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Opening of "Liberation Memories" art exhibition at Queens College

The Hellenic American Project of Queens College presents the art exhibition "Memories of Liberation". This is a rare type of exhibition featuring works by artists Ioanna-Maria Giakoumaki and Fotini Panagiotopoulou, who created unique works guided by the spirit of liberation and freedom, as well as Professor Nikolaos Alexiou who has taken on the role of curator.

The inauguration is scheduled for the morning of Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 2.00 pm. until 4.00 p.m. and due to the limitations of the pandemic will take place online through the Zoom platform. Those who are interested are invited to register by clicking on: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpfuCvpzMsH9YLowNF-qmyxHaWvqbDhzXc.

The exhibition, Liberation Memories, as mentioned in the relevant press release, is part of the series of events organized by the Hellenic American Center for Diaspora, HAP, Queens College, throughout the year 2021, commemorating and celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of its inception. Of the Greek Revolution (1821 - 1829).

The Greek Revolution, 200 years later, on the one hand, is a complex international event, and on the other, it remains a multifaceted symbol of freedom. Freedom, not only of enslaved people and lands, but also freedom of thought and spirit. "Whoever collects freely, collects well", declares the forerunner of the Revolution, Rigas Feraios in 1790.

The two artists, Ioanna-Maria Giakoumaki, and Fotini Panagiotopoulou, created works guided by the spirit of liberation and freedom. These are works that are based on historical events, but mainly emphasize objects, heirlooms, and texts of the Revolution. And that makes their work unique.

In the classic epic poem, Aeneid, Virgil quotes a rather enigmatic verse: sunt lacrimae rerum - which in one of the many translations is the tears of things and people.

In the exhibition Memories of Liberation, which we present here, the creative transformations of the things of the Revolution, objects, artifacts, costumes or texts, release a poetic understanding of the verse, lacrimae rerum, and give us the opportunity to imagine with respect, sympathy and understanding things about the Greek Revolution.

A basic material used by the creators is paper of special quality, thin and fragile, from old books - municipal registers of 1940-1950 that were to be recycled. Ioanna-Maria Giakoumaki and Fotini Panagiotopoulou form volumes and shapes, and create embossed or perforated designs.

Also, with the use of paper, surfaces were created, and the simple paper surfaces were transformed into fixed forms that give symbolism. In some works, iron and canvas have been used - gauze with a mixture of other materials, such as powders, gold leaf, and silver, but not because of the necessity of their use, but because as materials they incorporate the essence and the strong message of the works.

The last part of the exhibition presents another dimension of the overall creative work. The pages of the memoirs were transformed with the technique of obscuring poetry, where words or phrases of a document were artistically isolated to create a poem. The rest of the text was decorated and constructed to become a background.

The poems were created by Akrivi Griva, drawn from the writings of General Makrygiannis in his memoirs "Visions and Miracles".

We hope that this exhibition offers new paths of understanding the Greek Revolution, through selected works of art recreated by contemporary artists.

  • Published in Diaspora
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