Photography exhibition of Nikos Vatopoulos “Museum Resident” at National Archaeological Museum’s Cafe
“… For the old Athenians, the Museum was one”, notes Nikos Vatopoulos. “And when they said ”Museum” they meant the National Archaeological Museum that gave its name to the area, and the ”Museum” with the beautiful streets around it became a sought-after neighborhood. The alleys and streets behind, below and on the side of the Museum were filled with mansions and beautiful apartment buildings and the Museum was bursting with urban life in 1920 and 1930, 1940 and 1950. A condensed 20th century still breathes around the ark-building of the 19th century, a world that until recent years was legible and structured and that over the years acquired layers of memory and asked for different tools for its understanding. A walk in the landscapes of yesterday and today, with a hybrid look at the stratifications and intersections of the urban stock, obsessed with old photographs, the skins of buildings, the interwar apartment buildings, the warm patina of the ’50s and’ 60s, the echo of the small Athens and the current chaotic metropolis”.
On the occasion of his solo photo exhibition at the Cafe of the National Archaeological Museum and in conversation with the curator Iris Kritikou, Nikos Vatopoulos walks again in a close to his heart urban neighborhood of Athens that is characterized and identified by its focal building monument and introduces afresh to us the area, digging up images and personal visual testimonies, bringing to the fore the hidden qualities of the minor and focusing on what the eye or the memory are still rescuing. The forty black-and-white and color photographs that compose the unit, sometimes panoramic and sometimes focusing on a minimal structural or decorative building detail, are only a small part of the valuable photo archive of an indefatigable walker and observer, a true connoisseur and interlocutor of the Athenian center. The eloquent title of the exhibition, having been used with tender intimacy by many Athenians in the area over the past decades without the need for an explanatory sign, confirms the organic relationship of the National Archaeological Museum with the daily life and the point of spiritual refuge of the Athenians.
Exhibition opening: Tuesday 5 July 2022, time 18: 00-20.00
Exhibition duration: July 6 – September 20, 2022
Edited by: Iris Kritikou
Coordination: Emilia Kougia
Admission to the Cafe is free