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AICA-HELLAS and Vakalo School are organizing an International Symposium of Art Criticism dedicated to the memory of Eleni Vakalo. The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and with the kind support of the Goethe Institut.


The contribution of the late Eleni Vakalo to the arts and letters is reflected not only in her rich writings and critical work but also in the exemplary ethos and passion, the restless gaze, the poetic speech and the dedication with which she served and supported contemporary art from the 1950s onwards, in a period of adverse social conditions for the acceptance of modernist and avant-garde propositions in Greece.


The subject of the Symposium, “Centripetal and Centrifugal Trends; Methods and Roles of Criticism”, was inspired by her last legacy – the solid thoughts and essential questions in her last essay on “Modern – Post-modern; Connections and Distances” (Vakalo School, 2001). With this range of subjects the Hellenic Section of the Association Internationale des Critiques d'Art, wishing to build on the contribution of the late Eleni Vakalo in the field of critical thought and action, extends into the realm of the contemporary theoretical and artistic scene some of the astute questions in her last book.


What were the centripetal and centrifugal forces in art and criticism during the twentieth century? What is the critic’s role today, and how is it shaped under the new conditions of art perception? What scientific methods does criticism adopt in view of the multitude of media adopted by contemporary art? Which examples of current critical attitude and action reflect the quest for a new identity of the art critic in today’s multicultural environment? How are the institutions of art management responding to this quest?


These questions shall be discussed and analyzed from various angles by the participants of the Symposium. We have invited the participation of Chauhsin Chen, Beral Madra, Maria Marangou, Rosa Martinez, Ute Meta-Bauer, Henry Meyric Hughes, Nikos Xydakis, Efi Strousa, Eleni Varopoulou and Denys Zacharopoulos. There will also be contributions by Vassia Karkayanni-Karabelia, Elzbieta Koscielak, Harris Savvopoulos and Angelica Sachini, while Daniel Gounaridis, Olga Daniilopoulou, Julia Dimakopoulou, Antonis Kotidis, Yannis Papaioannou and Panayotis Tetsis shall talk about Eleni Vakalo and her work.


It is the aim of AICA-HELLAS for this event to be the first of a regularly held Symposium of Art Criticism in Greece, which will serve as a forum for the exchange of high-quality ideas on issues of contemporary artistic quests and theories between Greek and foreign art historians, theoreticians and critics..