Books, spread on a long table, or hanging from a wall, others set against lanterns and candles, or even against wooden ships. This is the latest output of sculptor Alexandra Athanassiades, whose work is featured at an exhibition titled ‘Beyond Cavafy’s Written Word,’ making testament to her latest source of inspiration – the body of work of one of the most beloved and influential Greek poets.
The exhibition is held at the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, one of the city’s oldest and most significant cultural organisations. It is also inaugurating the library’s new ‘Ioannis Makrygiannis’ ward, a 200 square meter exhibition room, created to host both modern art shows and exhibitions showcasing the library’s vast collection.
For the sculptures featured in ‘Beyond Cavafy’s Written Word’ Athanassiades employed combined techniques, using materials such as wood – a staple in her work – and corroded metal, alongside manuscripts and old editions of the poet’s work, mannupulated by the artist. The exhibition is part of the celebrations to mark Athens being named UNESCO’s book capital for 2018. The year also marks the 50th anniversayr of the publication of the ‘Segopoulos Copybook,’ featuring 22 hand-written poems given by Constantine Cavafy to his heir, Alexandros Segopoulos. The book, edited by the acclaimed Greek literature professor G.P. Savvidis, who Segopoulos trusted with the Cavafy archives, is being reprinted, in a facsimile edition this year, as part of the same celebration.
- The exhibition ‘Beyond Cavafy’s Written Word,’opens to the general public on March 19 and runs through May 12.
- The American School of Classical Studies is located on 54 Souidias Street, Athens