AVARTS: Retrospective-in-Megaron - E.L. Ahtila, B.J.C. Purves, T. Ushev & V. Kroustallis
Updated: 20-03-2017 16:28 | Views: 3003
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The Audio-Visual Arts Department will present its course retrospectively in a digital art show which will be held at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) 20 to May 21, 2017. The show will include selected works of graduate, postgraduate students, Phd students and professors, and works by internationally renowned artists, such as Eija-Liisa Athila, Barry Purves and Theodore Ushev. The Electroacoustic Music Research and Applications Laboratory (ΕΡΗΜΕΕ) of the Department of Music Studies will organise electroacoustic music concerts in the framework of the festival like every year. Alongside with the exhibition and the concerts, there will take place workshops and a masterclass and lectures programme under the title, Art and Digital Culture, with the participation of prominent guests and with a focus on the media of video art and animation. The two-day event is a joint production of the Audio-Visual Arts Department and the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron Bridges cycle).

The exhibition will show interactive audio-visual installations, animation and video art works, projection mappings, acoustic environments and audio-only games, comic and photography exhibitions.

The workshops will be open to the public and will focus on 2D & 3D animation, the interactive audio-visual platforms, projection mapping and research on digital hybrid materials.

In the masterclass and lectures programme, Art and Digital Culture, the renowned visual artist, Eija-Liisa Ahtila will be our honorary guest. Athila will introduce the audience to the relation of her work with film in the era of digital technology. According to a decision by the General Assembly of the Department, Eija-Liisa Ahtila will receive an honorary doctorate from the Department of Audio and Visual Arts of Ionian University.

The celebrated animators, Barry Purves and Theodore Ushev, invited in collaboration with BE THERE! Corfu Animation Festival, will analyse their art, their techniques and their approach to technology. The director of BE THERE! and Phd student of the Department, Vassilis Kroustallis, will focus on the relation of animation to politics. The programme will also include screenings of works by the three artists.

Eija-Liisa Athila is one of the most celebrated visual artists and filmmakers. She has studied visual arts in Helsinki, and film in London and Los Angeles. Athila has herself described her work as “human dramas”. Her work focuses on existential issues and film language, and more recently, on more profound theoretical and philosophical issues, concerning human existence and culture. In her recent works Eija-Liisa Ahtila widens the focus from people onto their environment, departing from a biopolitical perspective. For example, in her film Studies on the Ecology of Drama she explores ways of creating images that move beyond cinematic anthropocentrism onto issues concerning the ongoing ecological crisis. Among others, her work has been shown in individual and retrospective exhibitions in Tate Modern, in MoMA, in Guggenheim, in Bilbao, in Jeu de Paume, in Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, in Kiasma in Helsinki, in Moderna Museet in Stockholm, while she has participated in influential group shows, such as Venice Biennale. Her work has received numerous distinctions and awards, including, an honorary mention at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) and Artes Mundi Prize (2006). She is a former professor at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, at 2009 she was honoured with the title of Academician of Art. Her works have been shown in significant festivals all over the world, as well as in television. Athila lives in Helsinki and she will visit Greece with the support of the Finnish Institute at Athens.


Diverse and multitalented Barry J. C. Purves is a British director, theatre designer, screenwriter and producer usually, but not exclusively working with animation. His relationship with theatre -as an actor as well- formed the style of his work, which is defined by the feature of performance with puppets. Purves has been honored with more than sixty international prizes of best director, best film, grand prix, and nominations for Oscar and BAFTA awards. Many festivals have held retrospectives of his works, including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Bristol Puppet Festival, London International Animation Festival. He teaches at colleges all over the world, including National Film and Television School of London and Staffordshire University, from which he has received the title of a honorary doctorate. Purves is also the author of numerous articles, and of two monographs on stop-motion animation and a director for TV series (BBC, ARTE, Channel Four etc.).


Theodore Ushev is an animator, graphic designer, illustrator and multimedia artist. He has studied in Kyustendil and at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia. For Ushev, animation has socio-political impact, humanitarian character and therapeutic power. His work explores the relation of the medium of animation to visual arts, for example, in the historical avant-garde movements. Ushev is based in Montreal, Canada and collaborates with the National Film Board of Canada, and he also produces site-specific multimedia performances including the interactive Diagonales at Grande Bibliotheque of Montreal, an interactive installation in dialogue with famous films of Norman McLaren, and in cooperation with Iregular design studio (2014). His work, Blind Vaysha has been nominated for Best Animated Short at the 89th Academy Awards (2017), and has been awarded with many distinctions including the Cartoon Network Award for the Best Narrative Short Animation and the Canadian Film Institute Award for the Best Canadian Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, the Jury Prize & Junior Prize of the Day, in Annecy 2016, the Animation Gold Plaque, at the Chicago International Film Festival, 2016.



Vassilis Kroustallis comes from Corfu and is the initiator and director of Be There! Corfu Animation Festival. Moreover, he is the editor of the animation portal zippyframes.com and a Phd student of the Audio-Visual Arts Department. In 2016 he was honoured with the 2016 Norman McLaren – Evelyn Lambart Award for the Best Scholarly Article in Animation published 2014-2015, for his paper on “Failure to Think, Failure to Move: Handicapped Reasoning in Waltz with Bashir”. Recently he was selected as an ambassador for Greece for the newly established institution of European Animation Awards.