Technopolis is a major cultural venue in Gazi, Athens. It used to be the city’s gasworks from 1857 until 1984. In 1999 the complex (it is a collection of buildings) was converted to a cultural centre, hosting exhibitions and events. Many of the original features of the gasworks factory remain, so that the experience is a strange mix of art and industry. It is almost as if the places is a ‘factory for protecting and generating art‘. As a consequence when you visit you not only admire the art on the walls of the factory buildings, but also the buildings and interiors in their own right. Of course, you could argue that the National Gallery in London, or the Guggenheim in New York are both beautiful buildings with lovely interiors, but it is nice to see something different, something that wasn’t ‘made for purpose’ and instead has been converted to something quite different from its original use.
The complex is enclosed, so as you walk from building to building, it seems as if you are within a gated community of art. The exhibition that I saw was the Athens Photo Festival, and it was 5 euros entry (3 euros for students).
How to get there:
The easiest way to get there is to take the metro – get off at Kerameikos (on the blue line). Technopolis is relatively close to Monastiraki and the ancient sites, so I’d recommend it to tourists visiting Athens. Do check out what’s on first on their website – that said though the website is in Greek ! Ah well, that is the advantage of art – you can look at the pictures instead… Hopefully they’ll get around to translating it soon. Here are some more tripadvisor reviews.
Athens Photo Festival 2012
Personally, I prefer ‘proper art’ (paintings, drawing etc) to photography. However, I did enjoy this exhibition. There were different themes, such as ‘Greek Reality’ (very topical, and one would naturally expect it to be there. There were lots of photos of demonstrators and riots), the developing world (a generalisation, I know. I find it interesting to have some insight into a world that is so different from the West; I saw Portraits of Violence: Gangs of Port Moresby (capital of Papua New Guinea, which apparently has a 60% unemployment rate and high levels of poverty)), and animals. Some of my favourite are shown below:
Monika Merva – ‘Irma’s Peaches’
Namsa Leuba – Here is some more of her work
Karin Apollonia Muller – Morning Run
Giacomo Brunelli – more of his photographs of animals can be found here
I also liked Carlo Gianferro’s work. His exhibition was called Roma Interiors. It documented the private world of affluent Roma families.