I went to the Athens last year for the first edition of the Athens Jewelry Week. It was my very first time in Athens, a lot of things to discover. Once arrived, I was a bit scared, not knowing what I was going to find there. I have to confess I was extremely disappointed with the Munich week few months before and I had the thought that a small event like the week in Athens was not going to be able to be better than Munich. More, I was going to see exhibitions with only Greek artists. WTF !!!
And I was wrong, very far from my deepest thoughts. The Jewelry Week in Athens was like a big, big bowl of fresh air. It was really exciting and surprising. From the main exhibition “Intersecting Spaces” to the last event, the lectures at The Melanithros space, everything was surprising. You can see the photo album I did, in the Alliages Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/pg/alliages/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1145770175446233
This second edition had less events than first one, but events were open to the international artists.
The Anticlastics group has been created by Erato Kouloubi, Niki Stylianou and Anastasia Kandaraki.
This is the second edition of the Athens Jewelry Week. Both editions, quite different, have been a huge success. How do you feel ? EK: We feel very happy and honored. It is very inspiring to see all those people wanting to get involved. We believe that this is just the beginning and that Athens Jewelry Week is an International festival that is here to stay. We will always try to evolve and avoid staying stationary.
First edition was local, this second has been totally international. Why this change ? EK : The second edition was not totally International; Greek artists were included as well. Our aim is not only to promote the Greek scene internationally, but also to create an institution, that will bring artists together and make a creative dialogue. One of our goals is to educate the Greek audience, in this field and engage them in similar events. We believe that art jewelry needed a home in Greece. We had to find the best possible place and we found Benaki Museum! It is great to see art jewelry exhibited where it should be and we wish many other similar exhibitions will follow..
Have you reached the original goal ? EK : Our original goal is to inform and educate the public on issues related to contemporary jewelry as an art form and a means of creative expression, to support individual artists and creative groups that are active in this particular field and to bring together all interested and collaborative parts/members (artists, galleries, collectors, museums and other institutions promoting the arts and culture etc.) through communication and networking. We believe that we reached part of our original goal. AJW is a work in progress that needs redefining every now and then. It is very fresh and new for the Greek audience so we are not resting as it has a long way to go!
What do you expect from the public when coming for the events ? AK : As AJW is still very fresh, we were open to see the reactions of the public. We had no preconceptions or expectations. Our experience showed that the public embraced the event warmly. Everybody was very curious to see this particular type of jewelry. They were all asking questions, they joined all exhibitions and they participated not only as visitors but also came into action through our interactive events. So, in a way, they became part of this jewelry festival.
Will this experience have an influence in your way to see the jewelry? AK : With no doubt. This is one of the main objectives of Athens jewelry Week: For all of us to form a deeper knowledge on Contemporary Jewelry as a form of expression, in order to create the right tools to inform and educate the wider public about all creativity taking place in this particular field. AJW is, thus, a great vehicle, a means, to reach to all parties interested and involved in Contemporary Jewelry through inclusiveness, connectedness, networking and exchange of views. This type of interaction, we believe, that will enrich our perception and greatly influence the way we have been looking at jewelry till now.
What has been your best experiences during the week? NS: As organizers of the whole event we can neither perceive AJW divided into smaller fragments , nor experience these fragments separately. We consider the festival as a “living” thing that is still growing. We tried hard to work every little detail and to not leave anything in chance. Obviously all events and all exhibitions scheduled, were equally important and equally rewarding for us. We were really happy to talk to all artists and collectives that were able to join us. We welcomed our guests from abroad and enjoyed their support, their feedback, their company. We were thrilled with the public’s participation to all openings, exhibitions, lectures and to both workshops organized during AJW2017.
First edition had 11 exhibitions and 6 lectures. This second edition had “only” seven exhibitions and 4 lectures. Are you going to continue doing the Jewelry Week or do you plan to do a biennial to offer a huger offer? NS: As we already mentioned, we consider Athens Jewelry Week a “living” organism that is still growing. Our intention was not to build something based on a guiding template that would be repeated year after year. Each edition will have its special character and its specific program. Possible factors that will inform this character will be the amount of applications received, the type and the specific qualities of the work proposed and of course the way we’ll decide to curate that year’s edition. This is a subject that we will not explain more as we would like to keep some surprises for our participants and our audience. To answer the second part of the question, I will ensure you that we’ll continue organizing Athens jewelry Week with the same passion every year. We do not believe that the event should be biennial. As we hope that AJW will be established as an institution at some point, we firmly believe that should have a consistent uninterrupted presence. As organizers will do our best to maintain the high quality standards of the content, the balance between the different events presented and the smooth unfolding of the program.
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