In May, the series of lectures by Thanassis Moutsopoulos, Associate Professor of Art History and Theory of Culture, Technical University of Crete, on the evolution of art in public space in Greece, taking as their starting point the George Zongolopoulos exhibition, conclude, with the sixth lecture.
Public art in Athens seems an impossible affair, compressed in a Procrustean bed between the eternal marble busts and uncontrollable inscriptions on the walls of its apartment blocks. Together with its neoclassical design, Athens inherited a few dozen statues and busts of the warriors of the Greek Revolution of 1821, members of the Society of Friends (Filiki Eteria) and Philhellenes. Later on the new heroes were (inevitably) the politicians but, next to them, one could find memorial statues of young military men together with mayors, poets, actors.
The 20th century’s Modernism would add new dimensions in sculpture. The experiments appeared from France to the Soviet Union but, at some point, the problem seemed not to be limited to the artistic form, but it was mainly focused on the ever more peculiar role of monumental art in a metropolis and a society that changed drastically during the last century. The frenzied rhythms of contemporary urban life, the growing cocooning, the eclipses of public life and the new aesthetic standards make any bust seem incongruous.
*Simultaneous translation into the Greek Sign Language will be provided.