17.05.2019, 18:00 Discussion at Benaki Museum (Pireos Str.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In July 2001, South African leader Nelson Mandela sketched five powerful images of hands, depicting, he said, how the world “joined hands across social divides and national boundaries, between continents and over oceans,” to resolve conflict.
Almost two decades later, Mr. Mandela’s “Struggle Series” lithographs will be showcased for the first time in Greece in a powerful, groundbreaking new exhibition in Athens, also featuring a series of lithographs by national South Africa artist @EstherMahlangu and the work of 22 additional international artists, exploring the critical role of art as soft power in resolving conflict.
The exhibition, “Art: Key to Conflict Resolution,” will open July 17, 2019, at the Serafio Space in Athens, and run through July 31, 2019. Its theme is based on a new book, Can Art Aid in Resolving Conflicts? (Frame Publishers, 2018), which features many of the artists in the exhibit and will be launched in Greece with the exhibition.
Some of the artists from the book, included in the Athens exhibition are activist and multimedia artist Wu Yuren from China, renowned journalist, author and activist Asra Q. Nomani from the United States and media artists Daniel Landau and Ron Amir from Israel, among the 24 artists.
To extend the book’s conversation to Greece, the exhibition features several artists from Greece and Cyprus, including: visual artist and documentary filmmaker Eva Stefani, one of Greece’s representative artist to Venice Biennale 2019; audiovisual artist Eleni Fotiadou; artist Melina Shukuroglou; artist Vicky Pericleous; and artist Efi Savvides. The exhibition is enthusiastically supported and sponsored by the Cultural Office of the Mayor of Athens, led by Ms. Erifili Maronitis, Cultural Advisor to the Mayor of Athens. The exhibition will be held under the auspices of Athens Culture Net.
“Exhibitions are a vehicle to foster communication and understanding between people, as well as resolve conflict,” said Vasia Deliyianni, curator of the exhibition and an artist and educator, based in Washington, D.C. “Art has always been the common language of all people and all nations, the peaceful way to address concerns and problems, and, therefore, yes, art can be the key to conflict resolution. It is my deepest wish that art will continue to be one of the paths to peace -- the peace that is much needed right now everywhere: around us, externally, as well as inside us, internally.”
To mark the exhibition’s opening on July 17, several international specialists and museum leaders will discuss the role of arts in conflict resolution in a panel event at the Benaki/Pireos Museum Amphitheater in downtown Athens, from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Following the panel, the exhibition will open with a reception from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., next door at Serafio Space on Pireos and Petrou Ralli. The exhibition is being promoted with a social media campaign, #ConflictAndArt.
The book, Can Art Aid in Resolving Conflicts, is a collaboration between Professor Noam Lemelshtrich Latar, Founding Dean of the Sammy Ofer School of Communications at המרכז הבינתחומי הרצליה - IDC Herzliya in Israel, Jerry Wind, Lauder Professor and Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Ornat Lev-Er, an art historian at IDC Herzliya.
Dean Latar said, “The book, Can Art Aid in Resolving Conflicts, represents a pioneering survey of more than 100 global leading and young artists, curators and museum directors exploring the power of art to play a constructive role in creating bridges among groups in conflict.”
Professors Latar and Wind will participate in the panel discussion, along with museum leaders from Athens.
Ms. Sophia Hiniadou-Cambanis, Head of Cultural Affairs for the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic, will moderate the panel discussion.
The book was first launched at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia in November 2018 and was recently launched in Rome and Tel Aviv, with a launch scheduled for later this year in London. The book is available online and in museum bookshops in the U.S. and Europe.
Artists participating in the exhibition:
Ron Amir -- A professor and photographer, born in Israel and living in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Marconi Calindas -- A painter, born in the Philippines and living in San Francisco.
Fyerool Darma -- An artist, born and living in Singapore.
Vasia Deliyianni -- A curator and art educator, born in Greece, living in Washington, D.C.
Eleni Fotiadou -- A scientist and artist, living in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Dor Guez -- A photographer and professor, born in Baka, Jerusalem and living in Jaffa, Israel.
Maria Karametou -- A professor and mixed media artist, born in Greece and living in the U.S..
Yuri Krasny -- An artist and educator, born in Ukraine and living in Israel.
Dania Latar -- A painter, born in Israel and living in Tel Aviv.
Daniel Landau -- A media artist and professor, born in Israel and living in Herzliya, Israel
Esther Mahlangu -- A painter born and living in South Africa, from the Ndebele people.
Nelson Mandela -- The former president of South Africa, born in the village of Mvezo.
Asra Q. Nomani -- A journalist, born in India, living in the United States.
Valerio Rocco Orlando -- An artist, born in Milan, working in Italy.
Karen Patterson -- A photographer, born and working in Calgary, Canada.
Vicky Pericleous -- Visual artist and Assistant professor in Frederick University, Nicosia
Efi Savvides -- An artist and educator, born and living in Cyprus.
Weili Shi -- An artist and multimedia designer and developer, born in China and living in New York City.
Melina Shukuroglou -- An artist born and living in Cyprus.
Stephen Spyropoulos --An artist and interactive designer, born and living in the United States.
Theodore Spyropoulos --An architect and educator, born in the U.S. and living in the United Kingdom.
Eva Stefani -- A filmmaker and educator, born in the U.S. and living in Athens, Greece.
Wu Yuren -- A multimedia artist and activist, born in Changzhou, China, and living in New York City.
Thoufeek Zakriya -- A calligrapher, born in India and living in Dubai.
Follow the exhibition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ConflictAndArt.