Group show
Public Tobacco Factory - Hellenic Parliament Library and Printing House, Athens (GR)

Eirene Efstathiou


This 6,500m2 cultural space, renovated with funding from NEON, have been inaugurated with an international group exhibition, Portals, featuring 59 artists from 27 countries including 15 new site-specific installations commissioned by NEON. Among them, 18 Greek artists are exhibiting new works or works whose framework of creation and presentation have been renewed to make them site-relevant.

With this year’s commemoration of the Greek War of Independence and continuing to live through the pandemic, “Portals” aspires to give rise to new messages, ideas, and reflections regarding contemporary artistic creation, through the prism of a newly-formed reality composed of change and disruption.

The exhibition takes place in all renovated areas of the building: the atrium, corridors, halls and mezzanines, bathrooms, the former Customs Office, the surrounding area, on the roof / façade of the building and on Kolonos Hill.

The inspiration for the exhibition originates from an article by author Arundhati Roy on the Financial Times on April 2020 which states that “the pandemic is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” Considering that the rift created by the pandemic on an individual and collective level opens a portal, it is up to us to deal with our transition through it. “We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world.”

The exhibition represents a pluralism of ideas and touches upon issues related to collectivity, cultural understanding of history and politics, public space, and our common past, present and future.


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