ITYS

For well I know they are not dead at all,
The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy,
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call
Will wake and think ’t is very Thessaly,
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool glade
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys laughed and played.

Oscar Wilde, The Burden of Itys. Poems. 1881.

Original Mission:

Itys concerns the creation and development of an independent non-profit space for contemporary art and thought in Athens. At an introductory stage, an office is established that proposes collaborations and organizes exhibitions and events, so as to build up its concept and program.

Emphasis is given to the visual presentation of current issues in contemporary art on a socio-political and aesthetic level, targeted at a specialized and wider audience alike. It needs to draw a fine line between theory and research on the one hand, and a broader awareness and general understanding on the other through clear communication. Private collections form the backbone of the exhibitions, whereas new commissions and the direct involvement of international and local artists play an important part.

Through its activities, the initiative wants to make a connection to the city and its multiple facets, to draw upon its creative energies, and build a network with the wider region that shares its history and traditions. Smaller initiatives such as guest stays, visits, round table discussions and private screenings, and the setup of a research office will help question identity issues, the nature of contemporary art and its role within society.

13 May – 19 July 2009: MIET (National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation), Athens: Vlassis Caniaris. In Contrapunto. A group show of works by Vlassis Caniarias (1950-1980) in dialogue with works by international contemporary artists.

2 April – 20 July 2008: MIET (National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation), Athens: Selective Knowledge, a group show involving works from Athens based private collections, new works by Greek artists, and a number of international loans including a co-production with Armin Linke and Peter Hanappe (catalogue available).

Winter 2007-2008: Screenings held at Bios and preceding Selective Knowledge, with films by Jayce Salloum and Alain Resnais, and an interview with Edward Said,
and at Kafeneion (project by Paul Zografakis) with a film by Hito Steyerl.
Participation in a Poster Project initiated by <rotor> in Graz, Austria (with Alexandros Georgiou and Jennifer Nelson).

May 2007
Presentation at ZKM, Karlsruhe
Interaction with the students of the Curatorial Practice course
The group met over two days to discuss the Interactive Archive, a project scheduled to take place at the museum in autumn as part of a major group show. It is based on the photographic archive of Armin Linke, which comprises over 5000 titles. Students from the Seminar on Curatorial Practice, led by Wilfried Kühne and assisted by Doreen Mende, submitted presentation models, one of which was selected for construction. Input was given by graphic designer Alex Rich, computer engineer Peter Hanappe, and director Peter Weibel with the technical team of the ZKM.

April 2007
The Western Balkans
Visit of non-profit art spaces in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Prishtina, Skopje.
Arriving in Sarajevo and aware of possible strained relationships with Greece, I bear two things in mind. Firstly, the defense line ‘Remember the Archduke’, which as a Flemish I am entitled to say, being familiar with the countless graves and long lists of carved names at Ypres, to stress the complicity of relationships, the consequences of single actions, and the implication of all possible sides. Secondly, the work by artist Vangelis Vlahos, a model of the Sarajevo telecommunications tower, which was reconstructed after the war with funds provided by the Greek government, raising the moral dilemma of humanitarian aid mixed up with economic self-interest.

September 2006
Cairo: Meeting with Hassan Khan
An interview with the artist has been published in the current issue of Local Folk, Athens

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