Monday 9 September 2013

Attempting to see the Taryn Simon exhibition...

Having seen the George Economou exhibition last year, which you can see here and here and  found out that the prolific art collector had opened his own gallery with a current exhibition of the photographs of Taryn Simon, I decided to go and see the exhibition.

The gallery is on the other side of Athens and it took me an hour and a half on public transport to get there.

Marousi is not an area I am very familiar with but with the help of my fellow-passengers on the bus I managed to get off the right stop and there it was - 80 Kifisias Avenue.

I could see no signs that told me that this was the gallery, but there was a cow in one of the windows,

and assuming that it was one that had been purchased from Cow Parade, Athens I thought I was in the right place and went to the entrance which was locked. There was in fact an elaborate security system so I pressed the bell and explained my business on the intercom. I was told I could come in, and in order to do so, I had to go through the security procedure that one goes through to get into a bank in Athens these days: I pressed a button, the door opened, I went through to a small antechamber, waited for the second door to open, and finally reached reception.

I was asked to produce my ID by one of the two security guards at reception. I opened my bag but then realised that I had the wrong purse with me, so no ID. I also did not have my driving license with me which was the second item of identification that was requested. I started thinking that the one and half hour journey might have been in vain. The security guard then asked me to write my name on a piece of paper, he then picked up the phone and told someone that I was there to view the exhibition.

I was then directed to the building next door. On arrival, I noticed that the door was locked and there was no bell. I looked around me, wondering what to do next, and saw that the security guard was behind me and he told me that someone would come to collect me. When the extremely polite and helpful young woman came and opened the doors for me we had to go through the same process again: through one door, then waiting in the antechamber, then through the second door when it finally opened.

Phew! I had made it.

Do not let any of this put you off  however:

The gallery is a beautiful modernist building, and the rooms are the best minimalist gallery space you could possibly want - unfortunately, photographs were not allowed, so I was not able to take any. George Economou is a prolific collector, and not only are the exhibitions in Marousi worth a look, but the organisation have also staged an exhibition on 20th century German art in the Hermitage in St Petersbourg which is running at the moment, and which I would love to see, but alas, will not be able to. Furthermore, the staff are extremely helpful and I was given all the help and information I would want while I was there.

This post is long enough however, so the Taryn Simon exhibition will have to wait until tomorrow.


  1. Perhaps one should have to progress through inconveniences to see art, in order to give it the consideration it deserves. It's a strange dilemma that one wants universal access to art, and yet one also wants the art to be appreciated.
    I look forward to reading the next instalment.

    1. I didn't mind the hoops I had to jump, but was mystified - the woman who took me around explained that they have not gone public yet, and being still a private gallery made these precautions necessary. So, I thought about other private galleries where I had to ring a bell to go in, and that made it easier to comprehend. It was still quite amazing.

      It was worth it though. I did not know anything about Taryn Simon before the exhibition and she is quite an amazing artist - worth every inconvenience.

  2. Well, the building is gorgeous. So I hope the inside matched the outside!

    1. The inside was gorgeous too, as was the exhibition. You obviously like minimalist architecture, the way I do. I remember you commented on the gallery in Roche Court when I did a post on Hubert Dalwood:

      I was so taken with that space that we went to visit Wiltshire and Roche Court a few months later.

      and I was not disappointed. I would love to be able to live in a place like that. Alas....