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OLD LACE, NEW LIFE COLLECTION LAUNCH

NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, ATHENS, GREECE

17:45, WEDNESDAY, 07/06/2023

The collection launch came to life as a moving performance in the National Archaeological Museum. Visitors in galleries 49 & 50 of The Vase Collection, followed dancers modelling Old Lace, New Life as well as musical performers,  and descended the museum's imperial staircase to the ground level, continued throughout the main museum halls, passing by the marble altar and the infamous jockey before finally descending into the garden where the majority of the performance took place. The event was held in conjunction with World Environment Day, in order to highlight the collection’s relation to sustainable art and design.

At the crux of this collection launch, together with its supporting exhibitons, was the desire to shine a spotlight on and re-evaluate a significant part of Greek heritage, primarily female, which is that of lacemaking. Eleni Kyriacou had salvaged countless historic Greek laces, resulting in a collection of over a thousand pieces. She used selected pieces to create a womenswear collection; hence ‘up-cycling’ fragments of Greek heritage. The laces, by being reclaimed in this manner were re-contextualised: What was once placed in an architectural context to adorn an interior, now rests on the flesh of a woman’s body, thereby transforming the lace in meaning. In this manner 19th and 20th century laces are reappropriated into the 21st century. 


Additionally, by hosting Old Lace, New Life, the National Archaeological Museum chose to highlight the significant influence Greek antiquity has had on Greek lacemaking history, in the clear design influence as well as the influence in subject matter. Two exhibitions were held concurrently exploring this: The physical exhibition in the garden, and the virtual exhibition on the museum website, where artefacts from the museum’s permanent collections were digitally juxtaposed with the salvaged laces from Kyriacou’s lace collection.  Additionally by the performance taking place on the grounds of the museum, the garments act in constant kinetic dialogue with the artefacts, architecture of the museum and nature of the garden. Therefore, rather than being static juxtapositions between lace and object as with the exhibitions, the artistic performance is a fluid exchange and interaction between all these elements.

PERFORMING ARTISTS

 

​CHOREOGRAPHER | Despina Lagoudaki

​DANCERS | Despina Lagoudaki / Sevasti Zafeira / Katerina MagerakiI / liana Yfanti / Violeta Damanaki​

COMPOSER | Vasilis Gkoritsas

MUSICIANS | Vasilis Gkoritsas / Elena Leoni / Maria Malafi / Nikos Martziokas

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