“Engraving the ODYSSEY” Exhibition at the Museum of Marble Crafts

“Engraving the ODYSSEY” Exhibition at the Museum of Marble Crafts

The year 2017 has been declared the Nikos Kazantzakis Year and, in this context, the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), in collaboration with the Kazantzakis Museum and Kazantzakis Publications, will inaugurate a temporary exhibition of Christos Santamouris’ “Engraving the ODYSSEY” on Sunday 9th July (at 8:30pm) at the Museum of Marble Crafts in Pyrgos, on the island of Tinos.

The exhibition’s focal point corresponds to Christos Santamouris’ engravings. The source of inspiration of this Tinian artist with an international trajectory is to be found in ODYSSEY, a contemporary saga written as a “sequel” to Homer’s Odyssey, one of Nikos Kazantzakis most imposing works.

“My imagination caught fire with the rejuvenator of lyrical writing in our land. His life, a sanguinary adventure that lives its cycle in the void, in the abyss”, says Christos Santamouris, before continuing: “I believe that the basic axis in Nikos Kazantzakis’ work is the struggle of the heart, the mind, the instincts of every person who battles to get outside space and time”.

In these 24 engravings - as many as the rhapsodies -, the artist approaches the contemporary saga visually, using copper and steel as his “tools”. According to art historian Venia Pastaka, the works «transubstantiate words into an image and transform the idea into an emblem. By selecting key verses from each rhapsody, the artist, at times through swirling colours representing chaotic landscapes and at others through the tranquillity of dreamlike cities, manages to make a voyager of the spectator and to identify him with the cunning Odysseus. The path of any quest for truth is a solitary path. And it’s for this reason that any human presence is noticeably absent from the works”.

The exhibition also presents objects from the collections of the Kazantzakis Museum, rare documents that relate to the writing of the ODYSSEY. Among them, the book’s collectible first edition (1938), which constituted a milestone in Modern Greek literature, because it was the first Greek book to be published using monotonic spelling (instead of the then prevalent polytonic orthography), as well as Kazantzakis’ personal notebook featuring words and concepts that he used to create the saga. As Dr Nikos Mathioudakis, special editor at Kazantzakis Publications, remarks: “The author is revealed as a virtuoso of poetic words’ internal rhythmical structures, as a painter […]. And lastly, as a creator-poet who endlessly fought to bewitch the word, to renew its meaning, to transform it, gifting it with a new structure, a new form, a new strength”.

The exhibits are accompanied by audiovisual material on the life and work of Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957). 

The exhibition runs from 9 July - 30 September 2017
Opening hours: daily, except Tuesdays, 10am – 6pm
Free admission. 

For further information, please contact the Museum of Marble Crafts on (+30) 22830 31290 (daily, except Tuesdays, 10am – 6pm). 

Museum of Marble Crafts
Pyrgos, GR-842 01 Panormos, Tinos
T: (+30) 22830 31290 | www.piop.gr