Τετάρτη, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Yannis Tsarouchis au Musée Benaki

Etudes sur 17 thèmes

Yannis Tsarouchis est un des peintres grecs modernes les plus appréciés, grâce à son style artistique très caractéristique mais aussi à sa personnalité digne et bohème.

L’exposition présentée au Musée Benaki (bâtiment Peiraios) jusqu'au 31 mars 2013 offre une approche originale de son œuvre par le biais des études et des variations jamais présentées au public. 

En révélant un matériel d’archives très rare, comprenant des photos et des dessins inédits, l’exposition tente d’introduire le visiteur dans l’atelier de l’artiste et l’initier à la pratique créative par laquelle Tsarouchis est parvenu à certaines de ses peintures les plus emblématiques. 

A côté des séries de thèmes tels que les Saisons, les Marins, les Mois etc., l’exposition suit les différents étapes d’inspiration, d’élaboration et de perfection des œuvres jusqu'à leur forme finale.

Les tableaux et les objets exposés font partie de la collection et des archives de la Fondation Yannis Tsarouchis.

Δευτέρα, 24 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

In a city silenced by the crisis, jazz continues to find its voice

A couple of years ago, as the financial crisis was starting to really show its teeth, Greek saxophone player Dimitris Vassilakis took part in an unexpected jam session in Athens alongside renowned trumpet master Jack Waller. The impromptu performance took place in the then-tiny Aperitif bar off Syntagma Square, following a joint appearance by the artists at nearby Bacaro.

Music producer I. Solomon was one of the lucky few to witness the event.
“While the bar was normally considered full with just 15 to 20 people, about 50 of us, all die-hard fans, managed to squeeze in that evening, including Greek trumpet players who hid their instruments in their jackets and ended up joining their fellow musicians on stage,” said Solomon. “It was an amazing night.”

Watching top jazz names perform is no longer a frequent phenomenon in the crisis-hit Greek capital. The Half Note Jazz Club, for instance, has scaled down its roster, while venues such as Parafono, Guru Upstairs and Bacaro have closed. Jazz, however, is not on its way out here, as plenty of bars and cafes are hosting young local acts, in some cases without charging admission.

According to journalist and jazz lover Nikos Fotakis, manager of the Petite Fleur bar in the northern suburb of Halandri (which hosts live sessions on Wednesdays), there are two ways to set up a live jazz show. “The first way is the traditional music stage way, where people listen to live music while enjoying a drink. The focal point in that case is music. 

The second way is to go to a bar where musicians happen to play music. In the latter case, the focus is on drinking and the going-out factor, and it seems to be the prevailing trend these days, because setting up a stage for gigs is a difficult and costly endeavor. At Petite Fleur, we usually host small ensembles, given that I’m never short of offers from musicians who want to perform.”

Last month, flutist Leonidas Sarantopoulos appeared at the newly established Jazz Point on Academias Street in central Athens, performing tracks from his “Black Mamba” album along with his quartet.

Located at 94 Solonos Street in Exarchia, Verve recently hosted a Greek electric jazz trio, while on nights with no scheduled live performances, guest DJs play jazz and soul.

“When you visit these smaller venues you realize that the Ionian University, state conservatories and private music schools such as the Athenaeum and Philippos Nakas have turned into a great source for young, dynamic musicians who are now appearing on various music stages around the city. 

This is very important because jazz is born the moment it is performed, not in a studio,” said Yiannis Stefanakos, known as “Professor” in local jazz circles.
On a recent Monday night, the Synergy Quartet played bossa nova-meets-jazz at a venue not usually associated with the genre, the Baba Au Rum club on Kleitiou Street.

Among a large number of venues hosting jazz ensembles are the Blue Bossa Bar and La Ronda in Vyronas, Santa Botella on Panormou Street, the Melanythros art space near Kallimarmaro, as well as bars located in central Exarchia, such as the Faeinon, on the corner of Kallidromiou and Mavromichali streets. The Numismatic Museum’s jazz evenings have also proved a success, while over at Faust on Kalamiotou Street, “Jazz Opera Shows” take place on Wednesdays.

At the same time, Vassilakis recently inaugurated a jazz stage in Thiseio. Miles View (on Apostolou Pavlou Street) aims to fill the gap left by other venues that have closed their doors. Festivals also play an instrumental role and include events such as the second edition of Greek Jazz Panorama, which recently took place at the Onassis Cultural Center.

According to director-producer Kyriakos Angelakos, the most important aspect of this jazz revival is that it showcases a new generation of musicians.
“You should listen to the fabulous Eva Kesselring and her ‘BLUEzUKI’ evenings at the Klimataria taverna in Psyrri on Friday nights,” said Angelakos. “It’s all about fabulous jazz through reorchestrations of old Greek songs or classic jazz performed on the bouzouki.”

Another act to look out for is the WonderFall Quartet, co-founded by Irini Konstantinidi and Thanos Hatzianagnostou.
Meanwhile, Solomon says that young Greek musicians boast top-level training, including degrees from excellent music schools, primarily in the Netherlands.
“Both their techniques and their aesthetics go beyond the mainstream. They are more liberated compared to the older jazz generation, whose members were taught music through listening to albums,” he said.

While the days of Athens being known as a jazz capital are over, the current revival is nothing short of a small miracle.

Σάββατο, 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Princesses de la Méditerranée

Une exposition du Musée d’Art Cycladique

Grandes dames ou princesses, prêtresses ou sorcières, femmes de pouvoir local ou de savoir, femmes ayant adopté des éléments culturels de leurs maris étrangers ou celles qui, en raison de leur mariage, ont voyagé d’une région à une autre, ce sont toutes ces femmes qui font l’objet de cette exposition au Musée d’Art Cycladique d'Athènes. 

L'exposition a ouvert ses portes le 13 décembre et sera présentée jusqu'au 10 avril 2013.

Il s’agit d’une exposition de plus de 500 objets qui, à travers leur histoire, présente la contribution de la femme au développement, et à l'ouverture des horizons des civilisations du Xème au Vème siècle avant J.-C.

Bijoux et pierres précieuses, bracelets et brassards d’or et de cuivre, boucles d’oreilles d’or et d’argent, de différentes formes et tailles, bagues d’or, scarabées de matières diverses, masques d’or pour couvrir le visage, joyaux pour le buste, tout un monde d’art et de richesse se laisse découvrir à travers cette exposition.

Celle-ci est organisée en commun par le Musée d’Art Cycladique, l’Université de Crète et le Ministère d’Education et des Affaires Religieuses, Civilisations et Sports.

Τετάρτη, 19 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Lower prices are luring tourists back to Greece

Upside of the Euro Crisis

The sign on a clothing shop on Ermou Street in Athens reads “10 euro crisis special.” All along this main shopping drag near Parliament, similar discount signs abound.

As Greece’s economic troubles deepen, many prices are declining, including those for hotels. That seems to be drawing tourists back, just as concerns that Greece could abandon the euro kept many away during the summer.

The marble streets of Plaka and shops in the winding Monastiraki tourism areas near the Acropolis were startlingly empty a month ago, but they have snapped back to life. Restaurants and bars were bustling on a recent Saturday night; shoppers browsed jewellery stores and the streets were dense with crowds. But step on to any side street, and every third store is closed for business, covered by a thicket of graffiti.

Still, Greeks are going about their lives, settling into a rhythm occasionally interrupted by strikes against a government austerity plan and transportation slowdowns. Like the shuttered stores, the inconveniences are merely something for tourists to figure their way around, although there may be more to come.

Σάββατο, 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

TEI of Crete Pioneers in European HIPER Project

The town of Rethymno in Crete, Greece, hosted for the second year in a row the International School of Physics on HIPER matters under the auspices of the TEI of Crete and, more specifically, of the Professors Michalis Tatarakis from Chania and Nektarios Papadogiannis from Rethymno.

Dozens of postgraduate students and PhD candidates from top European universities including young scientists from the Department of Science of the TEI of Crete have taken part in this pioneering programme which ended last Friday.

HiPER (High Power Experimental Research Facility) is the first experiment designed specifically to study the “fast ignition” approach to generating nuclear fusion, which uses much smaller lasers than conventional designs, yet produces fusion power outputs of about the same magnitude. The whole project is in a preparatory phase at the moment and the TEI of Crete is in charge of the relevant researches at European level.

Under the regular financing by the EU, the HiPER’s preparatory phase is estimated to be over by 2013, while from 2014 until 2030 its manufacturing phase will have been completed. The premises housing the Project are located at the district of Tria Monastiria, Rethymno.

Head of Erasmus Programme and of the TEI, Dr. Michalis Tatarakis, claimed that everyone is very optimistic over the positive results of the project. “There is scientific evidence on the progress of the project and we hope that the Greek state will also assist our efforts” added Mr. Tatarakis.

Παρασκευή, 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

The trees that lived with the Minoans!

Among the 20 ancient olive trees of Crete with an age of more than a thousand years, the famous ‘olive tree of Vouves’ is probably the oldest tree in the world with an age estimated between 3000 and 5000 years old. The natural monument attracts 20.000 visitors each year.

Olive trees are hardy and drought-, disease- and fire-resistant — part of the reason for their longevity and their widespread use in the region.

The impressive ‘olive tree of Vouves’ grows for centuries in the area where now lies the village Ano Vouves, 30 kilometres west of Chania. It has a diameter of 4,67 m. and a perimeter of 12,5 m. And it still produces highly sought after olives! It started as a wild olive tree and was later domesticated with the ‘tsounati’ olive tree variety.

It is not known how old it is exactly with estimations ranging between 3000 and 5000 years old but it is probably the oldest olive tree in the world and maybe the most famous one. Due to its special aesthetic, ecological and historical characteristics the tree was declared a natural monument in 1997.

One of the most famous old trees of any species, the olive tree of Vouves starred in a travel documentary for Crete, broadcasted by German channel Arte/ZDF. The age of the tree was revealed to the journalists by Professor of pomology in the Technological Institute of Crete (TEI), Spyros Lionakis. He said that some of the ancient olive trees of Crete go as far back as the Minoan Age.
Besides the famous tree in Vouves there are 10 other ancient trees in the surrounding area. And there hundreds of younger but still centuries-old olive trees in Crete with impressive growth; one in the village of Kouroupes, Rethymno has a perimeter of 22 m. A 2000 year old olive tree in Venerato, Rethymno has a perimeter of 18,5 m.

This natural wealth is what the Olive Museum of Vouves tries to preserve and promote; the age old relationship of olive tree and man. Located next to the ‘Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves’ the Museum was the vision of Mayor Polychronis Polychronides. The next step is the conversion of the Museum to an ‘Olive Museum and Mediterranean Centre for the Study of Monumental Olive Trees’. The Municipality has already proceeded to the buy of a 600 sq m land plot, near to the Museum in addition to other plots it owns in the area and has began studies for the creation of the expanded Museum.

For the time being the Design & Manufacturing Laboratory of TEI of Crete, with Dr. Manolis Maravelakis as the head of the effort, has completed the digital representation of the trunk of the Vouves olive tree. Specifically, a 3D model of the trunk was created that represents with precision the geometry of both the exterior and interior of the trunk. Modern techniques of reverse mechanics and 2 laser scanners that are available at the laboratory were used for the project.

Πέμπτη, 6 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Εγκρίθηκε η μελέτη για το αρχαιολογικό μουσείο του Ρεθύμνου.

Ιδιαίτερα θετική ήταν η έκβαση της συνεδρίασης του Συμβουλίου Μουσείων του Υπουργείου Πολιτισμού την Τρίτη, κατά τη διάρκεια της οποίας αποφασίστηκε η έγκριση της μουσειολογικής μελέτης του Κεντρικού Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Ρεθύμνου. 

Ο αναπληρωτής Υπουργός Παιδείας, Θρησκευμάτων, Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού, κ. Κ. Τζαβάρας, ενημέρωσε για τη θετική αυτή εξέλιξη το Βουλευτή Ρεθύμνου Νέας Δημοκρατίας, Γιάννη Α. Κεφαλογιάννη, που είχε ενδιαφερθεί για την άμεση ένταξη της μουσειολογικής μελέτης στην ημερήσια διάταξη του Συμβουλίου. 

Ο Βουλευτής Ρεθύμνου δήλωσε ιδιαίτερα ικανοποιημένος για την έγκριση της μουσειολογικής μελέτης του Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Ρεθύμνου, που ανοίγει το δρόμο για να αποκτήσει το σημαντικό αυτό έργο δικαίωμα ένταξης σε χρηματοδοτικά προγράμματα. 

Ο κ. Κεφαλογιάννης σε δήλωση του αναφέρει: «Έγινε ένα πρώτο πολύ σημαντικό βήμα, ωστόσο, οφείλουμε να προχωρήσουμε όλοι μαζί και στα επόμενα, έτσι ώστε να αποκτήσει το Ρέθυμνο μια στέγη για την ιστορία και τον πολιτισμό του». Κλείνοντας, τόνισε ότι θα καταβάλει κάθε δυνατή προσπάθεια για τη χρηματοδότηση και την άμεση υλοποίηση του έργου, στηρίζοντας τις προσπάθειες των πολιτών και των φορέων του τόπου που διεκδικούν την ανάδειξη της πολιτισμικής μας κληρονομιάς.

Το νέο αρχαιολογικό μουσείο έχει προγραμματιστεί να κατασκευαστεί στο οικόπεδο δίπλα από το ΚΤΕΛ στον περιφερειακό δρόμο του Ρεθύμνου.