Opening of the exhibition ‘The Art of Bookbinding: From Byzantium to Contemporary Artistic Creation’
Mansion of the Duchess of Plaissance,
19 September 2012-13 January 2013.
Byzantine and Christian Museum (Athens) will inaugurate the exhibition ‘The Art of Bookbinding: From Byzantium to Contemporary Artistic Creation’, held in collaboration with the Hellenic Research Foundation and the Hellenic Bookbinding Society.
The curators of the exhibition are Dr. Anastasia Lazaridou and Dr. Niki Tsironi, aided by the consultants Konstantinos Staikos, Babis Leggas, and the special academic associate Dr. Zissis Melissakis.
The exhibition will feature excellent specimens of Byzantine and post-Byzantine bookbinding. Dating from the 11th to the 19th century, the specimens have been drawn from the Museum’s collection of manuscripts and incunabula and from the Greek Library of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. The exhibition stems from the European programme ‘Studite’, which involves six European countries and which is concerned with the study of Byzantine and post-Byzantine bookbinding. It is hoped that this programme will contribute to the development of interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue.
Through codices and printed books the exhibition highlights, particularly with the help of audiovisual matter, the evolution of the art of bookbinding from the early Christian period to the present. Bookbinding is thus shown to be a source for the history, politics, economy, and artistic trends of every era. Veronique Magnes is the artistic editor of the audiovisual material.
In exploring current readings of the tradition of the book as an art form, the exhibition has included contemporary artistic creations. Dimitris Xonoglou’s installation approaches the book as an object of figurative use. Venia Dimitrakopoulou’s creations are inspired by the Japanese tradition of bookbinding. The six collector’s copies of the book Cassia he Hymnographer are each illustrated by an artist—Markos Kampanis, Christos Markidis, Christos Bokoros, Kostas Papatriantafyllopoulos, Fotini Stefanidou, and Panos Fidakis.
The educational programme accompanying the exhibition enables the visitor to touch the tools and material used in the art of bookbinding. Addressed to adults and schoolchildren in the 5th and 6th grades, the programme also features a documentary, directed by Akis Hatziantoniou.