodes in Homer's Odyssey. The exhibition title is drawn from an essay written by Chan called 'Odysseus as Artist', which pivots around the term polytropos. The word, which appears in the Odyssey's very first line, is frequently attached to Odysseus, and holds many meanings: wily, inventive, infinitely cunning. For Chan, polytropos is critical not only to how artists works, but to why art matters today.

La Baigneur, (Polypelope), 2018, (nylon, fan, dye paint on nylon)

Towel (Breaker in yellow and green), 2018, (acrylic on canvas hung on towel rack)

Towel (Trio blue and pink), 2018 (acrylic on canvas hung on towel rack)

Towel (Inhaler Under), 2018 (acrylic on canvas hung on towel rack)

Towel (emojis), 2018 (acrylic on canvas hung on towel rack)

Towel (Inhaler at Night, 2018 (acrylic on canvas hung on towel rack)

La Baigneur 7, (Teenyelemachus), 2018, (nylon, fan, dye paint on nylon, shoes, concrete, suicide cords)

Les Baigneurs (suitors as fugees as suitors), 2018,  (nylon, fans, artificial grass, emergency blanket)

Daemonium, 2012, (ink on paper)

Untitled, (towel), 2017, (gouache on paper)

Model (Trasher with blue stripes), 2018,  (fabric, wire, polyfil,  wood)

Model (Bender or Inhaler with shoes), 2018,  (fabric, plaster, wire, polyfil, wood)

Model (Trio), 2018, (fabric, wire, polyfil, wood)

Model (Duo with towel and bag), 2018, (fabric, wire, polyfil, wood)

Model (Sunset towel), 2017, (fabric, wire, polyfil, wood)

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Farmers' market in Alimos

I have written before about our local market , its luscious, ripe fruit and great variety of vegetables. Once a month we also have a chance to enjoy the goods of the farmers' market. It's small but it's a chance to get produce straight from the producers and we try not to miss it.

The bread stall

sells sourdough bread

koulourakia (a certain type of cookie) in various flavours or with additions: vanilla, cinnamon, carob, with raisins or nuts

and lots of breadsticks, with cheese, nuts, seeds and all kinds of other combinations.

There are fruit stalls

Every type of nut you can imagine

Beans and lentils

I was intrigued by the small white beans on the left which come from the Feneos area: apparently they taste like vanilla. I will definitely get some in the winter to try them: there are too many varieties of fresh beans for sale at the moment, to bother with dried ones.

Organic wine





Hand-rolled pasta in various flavours, including squid-ink

Trahanas, a Greek speciality, made out of flour and milk, which makes wonderful soup


 which we were invited to sample

olive oil

Tsipouro, a regional spirit (again, we were invited to taste, but it was too early in the morning for spirits)

various types of honey

herbal teas


All kinds of flour, including corn

 and carob

Sultanas and raising

various vinegars

spoon sweets and jams


pickled caper leaves


We left with a kilo jar of Kalamata olives, a kilo of raisins, a large bag of carob rusks, some grapes and a chunk of thyme-flavoured graviera (a hard Greek cheese).