Sotiriades are the worrying type. Their art expresses an excessive, yet justified concern about the natural future of our planet, dilapidated as it truly is by our criminal negligence. Their work, "PLANTS", relates his gloomy thoughts reguarding politics - which have reduced us to plants.• PLANTS scheme
G. & A. MAMIDAKIS F0UNDATION
In 1987, young Miss Gina Mamidakis, managging director of the Mamidakis Hotels of Greece, conceived the idea of the Minos Beach Art Symposia.
This initiative was inspired from her concept that turism should upgrade its prerogatives and become also a cultural experience for the traveler. She certainly had in mind that the elevated natural environment of Minos Beach, the cultural tradition of Crete - which spans nearly four millennia of tangible civilization - and her personal need for constant renewal, could all combine in a single creative process directed towards Contemporary Art - a medium which offers itself to fulfill all these quests.
The first Minos Beach Art Symposium became a reality in laos, produced remarkable works of art which were scattered in the lavish gardens and on the long coastline of the hotel. It was a very stimulating and revealing assemblage of the many different tendencies in Contemporary Art practiced by American and European artists - with several Greeks among them.
Actually and sadly, the absence from greece of significant and repetitive international Contemporary Art events, such as biennales and other occasions for meetings and symposia, when added to the absence of even an elementary infrastructure of Greek investments towards such international artistic events, makes the Minos Beach Art Symposia an even greater cultural event as it is eventually one of kind.
Two years later, in 1990, the second Minos Beach Art Symposium took place, this time with a precise theme: the search for a new Mediterranean cultural identity. Sixteen artists were invited and came from Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. The intimacy that resulted from a common geographical background, produced works characterized by the deeply felt need for narration-beyond-theimage and a remarkable necessity to indentify the materials used with the subject of each sculpture - principles present in all the works done in situ, in Crete.
It was clear that the artists took in their
hands the responsibility for a new or renewed cultural identity, which could and
would eventually differentiate, both on a conceptual and sentimental base, their
art from the one of the North Europeans.
The encouraging outcome of this Symposium which was added to the first, prompted Miss Gina Mamidakis to continue her endeavour and stimulated her to create a foundation, which would be the receptacle of all these works of art that most artists felt they wanted to leave in Crete - so that even more people could share the experience of seeing them, year after year.
In 1993 the G. & A. MAMIDAKIS FOUNDATION became a reality. Named after her parents, George and Aristea, Miss Mamidakis became the managing director of her Foundation and organized the Third Minos Beach Art Symposium.
The theme this time was Art in Politics. Most of the invited artist (twenty two in all) came, or originated, from Central or East European countries that were totalitarian states, but which, since recently, decided to revert to democratically elected governments. By timing it to coincide with the international celebrations for the 2,500 years from the birth of Democracy in ancient Athens, the concept behind this invitation was to organize an exhibition with works done in Crete by such artists that, for one reason or another, had encountered serious difficulties in expressing themselves earlier, limited, as they were, by the restrictions of the freedom of expression imposed on them - or, better, on all.
This exhibition, to which were added sculptures from the first two Symposia, embraces and expresses the given theme. The new works reflect either optimistic or pessimistic views towards the future of Art in the light or the shadow of Political reality today, few years before the end of this century and this millennium - which seems, by all standards, a very short one indeed, full of incredible events that have shaped contemporary behaviour and conscience in a most biased manner.