NEW YORK – Nikos Mourkogiannis opens windows into the soul of Arcadia through his the photographs and New Yorkers can view them through April 8 at the exhibition titled “Arkadia, the Untold Tale.”
Hosted by the Greek Consulate on East 79 Street and sponsored by the Pan Arcadian Federation and its Geros tou Morea and Eparhia Kynourias chapters, the exhibition’s opening reception was held on March 17. Among the guests who enjoyed them was Archbishop Demetrios.
Demetris Filios, past Federation President, noted the photos were previously on display at the Greek Embassy in Washington, DC and said they will be shown in Arkadia in the future.
“The pictures of Arkadia are deliberately simple,” Mourkogiannis told TNH. I wanted to present a feeling in a simple way to a place of great importance in history and culture. I began taking photos about eight months ago and my aim was to capture moments of Eastern Arkadia from simple places to the old mansions to contemporary spots that still partake of the ancient magic. “If you take the footpaths you can still hear the voices of the muses and the nereids,” he said, and adding the testimony of historians he noted “Arkadia was considered an idyllic place form ancient times and has inspired much pastoral poetry. “
The photographer provides viewers with some word pictures too. He wrote for the exhibition’s program: “If you ever set foot in Arkadia, here is some good advice. Try to stay silent. Instead, take a walk long a gravel path bordering the sea and listen. Listen to the olive tree chanting glories of the past. Listen to the swirl of the rolling tumbleweeds and their news from high above. Listen to the foam of the waves with its mesmerizing lullaby. Everything is alive and has and untold tale to tell…”
Mourkogiannis was born in Athens and since 1997 has lived in Turin, Italy, where he graduated from the prestigious European Institute of Design (EID) in visual communication but has Peloponnesian roots through his father. His mother is from Aegina.
According to the exhibition program “He has worked as a freelance creative advisor for some of the most famous brands in Italy and has collaborated…on making videos and short movies.
The event had a bittersweet flavor as the Arkadians took the opportunity to bid farewell to Iliopoulos, whose four year tenure in New York is drawing to a close, and his wife Anthousa.
The Consul General was presented with a plaque by Christos Vournas, President of Geros tou Morea which read, “In recognition of his outstanding service beyond the call of duty to the Greek-American Community of New York.”
“We wish every success where you are going. We will miss you,” Vournas said.
Nikolas Kontoleon, the Federation’s Eastern District governor, thanked Mourkogiannis and Iliopoulos, also declaring “you will be missed.”
After expressing thanks Iliopoulos said “my wife and I fell in love with New York and the community and we did our best to serve it. We didn’t want the Consulate to only be a place people brought their problems,” he said, and noted how much he and his wife Anthousa enjoyed presenting enjoyable exhibitions and events.