‘Uprooting, Realism’ [“Ξεριζ-ωμός, Ρεαλισμός” in Greek] is the new exhibition running through July 9, 2022, at the Tsichritzis Arts Foundation in Kifissia. As indicated by its title, the exhibition refers to the Asia Minor Catastrophe events, as 2022 marks 100 years since the unfolding of this foremost, in Modern Greek history, traumatic experience.

(Left) Tsichritzis Foundation building (Right) “Smyrna” by Evangelia Bolani

My dear, when your beautiful body took fire, and shone like the stars, God could not be found, nor a person to stand up for you, only the day watched, muted, and the night […], because people were monsters and God was missing in foreign lands.

“Smyrna” quatrain by Greek poet Angelos Simiriotis (1873-1944)

Taking into consideration that these tragic historic events effectively meant the end of the presence of one of the ancient Greek populations in Asia Minor, which forced hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee to mainland Greece under appalling conditions, 32 contemporary artists make reference to the enduring, universal phenomenon of people’s persecution, uprooting and flight.

Tsichritzis collage1 Artworks by: Vasia Moustaka, Georgios Babili, Stella Katergiannaki

More specifically, the show presents artworks by: Georgios Babilis, Miltos Tsivdaris, Paul Spourelas, Stella Sevastopoulos, Giota Angelopoulou, Sofia Aptosoglou, Elena Arsenidou, Poly Georgakopoulou, Vicky Zagouri, Aglaia Thanasou,  Christos Theodoridis, Stella Kateryiannaki, Christina Kateryiannaki, Miranta Katsifa, Selina Kritikou, Angeliki Kostalou, Evangelia Liaskou, Prodromos Manou, Costas Markopoulos, Vivi Mentzelopoulou, Vasia Moustaka, Emilios Barbatos, Evangelia Bolani, Yiorgos Deros, Olga Xithali, Popi Palatianou, Sotiris Papagiannis, Vangelis Pappas, Aikaterini Pouliasi, Titina Rondoyianni, Matina Sioki, Ioanna Tsachtsirli.

As the curator of the exhibition, Dimitris Lazarou, notes: “With a moral duty not to forget our history and chapters such as the Asia Minor catastrophe, 100 years later, 32 modern, remarkable visual artists, inspire and create works that tell stories that view again, in a different light, historical moments or periods. At the same time, they emphasize the eternity of phenomena that man, no matter how long he declares ready to extinguish them, continues through wrong policies or policies of indifference to hatch and repeat their resurgence”.

Tsichritzis collage2

Ⓒ Artworks by: Selina Kritikou, Miranda Katsifa, Miltos Tsivdaris, Vivi Mentzelopoulou

The Tsichritzis Arts Foundation was founded in 1999 by lawyer and art collector Philip Tsichritzis, on account of his passion for contemporary visual arts. Located in the center of Kifissia, the Foundation is housed in a building that is one of the most distinct examples of modern architecture of the early 1970’s, designed by architect Michael Orros. Its main goal is to operate as a cultural and educational hub in the broader area of Athens’ northern suburbs by supporting contemporary artists, organizing painting, photography, and sculpture exhibitions, as well as providing courses on art history, museology, art conservation, costume design and more.

More info about the exhibition: visit the Tsichritzis Arts Foundation website

More info about Hellenism in Asia Minor: visit the Centre for Asia Minor Studies website

Read also: Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ speech at the memorial service for the National Remembrance Day for the Genocide of Asia Minor Greeks (September 2021)