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Arts

Museum of Cycladic Art 3-Part Thematic Exhibition ReThinking Runs March 20-July 27

ATHENS – Under the ‘ReInHerit’ project, which is funded by the ‘Horizon2020’ program of the European Union, the Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) in Athens, the Graz Museum in Austria, and the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia have collaborated to develop three thematic exhibitions titled ‘ReThinking’. These exhibitions, which focus on social issues that have been relevant to the world from antiquity to the present day, including identities, social conflicts, and craftsmanship, aim to explore how objects can be presented in a museum space when the original object cannot be exhibited. Each thematic exhibition showcases three objects selected from the collections of each of the three museums involved in the project. The exhibitions will be presented in the museums where they were originally conceived and will then travel to Austria, Greece, and Cyprus, respectively, to tell a special story under the broad theme of social issues.

The first of these thematic exhibitions, ‘ReThinking Identities: Gender, Diversity, Discrimination’, will be hosted at the MCA from March 20 to May 8, followed by ‘ReThinking Conflicts’ from May 18 to June 15, and concluding with ‘ReThinking Craftsmanship’ from June 29 to July 27.

Additionally, the three museums have developed three digital exhibitions that mirror the physical exhibitions. These digital exhibitions are enriched with interactive digital storytelling tools, painting tools, and educational activities that are available online.

ReThinking Identities: Gender, Diversity, Discrimination, the first of the three thematic exhibitions will be hosted at the Museum of Cycladic Art March 20-May 8, followed by ReThinking Conflicts, May 18-June 15, and concluding with ReThinking Craftsmanship, June 29-July 27. Photo: Paris Tavitian / Museum of Cycladic Art

A digital collection has also been created, which features objects from various museums in Greece and abroad, and focuses on the themes of identities, social conflicts, and craftsmanship.

The Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) spearheaded the development of the ‘Identities: Gender, Diversity, Discrimination’ exhibition, co-curated by Marina Plati, Eleni Markou, and Nefeli Bantela from MCA, Catalin Betz and Sibylle Dienesch from Graz Museum in Austria, and Irini Khenkin from the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia.

Today, issues of gender, diversity, and discrimination are more relevant than ever, with instances of discrimination in all aspects of our lives and changing attitudes towards sexual diversity. Although these issues are not new, distinct gender roles have always existed in society from the prehistoric era to modern times. While it is not easy to make definitive assumptions about the roles that women and men held in Early Cycladic society, it is safe to say that they held different but equally important roles.

The exhibition at MCA includes three digital works from MCA, Graz Museum in Austria, and the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia that aim to present the theme of identities from antiquity to the present day: a marble Cycladic female figurine, the ‘Self-portrait of the artist Ida-Sofia Maly,’ and a statuette titled ‘Temple Boy.’ A curated path titled ‘Identities’ has been created, guiding visitors through selected objects from the four permanent collections of MCA that are related to gender, diversity, and discrimination. The objects of the ‘ReThinking Identities’ exhibition will also be displayed in digital format, with digital tools and activities available in the exhibition space. This way, visitors will have the opportunity to explore both the objects and their own experiences and beliefs regarding identities.

ReThinking Identities: Gender, Diversity, Discrimination, the first of the three thematic exhibitions will be hosted at the Museum of Cycladic Art March 20-May 8, followed by ReThinking Conflicts, May 18-June 15, and concluding with ReThinking Craftsmanship, June 29-July 27. Photo: Paris Tavitian / Museum of Cycladic Art

In the framework of the ‘ReThinking Identities: Gender, Diversity, Discrimination’ exhibition, the following parallel activities will take place:

An online talk on gender and its relevant internal conflicts titled ‘Emotional conflicts and bodily protests’ will be conducted by Dr. Chryssanthi Papadopoulou on March 30 from 5-5:40 PM. The talk focuses on somatic symptom disorders (SSDs) that occurred in young women passing from puberty to sexual maturity in Ancient Greece and fin de siècle (late 19th century) Europe. It also examines adult women’s somatic disorders as a reaction to rethinking their roles as wives or mothers. The talk will be conducted in English, and further information is available by phone at 2107294220.

As part of the Cycladic Art Café Project, a component of the Museum’s Contemporary Art Program, works of contemporary art relevant to each thematic exhibition will be presented consecutively. During the ‘ReThinking Identities’ exhibition, a photographic installation entitled Family Matters! (1998) by artist Dimitrios Antonitsis will be on view. Antonitsis is among the pioneering Greek artists who first adopted the camp aesthetic and dealt with gender and identity issues. He has tackled issues of sexuality in conjunction with the self-determination of the ‘other’ and with each individual’s place in society, thus touching upon issues that are still socially marginalized today.

ReThinking Identities: Gender, Diversity, Discrimination, the first of the three thematic exhibitions will be hosted at the Museum of Cycladic Art March 20-May 8, followed by ReThinking Conflicts, May 18-June 15, and concluding with ReThinking Craftsmanship, June 29-July 27. Photo: Paris Tavitian / Museum of Cycladic Art

The civil non-profit company Cinemathesis will present a workshop for teenagers called ‘Identities’ on March 12 and 19, and April 2 and 9. Participants will explore gender identity through photography, cinematography, photocollage, self-portraits, analysis of visual and audio material, books, archives, and iconic films of international cinema. They will create a digital archive of their artworks, which will be in dialogue with the ‘ReThinking Identities’ exhibition.

On April 6, a creative workshop called ‘It’s a Shirt’ will take place with a youth group in collaboration with the artist and designer Christina Christodoulou and mental health expert Lilly Peppou. Participants will share their own experiences, discuss and create their own genderless shirts.

Participation in all parallel activities is free of charge. Online guided tours and guided tours in sign language will also be available.

More information is available online: https://cycladic.gr/.

ReThinking Identities: Gender, Diversity, Discrimination, the first of the three thematic exhibitions will be hosted at the Museum of Cycladic Art March 20-May 8, followed by ReThinking Conflicts, May 18-June 15, and concluding with ReThinking Craftsmanship, June 29-July 27. Photo: Paris Tavitian / Museum of Cycladic Art

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