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Category: Athens

‘preserving currant tanks for human rest’ at ‘Dexamenes’

‘Dexamenes’, (Kourouta, Peloponese), Greece A postwar winery, has been transformed into a conscious-travel resort  (by Venetia Kapernekas, July 2020)

 

 all photos unless noted otherwise ©Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Bauman  

 

“There is design in everything … in a cloud, in a wall, in a chair, in the sea, in the sand, in a pot.”
                                                              Clara Porset,Mexico City, 1952

 

Nikos Karaflos, the visionary entrepreneur-turned-hotelier, originally contacted k-studio www.k-studio.gr  several years ago with an idea to transform an abandoned wine factory on the west coast of mainland Greece, into a hotel.  Nikos ‘s family is from that part of Peloponese (municipality of Helias )  and his  memories as a child were around that area of ‘kourouta’ and love for his childhood family summers filtered his long dream to create/revive something special.

“Trying to raise awareness to save an old factory of currants from demolishing can be a horribly disheartening process” Nikos told me; with family help the  purchase through an auction to save that old factory and its history became a reality.

The history of Dexamenes°° dates back to the ‘Era of Currants‘.  Since the liberation of Greece in 1830, the cultivation of currants took on impressive dimensions and currants were the main export product of the Greek Kingdom. But when the ‘Currants’ Crisis broke out in 1910 in Greece, the trade of currants collapsed and there was a need to convert the unsold stock of currants into alternative products, such as wine. This was when the first wineries and distilleries were created. Dexamenes°° was built on the sea so that ships could be loaded with wine directly from the tanks, before setting sail for the major overseas markets. The derelict, industrial structures that characterize the site were left relatively untouched since the 1920’s, sitting quietly on one of the most unspoiled and beautiful stretches of coastline in the western Peloponnese. 

After a long process of design, development and incredible bureaucracy,  Nikos ‘s  dedication to the management of the project had been completed and the Dexamenes°° Seaside Hotel www.dexamenes.com opened June 2019.

Those  difficult last months for the whole planet as of Covid19, the  decisions and planning have become the most difficult task.  I was informed about the Dexamenes°° while in New York last fall, after a direct phone call  I made the  decision  to visit the spring 2020 with my daughter. The lockdown permitted us to visit end of June. My early childhood memories (my mother comes from that region) and the summers in that nearby seaside,  connected me  to a short pilgrimage trip and indeed became our destination travel.  We both immersed ourselves in this fabulous natural landscape of the Dexamenes°° for 12 unforgettable days.

While I am editing and writing on my desk today, a very unusual hot afternoon  in Munich, I recollect my memories of our arrival the  hot afternoon June 20th, arriving after a 3 hour drive from Athens, indeed the feeling was similar maybe going to an Arizona dessert.  Nikos Karaflos was waiting for us with the lovely consierge Georgia Koutsioubi behind their protective covid-19  masks with refreshing glasses of fresh lime & cucumber juice; walking thru the old factory Nikos shares with us the inside story of his dedication and dream. The landscape was welcoming us with a splendid embrace heat while walking around the factory and the breeze was traversing  through.

Constantly one is drawn to the abundant growths of the regional plants, where very carefully have been selected by the architects and Nikos Karaflos, from the yellow mexican feather grass  (nasella tenuissima ) and along the border fence by the sea the leymus arenarius. Recollections of my last spring trip in Tulum in Yacatan, feeling of disorientation being  in this magical place in the western Peloponese, just across from the Ionian islands.

I was  drawn to the details within this stark landscape. What a  natural splendour. (midday photos @venetiakapernekas)

                                                                           photo @venetiakapernekas

From the outset it was clear that the strong history and raw beauty of the existing buildings should not only be preserved, but be showcased in a design that would breathe new life into their walls. Here the architects plans compliment their brutality with elegant interventions and transform their austere functionality into a place of calm, comfort and relaxation. This last february, Dexamenes was one of the 3 projects by the K-Studio included in the beautiful edition, New Perspectives, The Design Hotel Book, Edition 2020 

I recollected memories while a Berkeley  University student in the mid 80s, an invitation brought me south to Palm Springs. Palm Springs made Desert Modernism, not the other way around.  The house of Frank Sinatra completed in 1948, architected by Stewart Williams, unleashed a new architectural frontier, Desert Modernism – a regional take on Midcentury Modernism – which has been bubbling away in Palm Springs for around two decades already, led by visionary architects like Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, and William F Cody. (Lucy Brook, on her article ‘Desert Modernism’ at Cereal, 2016)

photos  ©Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Bauman  

 

 Inside, a narrow black steel framework collects together the various beautifully detailed elements within the 30sqm space, organizing them with Zen-like precision. Textured glass brings light through from the bedroom and dressing areas into the bathroom. Generous proportions in the shower and WC bring a sense of luxury to the warmly toned and textured surfaces and polished terrazzo is a visual link to the colourful texture of beach-pebble aggregates revealed wherever the old walls have been sliced through to create new openings…The courtyard tank rooms are identical in their ergonomic layout. Original features such as the manholes and pipes in the façade of each tank and the patina of the internal wall surfaces have been preserved.

                                                photos  ©Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Bauman  

The factory as was made with hard concrete  walls to house the currants in old days, had a very simple philosophical eco statement; at that time no air-condition or any technology would ‘save ‘ from the heat so the wise old greeks at the time to create a ‘shelter for their crop, their currants, they had to create the coolest rooms ever..  Nature, ‘preserving the currants’ will be the mode to create a small oasis for our visitors to ‘rest’ and cool down where the team of K-Studio architects and Nikos were based.  Indeed, they succeed on that ! and ‘Dexamenes’ won the best New Architecture in an Existing Bldg Awards at the Domes 10yr awards, 2019 and Winner of Best Suite in the Ahead Europe Awards, 2019.

Local grape and currant varieties are becoming well established along the edges of the garden and will gradually make their contribution to the microclimate and productivity of the hotel.

                                                   photos @venetiakapernekas

                                                    photo  ©Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Bauman  
                                                                                                   

                                                    photos @venetiakapernekas

In addition to the tank rooms, their pavilions and the courtyard garden, the 2 original stone out-buildings have been carefully converted to provide the hotel with in-house dining and event facilities with a focus on communicating the culture of the area and the history of the building through art and cuisine. Reclaimed bricks found inside the original structures line the floors and terrace, and the pitched roofs have been restructured with bespoke ceramic tiles made locally and crafted to blend with the originals.

The old factory’s engineer room features an open kitchen with a communal dining table for wine tastings and cooking workshops, and an external dining terrace. Precautions had to be taken this year as the C19 so quite the arrangements had to be changed.  

                                                   photos  ©Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Bauman  
 photos below @venetiakapernekas  

 

For Chef Spyros Drakoulis modern cooking has become a serious art, but for him also is something instinctive. His search for fresh produce starts very early in the morning in the local market in Amaliada  and early visits to see the fishermen or to contact the best regional honey producers or the best extra virgin oil of the area. Chef Drakoulis ‘ cooking mirrors his love for his region, his family secret receipts, honest , fresh food.  Some afternoons I would come from the sea and say hello and he would be working  his mask, making new fresh bread, ‘zea’  for next morning. The ‘glue’  that cements the team of his kitchen together is his command in the most amazing way as he educates, explains to his staff every little detail of his cooking, all behind the ‘difficult mask’. One afternoon I met the beautiful Chryssa Giatra Batzi , consultant and aenologist who visits Dexamenes to train the  team for the best greek wines to accompany the delicacies of this magical kitchen.

 

 

 

 

photos ©Spyros Drakoulis & Venetia Kapernekas

Foloi Oak Forest, Ilias, Peloponese,  fall 2019, photo©Spyros Drakoulis

 

Ancient Olympia, (the eternal flame of the Olympic sprit ) is 25 km away. The Olympic Games—the most famous and important sporting event in the ancient world—paid homage to the finest athletes. That tradition continues to this day, nearly 3,000 years later.  It was a place where remarkable works of art and culture were created and shared to worship the Greek god Zeus.

The interior of the workshop of Pheidias, where the great sculptor crafted the gigantic chryselephantine statue of Zeus. In the early Byzantine era, it was converted to a Christian basilica.

 

                                 photos  ©Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Bauman  

 

Nikos Karaflos  is managing his  small paradise with an extraordinary  team; as the C19 did not allow the ‘Dexamenes ‘ to open as scheduled in April, the hard working team meeting  all the needs for their  guests_ opened first week of June, with all precautions and masks always in place, (quite miraculous with the heat). Our stay was the most beautiful and memorable and we will come back soon. Thank you Dexamenes  

Venetia Kapernekas, Munich, July 31st, 2020

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Nikos Karaflos, is the imagineer and CEO of Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, a place of meaningful luxury that changes the way we experience hospitality. With a strong background in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as well in Lighting and Multimedia, he believes in devising powerful ideas with cultural and social impact.

 K-STUDIO is a design practice rooted in Architecture.n”Our home is Greece, a country of incredible natural beauty and resources, where the cultural identity is founded upon being outside and making good, economic use of local skills, materials and agriculture to provide nourishing hospitality to visitors from near or far.”

K-Studio Design Team: Dimitris Karampatakis, Giorgos Mitrogiorgis, Dimitris Sotiropoulos, Marivenia Chiotopoulou, Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos, Christina Stamouli, Thomai Christopoulou. Structural Engineer:Panagiotis Zoumtos

Clara Porset,(1985-1981)  (whose headnotes marks the beginning of the article), a political exile from Cuba who became one of Mexico’s most prominent modern furniture designers. Influenced by Bauhaus ideas, she believed that design could reshape cities, elevate the quality of life, and solve large-scale social problems. (exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, Sept 6, 2019-Jan 12,2020) 

Foloi Oak Forest (photo of mushroom by Chef Spyros Drakoulis): According to mythology, the forest was named after the Centaur Pholus, who gave roof to his friend, Hercules, on his way to locate the Erymanthian Boar. Pholus offered Hercules a divine wine which excited the rest of the Centaurs who attacked the two friends. During the battle, Pholus was injured by mistake from one of Hercules’ arrows. The hero decided then to name the forest Foloi after his friend.

 

‘Archipelago of Fournoi Korseon, islands’ project by Christina Dimitriadis

Walter Benjamin, compared ‘memory . . . the medium of past experience . .  to ‘the ground (which) is the medium in which dead cities lie interred.’

 

In my new section at VK publication,  “Photography Exemplar”  a platform in which  I invite artists that work on the media of photography to share their experience working on a project, an idea, that it might  develop to a larger narrative or simply stay at the moment.  My first guest is  Christina Dimitriadis (lives &  works in Berlin) whose work  I admire for a long time, (Christina submitted 37 photos on my desk /september 2018  the photos are presented here unfiltered, exactly the way were delivered to me;  it is a journey of her  days residing at the remote Fournoi Korseon  islands, far east of the cycladic aegean sea; the “Island Hoping”was evolved to an exhibition presently on view at the Athens Municipality Arts Center, in Athens, Nov 10, 2018 -3 Feb 2019) (curated by Dennys Zacharopoulos. artistic director ); thank you Christina for sharing your journey with us. (note from editor VK) 

“Middle of May 2018, I take a photographic journey to the archipelago of Fournoi Korseon, islands I ́ve never been before. While I photograph for my new project “Island Hoping” with my professional cameras, I use the camera of my i phone to document my everyday life, my surroundings. The wild beauty of the Archipelago becomes my muse. Like an enchanted landscape transforms me into something I forgot how to be“. Christina Dimitriadis, artist

….see in detail all text /the journey after the images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A digital diary of my journey to the Archipelago of Fournoi Korseon.
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The basic function of Instagram is the practice of photο-sharing. Photo-sharing as a regular or daily practice, a mise – en – scéne of one self, a formation and not only a presentation. While phone calls are decreasing and text messages are becoming shorter, photo-sharing becomes the new language of communication in the digital technology.
Posting photos and videos on Instagram is like a virtual dialog with the followers. A desire to communicate, to see and be seen.
Known or unknown followers, colleagues, collaborators, friends or not, some forgotten, some beloved, some wishing to meet to love.
Counting the number of hearts underneath each posts. Searching for names.
So ephemeral the life of a post, no longer than a few hours, a day the most, even if they can be saved to the timeline of the app.
The platform, the sleek design, the sophisticate filters the square format, become my new vocabulary. A vocabulary different than my actual life, but also different from my artistic practice.
A third dimension of myself, constructed with different tools.
I use this dimension as my notebook. Notebooks which were usually kept private become public.
Middle of May 2018, I take photographic journey to the archipelago of Fournoi Korseon, islands I ́ve never been before.
While I photograph for my new project Island Hoping with my professional cameras, I use the camera of my i phone to document my everyday life, my surroundings.
The wild beauty of the Archipelago becomes my muse. Like an enchanted landscape transforms me to something I forgot how to be…                                                             Christina Dimitriadis, September 2018

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See published Christina Dimitriadis’s  ‘Island Hoping’ on Art Agenda by Kimberly Bradley, Feb 1, 2019

Fournoi Korseon  (Φούρνοι Κορσέων) is a complex of archipelago  of small Greek islands that lie between Ilaria, Samos, and Patmos, North Aegean region. The two largest islands of the complex, the main isle of Fournoi 31 square kilometres (12 square miles) and the isle of Thyemaina  10 square kilometres (3.9 square miles), are inhabited, as is Agios Minas island 2.3 square kilometres (0.9 square miles) to the east

 

Athens: a vibrant Theater scene: “Mephisto”, “Ασκηση για Φονο”, ‘Η μητερα του Σκυλου”, “Πεντε”

My 5 day visit to Athens, with  Four amazing evenings at the Athenian vibrant theatrical  scene, thanks to lovely invitations by my dear friend Ariana Nichogianopoulou and Akis Charalambidis.

a fantastic performance of “ H Μανα του Σκυλου” written by Pavlos Matesis, directed  by Stravros Tsakiris at  Συγχρονο Θεατρο

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then..at  Θεατρο Αγγελων Βημα   “Ασκηση για Φονο” of Victor Chan,  directed by Dimitris   Giamloglou from the theatrical group Square Theatre Company

players: Giannis Laspias, Daphne Manousou, Ioanna Stavropoulou

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Ο Έντριαν, γοητευτικός τυχοδιώκτης και πρωταθλητής στο σκάκι,απολαμβάνει τον,πλούσιο γάμο του με την μεγαλύτερή του,αλλά ακόμη σέξυ, Τζάνις,πρώην μοντέλο και νυν ιδιοκτήτρια γιγαντιαίας αλυσίδας γυμναστηρίων. Όσο ο ένας δεν χώνεταιστα πόδια του άλλου,όλα στη σχέση τους μοιάζουν ρόδινα. Σχεδόν…
Μέ την εμφάνιση της Έιμυ, νεαρής «ρεπόρτερ» μέ σκοτεινό παρελθόν και ακόμη πιο σκοτεινό παρόν,μπαίνει σε κίνηση ένα γαϊτανάκι αποκαλύψεων, σχεδίων δολοφονίας και ανατροπών και ξεκινάει μια αδυσώπητη και αφάνταστα αστεία παρτίδα φονικού σκακιού..”

 

see more here  http://www.theatrikaprogrammata.gr/άσκηση-για-φόνο-λαμπερή-πρεμιέρα-στο/

and here   http://www.paraskhnio.gr/askisi-gia-fono-toy-victor-cahn-sto-aggelon-vi/

 

 

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…. a fabulous performance at the National Theater at Ziller building, Main Stage, of “Mephisto” adapted from the novel by Klaus Mann by Ariane Mnouchkine, directed by Nikos Mastorakis, music: Stavros Gasparatos

Cast:
Erika Bruckner Marina Aslanoglou
Carola Martin Vicky Volioti
Myriam Gottschalk Maria Zorba
Singer, Emelyne Danae Katsameni
Publisher, Jostinkel Thymios Koukios
Otto Ulrich Dimitris Mavros
Madame Efeu Ivonni Maltezou
Julius Stephanos Mwange
Theophile Sarder Alkis Panagiotidis
Ludwig Ektoras Liatsos
Lorenz Tasos Pirgieris
Theresa von Herzfeld Youlika Skafida
Knurr Yiannis Stollas
Pamela von Niebuhr Konstantina Takalou
Hans Miklas Harris Tzortzakis
Hendrik Hofgen Thanos Tokakis
Alex Enke Fezollari
Klaus Brickner Haris Frangoulis
Thomas Bruckner Minas Hatzisavvas
Magnus Gottschalk Nikos Psarras

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Το μυθιστόρημα του Κλάους Μαν, που γράφτηκε στο Άμστερνταμ το 1936, είναι εμπνευσμένο από τον μύθο του Φάουστ. Ο επιφανειακός φιλελευθερισμός του κεντρικού ήρωα γρήγορα δίνει τη θέση του στην ανάγκη για κολακεία και εξουσία, αφού, για να εδραιωθεί στο χώρο του, συμμαχεί με τον «διάβολο» έναντι οποιουδήποτε ανταλλάγματος. Το έργο αποτελεί μελέτη πάνω στις σχέσεις τέχνης και πολιτικής, εξουσίας και ηθικής, εμβαθύνοντας όχι μόνο στην άνοδο του φασισμού, αλλά στις κοινωνιολογικές και πνευματικές προϋποθέσεις που έκαναν δυνατή μια τέτοια άνοδο.

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Klaus Mann (son of Thomas) wrote the novel in 1936 as a roman à clef about the decisions the theater artists of his time were making during the rise of fascism. Hofgen represents Gustaf Gründgens, the actor/director who was married to Mann’s sister, Erika. The events onstage closely resemble those in the lives of the real players. In real life, Gründgens was reportedly homosexual, as were Klaus and Erika Mann. The black girlfriend signals this unacceptable sexual partner. In the play, as in real life, Gründgens’s marriage to Erika dissolves as she goes on to found an anti-fascist cabaret and Gründgens becomes part of the Nazi state. The novel was banned in Germany until Ariane Mnouchkine’s stage version appeared in Berlin in 1979

 

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more here http://www.n-t.gr/el/events/mef

 

and “Πέντε” (το ψυχογραφικό θρίλερ του Κώστα Μπίγαλη, που λέγαμε), στο Χυτήριο.

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Πέντε άνθρωποι με ονόματα κοινότοπα (εντάξει, το “Θαλής” δεν είναι και τόσο κοινότοπο) συναντιούνται (το ‘χει φροντίσει ο κύριος Κονταράτος, ο ιδιοκτήτης μιας κλινικής για ασθενείς με ψυχικές διαταραχές) στην κλινική του κ. Κονταράτου, αλλά ο κ. Κονταράτος λείπει. Ο γιατρός, μέσω ενός σημειώματος, τους ενημερώνει πως, όποιος καταφέρει (κατά τη διάρκεια της παραμονής του στην κλινική) να διώξει τους υπόλοιπους τέσσερις και ο ίδιος να μείνει εντός του σπιτιού, θα κερδίσει το ποσό των 500.000 ευρώ. Κανένας από τους πέντε δεν είναι τόσο υπεράνω, ώστε να πει “δε μας παρατάς, ρε φίλε” και να φύγει. Αμέσως, ο γιατρός, η νηπιαγωγός, η επιχειρηματίας, η γυμνάστρια και ο νεκροθάφτης, με τον πανικό να τους έχει πάρει τα μυαλά, αρχίζουν να σκέφτονται πώς θα τσεπώσουν τη χαρτούρα 

more here http://www.onlytheater.gr/magic_bus/_arthra_/9722-stin-premiera-tou-pente-sto-xitirio.html

photos@ published , theater productions

 

 

 

 

 

Athens visit: May 15-18th highlights: Eleni Koroneou Gallery (Yorgos Sapountzis); “A Thousand Doors” curated by Iwona Blazwick at the Gennadius Library and Gardens; Andreas Angelidakis “Every End is A Beginning at EMΣΤ

a great exhibition of  Yorgos Sapountzis “Athens Screens” at ELENI KORONEOU GALLERY, Athens

30 April-7 June 2014

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Sapountzis’s installations and performances combine elements of theatre, poetry and ritualistic practices, using the specific qualities of a medium to illicit greater interpretive possibilities. At the core of most of his projects are sculptural works that employ such flexible materials as aluminum sheets and rods, brightly colored fabric, pins, knots, strings, and newspaper. All these materials share certain qualities: they are light, flexible, ductile, their volumes can be reduced, they are easily transportable. The sculptures, in their carefully haphazard appearance, evoke a number of associations from banners carried at a protest to classic works of Modernism.(from gallery press)

more www.koroneougallery.com/exhibitions/2014/athens-screens/view:press[/embed]

“Every End is A Beginning by  Andreas Angelidakis at EMΣΤ -National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens 
14/05/2014 – 13/07/2014

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The solo exhibition of the artist and architect Andreas Angelidakis entitled Every End is a Beginning presents a series of architectural studies that pertain to concepts such as reuse, mutation, transformation and relocation, and features works exploring the transition from one state to another. In the work Domesticated Mountain, a pile of cardboard boxes from online purchases transforms into a dwelling; in Troll, a block of flats transmutes into a mountain; in Cloud House and Menir, a cloud and a rock take the form of houses; in Casino, an entertainment venue transforms into an economic experiment; while in Walking Building an old factory becomes a hybrid museum….(museum press) 

more  http://www.emst.gr/EN/exhibitions/emst_exhibitions/main.aspx?

 

” A Thousand Doors” at Gennadius Library and Gardens,   curated by  Ivona Blazwick

organizers: NEON & WhiteChapel Gallery 

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participants artists: Edward Allington, Matthew Barney, Christian Boltanski, Pavel Büchler, Michael Dean, Nina Fischer και Maroan el Sani, Ceal Floyer, Isa Genzken, Shuruq Harb, Nigel Henderson, Georg Herold, Susan Hiller, Hannah Höch, John Latham, Mark Manders, Juan Muñoz, Giuseppe Penone, Elizabeth Price, Michael Rakowitz, Annie Ratti, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Daniel Silver, Francis Upritchard, Adrián Villar Rojas, Jane και Louise Wilson, Γιάννης Κουνέλλης, Πάκυ Βλασσοπούλου, Κώστας Ιωαννίδης, Βαλεντίνα Κάργα, Νίκος Ναυρίδης.

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Athens; National Museum of Contemporary Art ΕΜΣΤ; ‘Εκ Νεου’ Afresh A new generation of Greek artists

24.10.2013-02.03.2014

Curated By: Daphne Dragona, Tina Pandi, Daphne Vitali

a special private tour at this exhibition on Friday morning, at 11 am by Daphne Vitali. thank you!

photos of installation @VK

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“Main aim of the museum’s exhibition policy since the beginning has been to bring out the most vibrant, progressive and innovative domestic artistic forces, while enabling the opportunity for artists to create new works of art. Afresh exhibition explores our future in an international environment, presents the new questions posed, showcases these emerging artists as they gain momentum.
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A systematic and thorough research that lasted about two years has proceeded. Starting point was EMST’s open invitation to the artistic community in an attempt to map the new generation that resulted in the collection of over 1000 portfolios of Greek Artists.

Born in the 80s (from 1979 to 1990) these 34 new artists and the members of 3 artistic groups have just completed their studies and started to make their first steps in Greece but also in international art centers such as London, Berlin, Vienna, Cologne, Amsterdam, Manchester.”

More than 60 works are on  displayed (installations, drawings, video, performance, sound installations, paintings), out of which 27 are works made especially for this exhibition…….

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Representatives of a generation shaped by (and from) the intangible digital technology, they are brought up with the new consciousness of co-creation, collaboration, diffusion of knowledge and information. They create collective and participatory communities; explore contemporary issues related to the new economy and production processes, labor, sustainability, autonomy and alternative ways of living.

IMG_3730 more here 

My 3 day visit in Athens, it started as always from Acropolis museum

 

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photos @vk

my favorite walk in the museum is thru the Archaic Gallery

Photo published @ the acropolis museum

Archaic is the period throughout the 7th century BC, until the end of the Persian Wars (480/79 BC). This period is characterized by the development of the city-state and the transition from aristocracy to tyranny and, eventually, democracy. It is also characterized by great achievements in the economy, art and intellectual life….

in the south side of the gallery, the depictions of the young women (Korai) is my favorite corner.

 

 more about the Acropolis museum

Athens; Benaki museum; opening of exhibition by Andro Wekua “pink wave hunter” (collaboration with Deste Foundation)

29.01. 2014-23.03.2014

ANDRO WEKUA&nbsp;<br/><em>PINK WAVE HUNTER</em>

A new program of collaboration between the Benaki Museum and the DESTE Foundation, opens with an exhibition of Andro Wekua.

This exhibition features  a series of sculptural models of buildings drawn from memories of Wekua’s childhood in Sukhumi, Georgia.  Wekua was born in the popular seaside town of Sukhumi, where he lived until his family was forced to flee during the Abkhazian conflict of the 1990’s.  The town was subsequently devastated by civil war, leaving the artist and his family part of the Georgian diaspora unable to return to home. Drawing on this experience, Wekua conjures images of his childhood town from memory and, supplemented by online research, creates sculptural representations of the city’s buildings. (press release ) 

curatorial decisions and exhibition lay out is done by the artist.

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