It’s been wickedly hot in Athens. Temperatures are in the 100s, with no end to the heat in sight. People are a bit grouchier than usual. Even my iPhone complained and went on strike, advising it needed to “cool down”. Many of the places I’m interested in touring require outside walking, but it’s too hot. Air-conditioned museums and art galleries are the best bet, until it’s cooler.
The Benaki Museum was educational, but most large exhibitions are a bit mind-bending – at least to me. I’m still comprehending the impressive art and exhibits. Zoumboulaki is a small art gallery, and I spent about 30 minutes there enjoying the contemporary exhibit, Learn to Swim.
Founded in the 70s by the Zoumboulaki family, Zoumboulaki Gallery is “one of the most important art spaces in Athens”. For over a century, the Gallery has “narrated the journey of art through objects full of stories that bring contemporary art to homes in Greece and the world”.
Exhibitions of “historical importance by foreign and Greek artists” are on display. After a renovation, the Gallery’s current exhibitions highlight Contemporary Art, “selecting works by younger – but also established – artists”. The gallery website features posters, silkscreens, and art objects.
In 2000, Daphne Zoumboulaki took over management of the Gallery, with “artists of the 80s and 90s framing exhibitions of permanent collaborators”. Since 2007, the group called “ZONE D” organizes “exhibitions outside the gallery, aiming at presenting new trends in international contemporary art”.
Mapping the History 1821 – 2021 Hydra
A recent exhibition, Mapping the History of the Municipality of Hydra 1821 – 2021, is a “photographic promenade dedicated to the Greek island Hydra“. Greek and foreign photographers participating in the exhibition were selected because of their personal experiences and relationships with Hydra.
Learn to Swim
The current exhibition at Zoumboulaki Gallery, Learn to Swim, focuses on humanity’s connection to water and swimming. The eclectic, colorful works are delightful.
“Human evolution is a concept intertwined with continuous fluidity, transitioning from water to land and crawling to walking. Accelerated rocking of the body – or swimming when found in the liquid element – is a reaction that instinctively originates in humans from fetal development. Since swimming before walking is an innate desire, could this deep primordial instinct be part of evolution?”
Wild Fires and Floods
Sadly, forest fires continue to rage north of Athens, and in my home state of Oregon USA. There has been heavy rain and flooding in Central Europe, including Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, and Prague Czech Republic, my next stop.