Inside the Diomidos Botanical Garden: One of the most important in the Mediterranean – What 33 artists are preparing

Inside the Diomidos Botanical Garden: One of the most important in the Mediterranean – What 33 artists are preparing
Inside the Diomidos Botanical Garden: One of the most important in the Mediterranean – What 33 artists are preparing

Sheltered Gardens is an original, hybrid visual project, taking place in the Diomedes Botanical Garden.

More than 35 international artists, writers and performers participate in the program. Having as a starting point the poem of the same name by H.D. Sheltered Garden (1916) and centered on the I. & A. N. Diomidos Botanical Garden, one of the largest and most important Botanical Gardens of the Mediterranean, located in Haidari, PCAI’s multimedia program includes a series of new commissions and performances .

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A botanical garden since 1951

The Botanical Garden of Iulia and Alexander N. Diomidos is the largest Botanical Garden in our country, as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ioak tree in 1951, based on the bequest of Alexandros N. Diomidos, and is a Legal Entity under Private Law. In its large area, with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture and under the supervision of the Botany professor of the University of Athens Constantinos Mitrakos, the works of its creation and organization were completed, based on the plans of Herta Hammerbacher, professor of Garden and Landscape Architecture of the University of Berlin.

In 1975, with the completion of the beautification department, the Garden officially opened its gates to the public.

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The exhibition at the Diomidos Botanical Garden

Starting on September 22, Sheltered Gardens unfolds through a specially designed digital exhibition, available through pcai.gr, a bilingual collector’s edition, a group exhibition of contemporary art and a three-day program of visual and dance performances at the Diomedes Botanical Garden in Athens.

From the drag art of Sasha Velor to the punk photomontages of Linder and from the super 8 stories of Chris Kraus to the lyrical narratives of Leda Papakonstantinou, the exhibition begins as an online tour among climbing plants, clumps of bamboo and she-shed greenhouses. And then it acquires a physical existence, it becomes a performance, a record and a trace of the ecosystems and the problems that emerge in the modern women’s gardens.

Eva Papamargariti, Strong, Feeble, Unfixed, 2022, AR video, 3’25”, sound, color (still). Courtesy of the artist and PCAI

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Starting point and central inspiration of the project, the poem Sheltered Garden (1916) by the American HD (Hilda Doolittle), a key representative of imagery. The poem unfolds HD’s relationship with the environment, as well as her reflections as a queer creator of the early 20th century.

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The connection with mother nature, Gaia as a mythological part of the cosmogony, the garden as an archetype and gender inequalities have been analyzed in many important works by women writers. In her book In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens (1983) Alice Walker expressed her own concerns as an African-American creator about the past, art and identity in an anxious period for human rights in the US. In 1919, Virginia Woolf dedicated one of her first works to London’s Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens), while her personal reflections on issues such as spatiality and gender were powerfully captured in her famous essay A Room of One’s Own (1929 ).

Sasha Velour, Still Alive, 2021, photo, Courtesy of the artist

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The digital and physical exhibition Sheltered Gardens constitutes an original, hybrid browsing environment with references to Donna Haraway’s rejection of the rigid boundaries of identity and physical space (Cyborg Manifesto, 1985), as a proposal for alternative, creative social and environmental searches in times of crisis.

Parallel program of performances at the Diomidos Botanical Garden

From the 22 to 24 September will be accommodated a series of original performances, readings and workshops in the Garden with free entry – pre-booking is required on the diomedes-bg.gr page.

Participants: Iria Vrettou, Phoebe Giannisi, Ermira Goros, I broke the vase, Dimitra Ioannou, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Lida Papakonstantinou, Aris Papadopoulos & Martha Pasakopoulou, VASKOS (Vassilis Noulas & Costas Tzimoulis), VIGIL (Despina Sanida-Kreztelia & Fotini Stamatopoulou ), Theodoros Chiotis. Edited by: Kika Kyriakakou and VASKOS

Evan Ifekoya, Contoured Thoughts, 2019, HD video, 4’42”, sound, color, countries: UK and Iceland (snapshot). Courtesy of the artist and Lux ​​London

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Thursday 22/9

16.00-17.00 Anthony | I broke the vase, An insect in a flower in a flowerbed in a garden*
17.15-17.30 Anthony | Dimitra Ioannou, META/GARDENS
17.45-18.15 Theater with logs | Ermira Goro, Formless formation – Momentum
18.30-19.00 Greenhouse (pic nic) | Leda Papakonstantinou, Family portrait

Friday 23/9

16.00-17.30 Theater with logs | VIGIL, Guards
(Miss Sanida Krezia & Fotini Stamatelopoulou)
17.30-18.00 Illuminated pump station | VASKOS, A field trip
(Vassilis Noulas & Costas Tzimoulis)
18.00-18.30 Greenhouse (pic nic) | Phoebe Giannisi, The Chic Parisian
18.30-19.00 Illuminated pump station | Iria Vretto, This bush is a feeling

Saturday 24/9

16.00-18.00 Anthony | Chrysanthi Koumianaki, The stage is empty*
18.00-18.30 Anthony | Theodoros Chiotis, The walls are falling*
18.30-19.00 Theater with logs | Aris Papadopoulos & Martha Pasakopoulou, Bad Fruit

  • walking performance.

With the support and patronage of the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the support of the British Council and Flunet Productions.

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Vaskos, Unicorns and Their Kin, 2022, video, sound, color, 9′ (still). Courtesy of the artists and PCAI

Sheltered Gardens

PCAI’s original hybrid exhibition in collaboration with Diomidos Botanical Garden

Participants: Margarita Athanasiou, Maria Varela, Marina Velisioti, Michel Delsol, Kathleen Hanna & the Julie Ruin, Evan Ifekoya, Irini Karagiannopoulou, Leto Kattou, Chris Kraus, Linder, Polonca Lovšin, Eleni Bagaki, Campus Novel, Selina Nwulu, Leda Papakonstantinou, Eva Papamargariti, Gloria Steinem, Eva Stefani, Vaskos, Sasha Velour, Aphrodite Psarra

Edited by: Kika Kyriakakou / Opening: Thursday 22 September, 16.00-19.00

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Exhibition duration in the Garden: 22 September – 2 October 2022, 16.00-19.00
Online exhibition duration: September 22 – November 30, 2022 via pcai.gr
Program of performances in the Garden: September 22-24

Botanical Garden I. & A. N. DiomidouIera Odos 403, Chaidari, Athens

Free entrance – pre-booking is required through diomedes-bg.gr

Transportation to and from the Diomidos Botanical Garden

On the three days of September 22-24, there will be a bus transfer from the Agia Marina metro station to the Diomidos Botanical Garden at 15.50, 16.10, 16.30, 16.50, 17.10, 17.30, 17.50, 18.10, 18.30. The last departure from B.K.D. to the metro is at 20.00.

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The article is in Greek

Tags: Diomidos Botanical Garden important Mediterranean artists preparing

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