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Culture

Eleni Daferera’s In More Ways Than One Opens at Greek Consulate in NY

December 5, 2018

NEW YORK – The art exhibition In More Ways Than One by Eleni Daferera opened at the Consulate General of Greece in New York on December 4. Art lovers from all walks of life enjoyed the dynamic works on display and the opportunity to meet and congratulate the gifted artistat the opening reception.

The exhibition is open to the public Monday-Friday 9 AM-2:30 PM at the Consulate General of Greece, 69 East 79th Street in Manhattan, and runs through December 18.

Among those present, Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras welcomed everyone to the exhibition. Also in attendance Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, Ambassador Loucas Tsilas and his wife Penelope, Mrs. Popita Pavli, Phytos Stratis, and Nektarios Antoniou who begins his new post as Executive Director of the Axion Estin Foundation in January.

Daferera spoke with The National Herald about the exhibition and noted the significance of identity to her work. She told TNH that having spent time in various cities, New York, Vienna, London, and her native Athens, among them, has certainly influenced her work and identity, navigating through cultures and mythologies.

Born in Athens, Greece, Dafererais a visual artist, architect, and interior designer. A graduate of the National Technical University of Athens, School of Architecture and of the London Guildhall University, School of Art, Architecture and Design, she also attended the open studio on graphic arts and printmaking techniques by the renowned Austrian artist Gunter Damisch in the Fine Arts Academy of Vienna (Akademie der bildendenKunste Wien). Her artistic practice –drawing, painting and collage making– has been developing in Athens, London, and Vienna where she also collaborated with Kulturkontakt Austria offering visual arts and architecture workshops. Today, she lives and works in New York and the islandof Paros in Greece, exhibiting her artwork both in solo and group exhibitions, and working on book illustrations.

According to the exhibition’s description, Neraides and Perchta (Frau Perchta or Frau Holle according to the Grimm brothers), change shape and form. Their appearance and visage ranges from ugliness to beauty, from pleasure to fear, from strangeness to familiarity, from hope to despair. These variations are the inspiration behind these works; the fleeting appearances of Neraides and Perchta in the dim light of early autumn and the darkness of the winter forest. Connecting the roaming and dark femininity as seen in the Alpine and Greek folklore with the femininity as seen today, where commercial images of glossy magazines are but an inviting look for sexual fantasizing; the female body as empty of spirit and represented as void of identity – other than the multicolor layers of clothes. The lustful, culturally constructed femininity as it manifests itself on billboard road signs and advertising, against the festive and ambiguous figures of hope or misfortune. Fluid, familiar yet unrecognizable, we wear a form that soon vanishes into thin air, against our will, while we continue to search for identity. Or is fluidity the true nature of our identity, the go-between?

Among Daferera’s recentexhibitions: The Gaze, 2016, Centre for Women Studies & Research, DIOTIMA, Athens, Greece;Perhta, 2016, Experimonde Wien, Vienna, Austria; Different Faces on Their Moments, 2015, Experimonde Wien, Vienna; Now and then, 2014, Archilochos Cultural Association, Paros island, Greece; The Birds, 2013, Fine Arts University of Vienna; The Feminine Now, 2012, Centre for Women Studies & Research, DIOTIMA, Athens;and The Relation Between me and Him, 2011, Archilochos Cultural Association, Paros.

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