Group Smara Ayakatsika,Nikos Markou ,Christos Athanassiadis Yannis Michalous,Tita Bonatsou,Stefania Mizara,Pavlos Fysakis,Maria Pavlaki,Maria Houlaki,Georges Salameh,Dimitris Koutantos,Yannis Tzortzis,Anna Maneta ,Pasqua Vo,Yiorgis Yerolymbos
Third Nature, Group exhibition in collaboration with Green Project

28/06 - 09/07/2010

The Green-Project (GP: www.green-project.org) is a non-profit organization based in Athens. It was founded in the context of UNESCO’s “World Solar Program 1996-2005.” It was derived from the voluntary initiative of active citizens, scientists and artists, whose aim was the awakening of environmental consciousness through the “green journeys of art & science.” GP seeks to be an instrument of inter-cultural communication, showcasing the strong energy bonds and common environmental concerns among peoples.

In 2008, the journey “Green Project in Asia: Athens to Beijing from the Silk Roads to the Energy Roads” was carried out successfully (www.greenproject2008.com). Its photographic record earned it the Grand International Participation Prize at the “Festival de l’ Image Environnementale 2010” in Paris.

Thereafter, in 2010, International Year of Biodiversity, the “Green Project in Africa: Cape Town to Athens from the Waterways to the Energy Routes” will take place. During the months of July and August, the GP team will cover 14,000 kilometers on water routes throughout Africa. The journey will take the participants along the rivers of Okavango, Zambezi, and the Nile, the lakes of Tanganyika, Malawi, and Victoria, crossing in 47 days 10 countries of Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

The aim of the project is to record the best practices regarding bio-climatic architecture and renewable-energy sources along the route. With the assistance of local entities in the countries along the route, the team will grant pilot renewable-energy sources- applications, and will put on digital displays of environmental art.

The “Green Project in Africa” has been held under the auspices of the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO, the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the City of Athens, the Athens Tourism and Economic Development Co, the Goulandris Natural History Museum, the SETE Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises and the Site-Greece. It is supported by the European Parliament, Athens. The event hospitality sponsorship has been undertaken by InterContinental Hotels.

In the framework of “Green Project in Africa: Cape Town to Athens from the Waterways to the Energy Routes”, the exhibition "Third Nature" has been organized in collaboration with a.antonopoulou.art gallery. Part of the money raised by this exhibition will be used to fund GP’s journey to Africa.

By the concept of “Third Nature,” Jacopo Bonfadio depicts the intervention of man into nature: an intervention which often manages to beautify or even to perfect, through order and the concept of rule, the physical landscape. The creation of gardens in palatial homes during the Renaissance can be explained entirely within the philosophical reality of this period.

Certainly, we can see the results of this humanistic thinking about gardens and nature, in general, in the gardens of Palazzo Pitti in Florence, which evoke paradise. The term “Third Nature” can easily be found throughout baroque history, being used in the descriptions of the gardens of Versailles, the English landscapes of Constable, the mysterious symbolists and pre-Raphaelites, and reach all the way to the heroic landscapes of the impressionists.

Nature, during the longest part of early human history, has been held sacred by man, who also tries to perfect it.

The distinctive intervention, that Bonfadio describes within his humanistic admiration, first for man and then for nature, as well as the glorification of nature, artistic and philological, begins to buckle in the modern world. The beginning of the end of the aesthetic and spiritual omnipotence of nature is set by the industrial revolution.

In this era, man begins to avoid intervening in nature whether in order to perfect it or to give it a still more complete aesthetic result that will add to his enjoyment and his spiritual exaltation; instead he begins to exploit it thoughtlessly for the “improvement” of his daily existence. The fruits of nature are not referred to through the eloquent symbolism of philosophers; rather, they become numbers in an account of natural resources, in new-born empires.

Nature is scorned; there is neither perfecting nor, certainly, its idealization – only cruel reality. Artists are not inspired by it, they don’t admire it, nor do they feel in its presence, its mystery of rhythm and harmony.

In our times, customarily, any kind of human reference, especially by artists, to nature is of the accusatory kind. As art always coexists with human history and indeed often finds itself ahead of it, artists are the first to denounce the rape of nature. An example would be Goya, in whose prophetic vagaries, especially in those works that refer to war, human death always coexists with the demise of nature, which he describes in his angry writings. Following the end of World War I, and its somber reality, we find Dix’s description of the devastation of the landscape.

After the end of World War II, and especially in the 20-year period from 1950 to 1970, a time of economic reconstruction in Europe and America, the devastation of nature on the altar of human consumerism is a well known fact. Art comments on consumerism, on the bankrupted ideology of bourgeois prosperity. The idea behind “Third Nature” takes a whole new meaning: it is, in reality, the catastrophic result of the thoughtless and excessive human intervention upon nature. It is in fact an established framework for disaster, essentially the idealization of profit over the preservation of natural resources, where “civilized” man consumes shamelessly to excess.

The exhibition attempts, through a variety of means and expressions, to record this reality in the alteration of the landscape and the natural environment by the traces of human presence and culture.

Participating artists are:

Smara Ayakatsika                               Nikos Markou
Christos Athanassiadis                     Yannis Michalous
Tita Bonatsou                                      Stefania Mizara
Pavlos Fysakis                                    Maria Pavlaki
Maria Houlaki                                      Georges Salameh
Dimitris Koutantos                             Yannis Tzortzis
Anna Maneta                                        Pasqua Vorgia
                                                               Yiorgis Yerolymbos 

The exhibition is curated by Angeliki Antonopoulou.


Exhibition Opening:

Exhibition Duration:
June 28th until July 9th

Visiting Hours: