Post Mortem Documentation* 2010 - 2013

Dear friends of the ABOUT Cultural Venue:

Early in 2007, in a small space of 50 sqm located in 156 Ippokratous Street, we began organizing a series of 30 lectures originally followed by contemporary music concerts, addressed to musicians and art lovers. The audience’s reception was very enthusiastic. This effort was realized by us, Aloupi Maria, pianist and composer and Andreas Diktyopoulos, composer and programmer. We wanted to express ourselves alongside our personal artistic courses and initiate a new cultural enterprise based in Athens, which would have a global profile and would involve international artists centering on ones from Europe and the U.S. yet including performers from around the world.

The insufficiency of events concerning contemporary music in Athens in 2007 which we felt existed, became the incentive to proceed with organizing and producing concerts and festivals attended by internationally renowned artists with programs (of the genre) that had not been attempted in Greece before. The events organized under the Centre for Music Composition & Performance took place in museums and institutes such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the French Institute, June in Buffalo festival, the Herakleidon Museum, the cultural spaces of various municipalities and in other independent venues such as cinemas, galleries and others.

Our main concern has always been the quality and supervision of the events. Hence, after thorough exploration we ended up in an small scale industrial site on a first floor. Thus we located in 18 Miaouli Street. We designed and arranged the space appropriately in order to able to host and support music and art events. An acoustic study was made and the renovation was planned so as to be perfectly suited for exhibitions yet having concert – appropriate acoustics in order to regularly host concerts alongside art events without compromising the outcome of either event. We designed the identity of the ABOUT: Cultural Venue which started operating in April 2010.

The objective of the ABOUT: Cultural Venue was the establishment of a context which would bring artists from different art disciplines together and reinforce their relationship with the public. Particular emphasis was placed on the selection and creation of happenings and performances suitable to the artistic identity of the ABOUT : Cultural Venue, the communication with a wider audience, the presentation of meticulously curated productions and finally the creation of a unified artistic program, a cultural proposal to the Athenian public. The purpose was for this development to be recorded as part of the historical continuity of artistic tendencies.

We were faced with an abundance number of fascinating artists’ proposals. We undertook the realization of some of those, alongside concepts of our own. The realization was under our curatorship and in conjunction with our successful collaboration with participating artists and other supporters who offered their valuable assistance. Regardless of the financial crisis that coincided with the whole period of the venue’s operation, the productive contribution and cooperation of fellow artists was important to the success of such a venture. Especially since it has been a private initiative that has survived because of particularly intense personal financial deprivation and hardship and relied both on its economic autonomy, as it resulted from organizational and management fees, proceeds from ticket sales, books and art works, educational programs and teaching and secondly on the voluntary involvement of several people. At this point we would like to thank all those who have contributed.

We feel that the ABOUT: Cultural Venue has obtained an identity of high quality – has become synonymous with high quality events during its 3,5 years of operation and has attracted a satisfactory and diverse audience which supported its course.

Up until November 2013 it had presented: solo and group art exhibitions, contemporary music concerts, contemporary poetry nights, book presentations, festivals, events of scientific interest, projects by notable Greek and international artists, as well as having hosted selected events by other cultural entities. In the course of these 3,5 years (April 2010 – November 2013) upon concluding the curatorial orbit of its founders’ artistic direction, it had presented 108 productions in total, attended by 35.000 people approximately. It has collaborated with over 450 artists and a number of institutes such as the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Athina, French Institute, Goethe Institut, Irish Embassy, Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture and Konzerthaus Berlin amongst others.

The answer to the question of who initiates the creation of independent, privately run spaces in recent years, such as the ABOUT: Cultural Venue, is found in that most new venues are created by people of younger generations. It is obvious that younger generations express aspects of independence and autonomy in this way, by combining creativity, quality and their ideals.

M.A. & A.D.

* Post Mortem Documentation - definition: A project post-mortem is a process, usually performed at the conclusion of a project, to determine and analyze elements of the project that were successful or unsuccessful.
[ source::wikipedia.com ]

2014 - 2015

Independent Projects @ ABOUT:

For the 2014 - 2015 period, the services and infrastructure of the ABOUT: Cultural Venue will be available to curators, art directors, artists and cultural organizations regarding the presentation of independent projects which will bear the signature of the respective curators, organizers or the artists themselves. These facilities will be charged accordingly.

Information on costs and operating conditions can be provided at info@about-art.gr.