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Versaweiss | The Hydra port beyond the windows | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects

Two of my favorite summer events on the Greek island Hydra are first off The Hydra School Projects by Dimitrios Antonitsis followed by the Project Space Slaughterhouse organized by the Deste Foundation Athens. 

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Danny Palillo | Acrylic on fabric | Island Hydra | Merchant Marine Academy | 2021 | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects

For the 22nd edition of Hydra School ProjectsDimitrios Antonitsis presents a colorful mosaic of 11 Greek and international artists with the title:  "Pow, Blop, Wizz". 

The title of the exhibition „Pow, Blop, Wizz“ refers to "Comic Strip", the legendary song and video clip by Serge Gainsbourg featuring Brigitte Bardot as a super-heroine. 

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Thomas Diotis and Evripides Laskaridis installation view | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects


Mark Bradford (USA), Mike Kelley (USA), Richard Woods (England), Erwin Wurm (Austria), Danny Pallilo (Finland), Thomas Diotis (Greece), Versaweiss (Greece), Dimitris Papaionannou (Greece) and Euripides Laskaridis (Greece). 

The artists common denominator is that they have more issues than answers; perhaps more thoughts than emotions.

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Erwin Wurm | See | 2020 | Acrylic on canvas | 30 x 40 cm | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects
Antonitsis Explains: "The Challenges Of The Everyday Demand From Us Unconventional Action But With Conventional Attributes — Like Courage And Morality. The Line Between Super- And Anti- Hero Has Become A Blur. We Don't Always Act For The Right Reasons. Our Actions Are Not Always Noble."
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Works Erwin Wurm | Installation view | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects


Dimitrios Antonitsis is a contemporary visual artist, who was born in Athens in 1966. 

He is also the founder and curator of the Hydra School Projects, which he has been holding annually since 2000. 

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Mike Kelley | Untitled | 1990 | 2 rag dolls sewn together | 77 × 33 × 8 cm | © Mike Kelley Foundation | OSDEETE Athens 2021 | Courtesy the Artist and Mike Kelley Foundation | D.Daskalopoulos Collection

Antonitsis has a master's in Polytechnic science and specialized in high-speed microscopic photography. 

His art has been shown internationally in solo shows and included in several important collections of Greek museums, as well as in collections of national and international foundations.

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Dimitris Papaionannou | Santé | 1988 | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects

Dimitrios is not only a very talented artist, but he also has the gift of bringing together remarkable artists and curating exceptional shows.  

Every summer, Dimitrios shares remarkable exhibitions in wonderful settings with us. 

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Thomas Diotis | Dinosaur | 2019 | Plastic | 900 × 400 × 200 cm | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects

It all began high up over Hydras port in the classrooms of the old high school. 

There above the bustling life below, just before the four corners on a bend, up seemingly endless polished stones, you were welcomed to enter a unique space Dimitrios brought to life every year.

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Erwin Wurm | Big | 2020 | Acrylic on canvas | 24 x 30 cm | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects

Today the main exhibition takes place in the Merchant Marine Academy building, situated down below on the port. 

It's different but just as special.

The Hydra School Project is a nonprofit foundation, presenting young and emerging artists alongside established artists to a national and international audience annually over the summer months.

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Versaweiss | Merchant Marine Academy | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects


Hydra is a small but famous and picturesque Greek Island close to Athens. 

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Daniel Palillo | "Pow, Blop, Wizz" Exhibition | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects

It has always attracted all kinds of people from the arts such as writers, painters, musicians, collectors, dancers, and art lovers. 

Australian authors George Johnston and Charmaine Clift discovered the Hydra in the early 60s, followed by the famous songwriter and singer Leonard Cohen, forming the first bohemian community to settle on the small untouched island.

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Erwin Wurm | Merchant Marine Academy | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects

The Island, is a popular weekend and summer resort for Athenians, but there are people from all over the world who call Hydra their second home.

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Versaweiss | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects

Hydra is rich with history, incredibly picturesque. 

The traditional pre-dominant whitewashed architectural beauties dating back to the 18th century cover the slopes of the port, spreading out the higher you look, even after decades untouched. 

For most Hydra is love at first sight.

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In the center of the room: Ahab’s Revenge | 2009 | Paper, paste and rubber on wood stool | 114,3 × 34,3 × 33 cm | © Mark Bradford | Courtesy the Artist and Hauser & Wirth | D. Daskalopoulos Collection | On the left on the wall | Richard Woods | Single Bird (Black, White + Blue) | 2003 | Household gloss on wood | 121.9 x 91.4 cm | Courtesy the Artist | On the wall on the right: Danny Palillo | Acrylic on cloth

The Island has no cars, mules and donkeys transport everything up and down the steep stone paths. 

Hydra has no sandy beaches, but allures with its crystal clear water, its cliffs and white and grey pebbled rock beaches, some you can reach by foot, others by boat.

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Erwin Wurm | Sea | 2020 | Acrylic on canvas | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects

Hydra is a short trip from Athens.  

You can take a fast boat and reach the island within one and a half hours ( make sure there are no stops in between). 

The island also offers all kinds of wonderful accommodation, great food, cafes with a view and all kinds of events making it worth your stay.

If you are short on time, you can even organize a day trip to the Island from Athens.  

For more information, you can follow the link at the end of the article.

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Thomas Diotis | Installation view | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects


June 19 - September 19, 2020

Hydra School Projects @ Merchant Marine Academy

info line: +30 693 8024554

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Danny Palillo | Acrylic on fabric | Hydra | Merchant Marine Academy | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects

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Exhibition in class room | Merchant Marine Academy | Hydra | Image courtesy @Hydra School Projects


All images courtesy @Hydra School Projects

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Evripides Laskaridis | 12 Doppelgänger print | 2021 | C-print | 38 x 38 cm | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects

and everything else on Wikipedia Hydra Island

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Dimitris Papaioannou | Ink and gouache on paper | Courtesy the Artist and Hydra School Projects

A big thank you to my very dear friend Dimitrios for sharing with us, from a beautiful Island, an impressive exhibition in a great space and curated by an exceptional man.

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