press release

“ATHENS 2004, Culture” is the official Cultural Programme of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games. Accessible to all audiences, it aims to transfer the Olympic Experience beyond the Competition Venues. It includes performances by Greek and international artists representing all art forms. In the Visual Arts section, the Department of Culture presents a series of exhibitions demonstrating visual art from the Hellenic world of antiquity to contemporary times.

Monument to Now, an exhibition of global trends in contemporary art, will be presented in Athens, starting the summer of 2004, within the Visual Arts section of “ATHENS 2004 Culture” and remaining open until after the completion of the Olympic Games. The exhibition will showcase the works of the most influential international artists of the past decade and will attempt to articulate the most important recent artistic innovations.

The works in the exhibition will be drawn from the Dakis Joannou Collection, one of the leading collections of new international art. The exhibition will take place in a building, specially renovated for the occasion, located near the “ATHENS 2004” headquarters and at the DESTE Foundation´s permanent space. Two major works will also be installed at the “ATHENS 2004” headquarters.

It has been a remarkably lively period in art since the Dakis Joannou Collection was last presented in the exhibition Everything That’s Interesting Is New at The Factory in Athens in 1996. Contemporary art has become increasingly global and has expanded its presence in contemporary culture. There is a growing dialogue between new art, fashion, music and design. There has been a renewed emphasis on creating strong, memorable images, which includes a revival of figurative painting and sculpture. There is also an increasingly sophisticated understanding about how art can use the mass media to expand its impact. The Dakis Joannou Collection has been particularly active during the past several years and has added many major new works that reflect these trends. The 2004 exhibition will present new acquisitions and emphasize a new group of artists.

An influential group of curators has been assembled to organize the exhibition and edit the accompanying book. The group includes Dan Cameron, Senior Curator of the New Museum of Contemporary Art and Curator of the 2003 Istanbul Biennial; Alison M. Gingeras, Curator at the Musée National d’ Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou; Massimiliano Gioni, Curator of The Zone, a section of the 2003 Venice Biennial and Curator of the 2004 Manifesta; Nancy Spector, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim Museum; and Jeffrey Deitch, who has worked with the Deste Foundation on numerous exhibition projects including Artificial Nature and Post Human. Marina Fokidis, who has been the commissioner of the Greek Pavilion in the 50th Venice Biennial, will act in the role of project-coordinator and curator of special projects.

The exhibition will feature outstanding new works by some of the leading artists who have emerged since the last major Athens exhibition of the Dakis Joannou Collection in 1996. The artists, many of whom are represented by ambitious installations and large groups of works include: Franz Ackermann, Maurizio Cattelan, Rineke Dijkstra, Olafur Eliasson, Urs Fischer, Johan Grimonprez, Liza Lou, Mariko Mori, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Chris Ofili, Matthew Ritchie, Tom Sachs, Gregor Schneider, Kara Walker and Nari Ward.

The exhibition will also feature new acquisitions of major works by Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Charles Ray, Christopher Wool, and other artists to whom the Dakis Joannou Collection has been committed since the 1980s.

Monument to Now
An exhibition organized by the DESTE Foundation as an official part of “ATHENS 2004, Culture”
Kuratoren: Dan Cameron, Jeffrey Deitch, Alison Gingeras, Massimiliano Gioni, Nancy Spector

Künstler: Franz Ackermann, Amy Adler, Ghada Amer, Laurie Anderson, Janine Antoni, Kutlug Ataman, Matthew Barney, Vanessa Beecroft, Michael Bevilacqua, Ashley Bickerton, Cai Guo-Qiang, Maurizio Cattelan, Nigel Cooke, Verne Dawson, Rineke Dijkstra, John Dogg, Marcel Duchamp, Olafur Eliasson, Urs Fischer, Fischli / Weiss, Anna Gaskell, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Douglas Gordon, Johan Grimonprez, Peter Halley, Damien Hirst, Brad Kahlhamer, Kurt Kauper, Mike Kelley, William Kentridge, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, George Lappas, Liza Lou, Paul McCarthy, Barry McGee & Margaret Kilgallen, Mariko Mori, Takashi Murakami, Nikos Navridis, Shirin Neshat, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Cady Noland, Chris Ofili, Gabriel Orozco, Charles Ray, Pipilotti Rist, Matthew Ritchie, Tom Sachs, Gregor Schneider, Andreas Slominski, Haim Steinbach, Lina Theodorou, Wolfgang Tillmans, Fred Tomaselli, Kara Walker, Nari Ward, Andy Warhol, Gillian Wearing, Christopher Wool, Chen Zhen

Nea Ionia Exhibition Space, Athen
DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athen