Islands off the beaten track is the name of a series of archaeological exhibitions being organised by and held at the Museum of Cycladic Art, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The exhibitions will focus on the most remote, inaccessible, small and medium-sized islands of the Aegean archipelago. They will include some of the farthest removed and least known regions of Greece in which people have lived and worked, and whose works and culture will be highlighted in separate exhibitions. The exhibitions are curated by the Director of the Museum of Cycladic Art, Professor Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis, and the Museum’s curator and archaeologist George Tassoulas.
These exhibitions will be presented every two or three years in groups of one, two or more islands or regions, grouped according to their similarity or geographic proximity and to the breadth of their archaeological wealth.
A few words about the first exhibition:
The first exhibition starts out in the remotest south eastern corner of Greek territory, the islands of Kastellorizo and Rho, and proceeds from there to the sea between Rhodes and Kos, which embraces Symi, Halki, Tilos and Nisyros, islands whose myth and history go back to very ancient times and are largely unknown.
The exhibition will begin with a presentation of the islands’ geographical, geological, geophysical and other features (size, shape, mountains, harbours, bays, etc.) and goes on to describe their mythology and history through a multitude of architectural and other artefacts (statues, reliefs, vases, weapons, tools, jewellery etc.) that highlight their human presence: human society, occupations, interests, allegiances, beliefs, customs and manners. In this way their richness and periods of prosperity are illustrated, as is their decline, and their intense presence or silence at specific periods of history. In addition to the ancient artefacts, wall panels and captions, there will also be maps, pictures, photographs and brief videos about each region, as well as time charts showing every island’s main period of development. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue in Greek and in English. Throughout the exhibition, a related microsite will provide information about the exhibition and opportunities to comment (blog).
The community of the islands today
In addition to the scholarly study and presentation of the archaeological finds from these Aegean outposts, the exhibition will also provide short videos documenting the daily problems faced by the inhabitants of these islands, such as the lack of water, medications, regular transport service, etc. Here, the aim of the Museum is to sensitise public opinion by presenting recent videos in which the inhabitants play the leading roles in their own account of everyday life.
Educational programmes and activities are likewise being designed for the schools on these distant routes, as are visits to the exhibition by schools in and around Athens. Through the especially designed section ‘Educational program’, children from different regions will have the opportunity to communicate, by posting their own creative works (videos, images) and exchanging their ideas and experiences.
Future exhibitions – Island groups
1. Gates to and from the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean: Karpathos – Kasos
2. Agathonisi – Farmakonisi – Lipsi
3. Pserimos – Kalymnos – Leros
4. Psara – Ayios Efstratios – Oinousses
5. Amorgos – Astypalia
6. Donousa – Herakleia – Koufonisia
7. Cycladic and other islands
Note: The above groups and their order of presentation are in all cases provisional.
Museum of Cycladic Art Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism
9 December 2011 – 23 April 2012
Museum of CYCLADIC ART