Friday, May 14, 2010


Monday, April 19 2010
the periodic exhibitions of the Byzantine & Christian Museum (BCM) host the opening of the exhibition and the presentation of the book by the architect
Giorgos Triantafyllou


the exhibition  will be opened 
until the 5th of September 20210

Both the exhibition and the book are dedicated to the memory of the late Director of BCM Dimitris Constantios

Giorgos Triantafyllou, a long-time and consistent practitioner of architecture, is a man who loves art and is well acquainted with all its forms. He has worked with visual artists, people in theater and cinema, and other artists as co-creator in architectural and art projects. In this exhibition he uses photography, which for years provides a release from the relentless pressure of his work, to make a protest.
Giorgos Triantafyllou exasperated by the deluge of aggressive and indifferent buildings, imposed on us by a so-called contemporary architecture, which transmute man to inanimate object, considers this exhibition to be a protest and proposes, through these small buildings, another architecture, one with a human dimension, one which might have to answer to neither legalities and bureaucracies nor moneyed interests. His ultimate aim is to suggest ways to accomplish the enhancement of the natural and the built environments which both suffer so much in Greece.
The exhibition comprises 180 photographs illustrating huts and sheepfolds found scattered throughout the Greek landscape. These structures, examples of an unexplored, neglected, but also true architecture, function as archetypes referring one back to prehistoric times. Related as they are, at the same time, with works of contemporary art and architecture, they record an underground route of sensitive artists seeking the truth in their work.The exhibition is accompanied by 12 video projections suggesting ways in which the values of these archetypes, coupled with advances in modern technology, can contribute towards the aesthetic enhancement of the natural and the built environments. At the same time they highlight a strongly growing trend that has emerged in recent years around the world, opposing the huge scale housing complexes. A trend, perhaps a resistance, expressed by sensitive design and the increasing production of contemporary, small, poetic shelters, which seem to meet the needs of young people. Of those who can not, and probably want not, dream their lives housed in anonymous complexes or luxury villas, but wish to live in places of human scale, proximity to nature, built with ecological materials, incorporating all the advances of modern technology and utilizing green energy.
The exhibition is organized with the help of Hellenic Institute of Architecture and the support of the Technical Chamber of Greece. Curator of the exhibition is the architect, professor of Architecture in NTUA, and writer Dimitris Philippides, who introduces the exhibition in his attached note. Costis Antoniadis, professor of Photography, curates the photographic material. The exhibition runs until June 30, 2010. The book, under the same title K. Adam Publishing), will be presented alongside the exhibition opening. It is prefaced by the artist Costas Tsoclis who participates in its presentation along with Manolis Korres and Dimitris Philippides professors of Architecture in NTUA.

The Curator of the exhibition architect, professor of Architecture, and writer Dimitris Philippides, says in his note:

"This exhibition and its accompanying book are the fruit of a long-standing passion of Giorgos Triantafyllou for the unexplored, neglected, but also true architecture of the huts and sheepfolds found scattered throughout the Greek landscape
In Triantafyllou's eyes, the works of this anonymous architecture function as archetypes which refer back to the mists of prehistory, while at the same time interconnect with works of contemporary international art and architecture.
The exhibition not only aims to highlight a neglected wealth of the Greek landscape--the toil of people who live entirely in nature--but also wants to break new ground in contemporary art and architecture, by combining the values of these archetypes with the achievements of modern technology. Thus its ultimate aim is to suggest ways to accomplish the enhancement of the natural and the built environments which both suffer so much in Greece. It is in this general direction that many young artists from around the world are moving today, seeking another way to design, respectful of the human scale, close to and in accordance with nature, using ecological materials with sensitivity and utilizing the advances of modern technology

Giorgos Triantafyllou was entirely engrossed by this enchanting vision, exploring and combing the full breath of the Greek territories. For he discovered right from the start, to his great surprise, that what he saw through his lens was already logged in his memory as a familiar visual pursuit of contemporary art, as if someone had deliberately, and with incredible accuracy, provided for these impressive similarities. And contrariwise, looking at contemporary art in publications and exhibitions, memories of those wonderful anonymous works, sprinkled about the countryside, which he photographed on his past wanderings, sprung readily to Triantafyllou's mind." 

A large number of guests attended: people from Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Hellenic Institute of Architecture (HIA)---which supported the exhibition---artists, journalists, architects and friends of Giorgos Triantafyllou, gathered in the museum's courtyard  on Monday 19  April and listened to the talks given.
Anastasia Lazaridou, Deputy Director of the Museum, was the first to greet the gathering. She was followed by Alexandros Tombazis, architect, representing HIA; Dimitris Philippides, curator of the exhibition and editor of the book, architect, professor of Architecture and writer; Manolis Korres, architect and professor of Architecture at NTUA; Dimitris Fatouros, architect and professor of Architecture; and Costas Tsoclis, visual artist. The presentation concluded with a speech by the architect Giorgos Triantafyllou, who asked all to observe a minute's silence in memory of the late BCM Director, Dimitris Constantios. After that the guests, passing through the permanent exhibition on the Byzantine Museum, visited the rooms of the periodic exhibition "archetypes".

Excerpts from the talks:
VIDEOS 01-05

Anastasia Lazaridou
"... Far from a romantic tour, the inspired photographs of Giorgos Triantafyllou acquire the power of a documentary material which, associated as it is with works of modern art and architecture, results in truly fruitful ways of suggesting the aesthetic upgrading of the natural and built environments. I wish this exhibition, with its artistic integrity and supportive strength, to become a springboard for fruitful thought and discussion. Let me conclude this short message with the words of Dimitris Constantios: "In any event, what concerns us is to keep the public's interest alive, to stimulate its curiosity with contemporary, topical issues and to do our duty as an active museum of today".

Alexander Tombazis
"... Giorgos Triantafyllou is sensitive, methodical, and persistent in what he does, disregarding cost, for so it is when you love what you do. The material he has recorded is an unending source of enjoyment and learning. There is an immediacy of purpose and function. There is a beautiful effect of materials, colours, which has much in common with art and especially with arte povera ..."

Dimitris Philippidis
"... Triantafyllou does not merely remind the passion of those thirsty for truth people of old. He resembles them, for from the outset he regards it, as they did, as a tool to unlock the doors of the future. It is this promise Triantafyllou has served for many years with much sacrifice. For this reason his exhibition today is not yet another presentation of fine images from a lost world, set up with some romantic mood or nostalgic spirit, but a trumpet of hope for what is coming, what has already made its appearance, what promises to restore the lost meaning not only of contemporary architecture but of our very lives. That is where all his sacrifices, all his struggles, find justification. Flirting with utopia, Triantafyllou speaks to us prophetically of another beauty ..."

Costas Tsoclis
"In architecture, Giorgos Triantafyllou is a good student and a good teacher. But he also is an artist who expresses himself through photography. He is an acute observer of both the unintentional and the deliberate. An artist who composes, not by transposing or varying the elements that interest him, as the visual arts do, but by isolating them as photography does... "
"... I find the book beautiful and useful and its photographs revealing. And I find the parallels between the necessary and the deliberate, in both architecture and the visual arts, very apt. I consider it, moreover, tremendously courageous and touching when one seeks the truth of tomorrow, not in today but in yesterday. Especially when he knows, and Giorgos knows well, that one must at times ignore or burn the existing bridges and swim across ... "

Giorgos Triantafyllou
"... There appears to be a new trend, perhaps a resistance, or a return to nature, to the provinces, perhaps to our villages, possibly forced by the future dictates of the International Monetary Fund. Let us trust in the poetry of the ordinary.
There were mistakes, but we must mobilize, see the essence of things through the prism of poetry, art, the human dimension and the feasible. Let us emerge thoughtfully. Let us utilize the wisdom of these archetypes with the achievements of modern technology. We can. In the most trivial things one can discover values which should not be despised.
Do not seek, in this exhibition, practical solutions and recipes. But another way of thinking, another simple and humane look to the future, The aim of this phase is to meditate, to dream in a new direction ... "