A curious passer-by opened the door of Kıtʃ and asked: ‘Excuse me, what exactly is this?’
‘An arts supermarket,’ I replied.
Curious passer-by leaving: ‘Ahh, ok.’
A little bit before the so-called crisis erupted in Greece, I decided to build up an informal PhD by opening a multi arts space in my hometown. I had this crazy idea that a possible longterm solution to our common micro- and macro-social problems would be to push forward an innovative project in a small city where experimental creativity in general, and more specifically in the field of plastic arts, was almost completely unknown. In a sense, when I introduced painting to a local audience with my second solo exhibition back in the summer of 2004, I was the first and probably the last one to ever try this at home (present-day Thebes).
The project of Kıtʃ was set up together with Soraia Gomes Anastacio, in an effort to combine our different skills and techniques of plastic arts and their use in contemporary times. The building was located on 132, Epameinonda Street, between the central square of Thebes and the Archeological Museum, covering an area of nearly 250 square meters over three levels. The ground floor was the reception area, mainly dedicated to design, jewelry, fashion and books, while the inner first floor was our main exhibition hall. The basement, that served as a spacious studio/workspace, was an arts and crafts workshop area.
Until the end of August 2010, when Kıtʃ ceased its operations, the space hosted inventive activities, such as exhibitions of emerging artists from Greece and other countries (exhibits I personally curated: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5); thematic workshops for both children and adults on painting, sculpture, fashion design and handmade jewelry; plus, an artist-in-residence program.
To whomever wonders, I hope these few photos below (via kitschartstore.blogspot.com) can give an idea of what this experiment was all about.