UND. ATHENS: AN ALTERNATIVE ART GUIDE FOR ATHENS – PRESS RELEASE
ATHENS 20 APRIL — Und. Athens is a new, alternative city guide for Athens focusing on contemporary art, and more specifically on alternative art spaces and the uncharted local art scene. The aim of this publication is to discover, document and promote alternative art venues, emerging artists and new talent from Athens, and share their work with an international audience. The publisher and editor of Und. Athens is Kiriakos Spirou, while the art direction and design is by Natassa Pappa.
The publication is double, and includes a printed foldable map and an online journal hosted on und-athens.com. The printed map indicates independent and non-profit art spaces, galleries, museums and institutions related to contemporary art in Athens, which are presented in detail in a comprehensive directory together with their contact information, visiting hours etc. On the map itself one will also find landmarks and other points of interest across the city, as well as cafés, restaurants and shops worth visiting. According to Kiriakos Spirou, this concept combines a record of what’s happening in the city today with the utility of a city guide.
“We all have visited cities abroad, and one of the first things we do is to go to the big museums. But coming out of the museum we always wonder: Where is the good coffee around here? Which are the restaurants that are not touristy? This practical need has lead us to design a map that on the one hand functions as a classic gallery map, and on the other contains useful practical information that enhances the visitor’s experience in the city.”
— Kiriakos Spirou, publisher of Und.
Athens The map has been designed by editorial designer Natassa Pappa, who specialises in city guides, in collaboration with Marilia Kapetanaki and the publisher. For Und. Athens, Natassa Pappa has divided Athens in nine areas, which correspond to the main neighbourhoods of the city centre: the downtown area known as Commercial Triangle, Petralona-Metaxourgeio, Victoria-Kolonos, Kypseli, Kaisariani, KolonakiExarcheia, Ampelokipi-Neapoli, Syntagma-Mets and Koukaki-Neos Kosmos. The division of Athens in these areas is somewhat unconventional compared to other maps, and this has to do with the fact that Und. Athens suggests city walks that function as an informal tour. Insider’s tips and information for each walk are written on the map, providing the visitor bits of context and history to understand each area and what makes it unique.
“Through Und. Athens I propose walks in the city that you wouldn’t find in a regular travel guide. My intention was to guide visitors to explore the unknown side of the city and at the same time to visit the alternative art spaces in each area. So for example we have a suggested route that begins from Victoria square, takes you for falafels at Vathi Square, goes through the art spaces around the railway station and ends up at the park at Plato’s Academy. It’s a walk worth taking, but even a lot of Athenians have never tried before.”
— Kiriakos Spirou, publisher of Und. Athens
As part of its mission to showcase emerging artists and the unknown side of the city, Und. Athens has activated an abandoned shop on 3 Vyssis street, participating in the project “Athens Intersection” and the urban upgrade project designed by the organisation “Athens Triangle” in collaboration with the City of Athens. The Und. Athens Pop-Up is open from 01 – 24 April, and has already hosted an installation by visual artist Maria Efstathiou and a photography exhibition about Athens by German photographer Julius-Christian Schreiner. The shop remains illuminated at night, acting as a beacon on the otherwise quiet alley.
To celebrate its release, Und. Athens is throwing a little street party at Art Nouveau HQ (Kalamiotou 12, 1st floor), where the new map will be presented to the public for the first time. The event will take place on 22 April, from 17∶00 till late, with music selected by Loïzos Olympios and Iro Liatou, tsipouro from a local producer and of course the Und. Athens map at a special price. For more information about the publication please visit und-athens.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org