TO NOUMERO 31328: The book of slavery by Elias Venezis and film


To Noumero 31328: The book of Slavery, is an autobiographical testimony written by Elias Venezis detailing the author’s experience as a prisoner enslaved in a work battalion during the Greek Genocide. 

In 1978, the story line of the book was adapted into a film titled ‘1922’ directed by Nikos Koundouros. The film was controversially banned in Greece until 1982 by the Greek Government due to pressure from the Turkish Foreign Ministry who complained that the film would ruin Greek-Turkish relations.

Elias Venezis (born Elias Mellos) was born in 1904 in Ayvalık (Κυδωνίες) in Asia Minor and died in Athens in 1973. 

In September 1922 at the age of 18, Venezis was arrested, taken prisoner and enslaved in a labor battalion. The prisoners were marched into the interior, but few arrived at the destination since most of them were either killed on the way or died of the hardships. 

Of the 3,000 conscripted into his labor brigade only 23 survived. Each prisoner was assigned an identifying number and 31328 was the number assigned to Venezis.

In chapter 18, Venezis recounts when a group of prisoners were taken to a ravine just out of Magnesia (today Manisa) where they were ordered to hide the remains of tens of thousands of Christians who had been slaughtered during the final phase of the genocide. Having endured the depths of human suffering themselves, the prisoners made light of the situation. Venezis wrote:

One morning they took about 60 prisoners out to do a job at a place just outside of Magnesia (today Manisa). Opposite the railroad tracks near Sipilos is the end point of a large ravine. They call it Kirtik-Dere.

Inside this ravine it was estimated that they’d killed about forty thousand Christians from Smyrna (Izmir) and Magnesia during the early days of the Smyrna Holocaust; males and females. The bodies had melted over winter and the water of the gorge which descended from above pushed the corpses further down. Our job all day was to push the corpses back in so that they couldn’t be seen. 

-What are you holding? a prisoner asked.

The other prisoner looked at what was in his fellow prisoner’s arms, and as he walked began counting:

-Two heads, five tibias, six jawbones.

-Male or female?

-They look male.

-Comrade, you haven’t caught much today!

-Why?

The other man boastfully showed him what was in his own arms.

-Look here! One, two, three pelvic bones! And they all appear to be female…



Nikos Koundouros

Greek film and television director Nikos Koundouros passed away on Wednesday, at the age of 90. Koundouros had been admitted to hospital with respiratory complaints in recent weeks.

Born in Athens in December 1926, to a family originally hailing from Crete, Koundouros was counted among the most notable modern Greek directors, while his 1956 film “The Ogre of Athens” is considered by many to be the best Greek film of that decade.

He represented Greek cinema at a number of foreign film festivals in the 50s and 60s, winning the the Silver Bear for his film “Young Aprodites” in the 13th Berlin film festival, as well as top prize in the Thessaloniki Film Festival, in 1963. His work has been repeatedly broadcast on British and French television and there are copies of his films in many important film museums around the world.

Filmography

Enchanted City (1954)

Dracon (1956)

The outlaws (1958)

The river (1960)

Young Aphrodites (1963)

Vortex (1967)

The song of fire (1975)

1922 (1978)

Brothel (1984)

Byron, Ballad for a possessed (1992)

The photographers (1998)

The Ship (2011)/IBNA

Nine Evzones are coming to Australia scheduled from 12 to 23 April in Adelaide and from 23 April to 2 May 2017 in Sydney

 Evzone guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens wearing the full dress uniform.


9 Evzones, soldiers of the Greek Presidential Guard, arrive in Adelaide and Sydney to participate in ceremonies marking Anzac Day and the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Crete.


Evzones

The Evzones, or Evzoni (Greek: Εύζωνες, Εύζωνοι, pronounced [evˈzones, evˈzoni]), is the name of several historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army. 

Today, it refers to the members of the Presidential Guard (Greek: Προεδρική Φρουρά; Proedrikí Frourá), an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Greek: Μνημείο του Άγνωστου Στρατιώτη; Mnimeío tou Άgnostou Stratiόti), the Presidential Mansion and the gate of Evzones camp in Athens. An Evzone (Greek: Εύζωνας) is also known, colloquially, as a Tsoliás (Greek: Τσολιάς, Τσολιάδες; pl. Tsoliádes).

Though the Presidential Guard is a primarily ceremonial unit, all Evzones are volunteers drawn from the Hellenic Army’s Infantry Corps. Prospective Evzones are initially identified at the Infantry Recruit Training Centres during Basic Training; there is a minimum height requirement of 1.87 m (6′ 1.3″) to join.

The unit is known for its uniform, which has evolved from the clothes worn by the klephts who fought the Ottoman occupation of Greece. The most visible item of this uniform is the fustanella, a kilt-like garment. Their distinctive dress turned them into a popular image for the Greek soldier, especially among foreigners.



History

In 1833, after the arrival of King Otto, the Greek Army was organized along new lines. The Bavarian soldiers that had come with Otto formed the majority of the “European” Line Infantry battalions (Greek: Τάγματα Γραμμής; Tágmata Grammís). 

Each of these units included one rifle company, designated as “Skirmishers” (Greek: Λόχος Ακροβολιστών; Lókhos Akrovolistón) or “Evzone” (Greek: Λόχος Ευζώνων; Lókhos Evzónon). In addition, ten light “Skirmisher” battalions (Greek: Τάγματα Ακροβολιστών; Tágmata Akrovolistón) were formed from Greeks, dressed in a uniform based on the garb of the klephts of the War of Independence (1821–1829). 

In 1836 these battalions were reduced to four, and eight “Mountain Guard” battalions (Greek: Τάγματα Οροφυλακής; Tágmata Orofylakís) were formed in their stead; they were grouped into four regiments in 1843. These units were primarily engaged in patrolling the frontier, combating insurgents and hunting down the many brigands that infested the countryside. 

The Mountain Guard was incorporated in the strengthened “Skirmisher” battalions in 1854.

In December 1867, the first four elite “Evzone” light battalions were formed, of four companies each (soon expanded to five), with the task of guarding the frontier. 

On 12 December 1868, the Royal Guard detachment, initially named Agema (Άγημα), later the Palace Guard (Ανακτορική Φρουρά; Anaktorikí Frourá), composed of two Evzone infantry companies and a cavalry troop, was formed. 

In 1880-1881, the Evzone units were expanded to nine battalions. They participated in the disastrous 1897 war with Turkey as elements of the regular infantry divisions. In the aftermath of the war, through various reorganizations, the number of Evzone battalions varied from eight to six, operating either independently or divided between the infantry divisions, and were among the first units to be equipped with machine guns. 

At the time of the Balkan Wars, eight Evzone battalions were in existence. They operated independently on the vanguard or the flanks of the army. They distinguished themselves for their fighting spirit suffering high casualties, especially among officers. 

Subsequently the Evzone units were increased to five regiments, which fought with distinction as elite shock troops in the First World War, the Asia Minor Campaign and the Greco-Italian War.

During the German invasion in 1941, a memorable event is said to have occurred: on April 27, as the German Army was entering Athens, the Germans ascended to the Acropolis of Athens and ordered the young Evzone who was guarding the flag post, Konstantinos Koukidis (q.v.), to haul the Greek flag down and replace it with the swastika flag. The young soldier did so, but refused to hand over the Greek flag to the Germans, and instead wrapped himself in it and fell off the Acropolis to his death.

After the occupation of the country, in 1943, the collaborationist government raised a number of “Security Battalions” (Τάγματα Ασφαλείας), which were dressed in the Evzone uniform and participated in operations against the EAM-ELAS partisans.

They were derisively known as Germanotsoliades (“German Evzones”) or Tagmatasfalites (“Security Battalionists”), and were disbanded after liberation in 1944.

After the war, the reconstituted Hellenic Army did not re-establish the Evzone regiments, their elite status and role being assumed by the newly established Mountain Raiding Companies. The traditions and distinctions of the Evzones are, however, maintained by a special ceremonial unit, which has served under several names: Palace Guard (Greek: Ανακτορική Φρουρά), Flag Guard (Greek: Φρουρά Σημαίας), Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard (Greek: Φρουρά Μνημείου Αγνώστου Στρατιώτη), Royal Guard (Greek: Βασιλική Φρουρά) and after 1974, with the abolition of the monarchy, the Presidential Guard (Greek: Προεδρική Φρουρά). Several regular Army Infantry units have been given the numbers and names of the post-1913 Evzone Regiments, however, these names are only honorific.



Present


Today the Evzones form the Presidential Guard, a battalion composed of 2 Evzone companies and 1 command company. They operate out of the Georgios Tzavelas barracks (named to honor Georgios Tzavelas, a chieftain and hero of the Greek Revolution of 1821) on Herodou Attikou Street, just behind the Parliament building.

The Guard takes precedence in all military parades. Their march style consists of normal march time, and at intervals, for several paces, striking the ground forcefully with the right foot.

Their standard marching music is the “Evzonaki” (“little Evzone”) (Greek: Ευζωνάκι) march, played at 48 beats/min. They guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier round the clock. Guards on duty perform their movements in a very slow and highly stylized manner. 

They switch positions with each other every fifteen minutes and remain completely motionless and at attention in the meantime. Since the Guards are required to be totally still at all times, there is one Evzone in normal fatigues uniform and police surveillance to ensure that no one approaches or harasses the Guards while on duty. 

The “little changes” take place every hour on the hour, and involve the two incoming and two outgoing sentries, and a supervising “Corporal of the Change”.

The Grand Change takes place at 11 am on Sunday mornings, and involves the whole Guard with its officers and a military band, all marching from the Guard Barracks to the Tomb for the Change, and back. 

The Grand Change is a popular Sunday morning spectacle for Athenians and tourists alike.

During a demonstration in front of the Parliament in 2001, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at one of the guardhouses. The wooden construction was engulfed in flames. 

The Evzone on guard next to it remained in place until an officer gave him the order to move. With a scorched and partly smoking uniform on one side, the Evzone did so.

In January 2010, a makeshift bomb was placed 20 meters from where the Evzones guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at Syntagma Square. Although the police informed the Evzones of the imminent threat, the Guards refused to leave their posts and remained on guard while the bomb exploded.



Former units

The historical units were numbered and known as Τάγμα Ευζώνων (“Evzone Battalion”) or Σύνταγμα Ευζώνων (“Evzone Regiment”). The first Evzone Regiment was formed in 1912, shortly before the outbreak of the Balkan Wars. The “traditional” and well-known Evzone regiments, which fought in World War I, the Asia Minor Campaign, and World War II, were formed after the Balkan Wars by the Royal Decree of 23 December 1913. Since the regiments were distinctive, elite units, they had dual numbers—the first, numbering them in the Evzones order of seniority, the second, in the overall infantry hierarchy. Thus the 5/42 Evzone Regiment was the 5th Evzone regiment, but also the 42nd infantry regiment.

1/38 Evzone Regiment, the former 1st Evzone Regiment, based in Karditsa and recruited in Thessaly

2/39 Evzone Regiment, based in Missolonghi and recruited in Aetolia-Acarnania

3/40 Evzone Regiment, based in Arta and recruited in Epirus

4/41 Evzone Regiment, based in Veroia and recruited in western Macedonia

5/42 Evzone Regiment, based in Lamia and recruited in Central Greece



Uniform Edit

In 1833, the uniform of the Evzones (as in all infantry companies of the line battalions) was in the unpopular Bavarian style of blue trousers, tailcoats and shako. As light infantry the Evzones were distinguished only by green braid and plumes. 

In 1837, a new uniform was created based on the traditional fustanella style worn by the klephts, armatoli, and many of the famous fighters of the Greek War of Independence. At first, it was only issued to the native light infantry battalions, but its popularity led to its adoption as the official uniform of the Evzones in 1867. After a few minor changes over the years, it became the familiar uniform seen today.

89th Academy Award Oscars 2017: See The Full Winners List


Here is a complete list of nominees.


BEST PICTURE

“Arrival”

“Fences”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”

“Hidden Figures”

“La La Land”

“Lion”

“Manchester by the Sea”

“Moonlight” WINNER




ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”

Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”

Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”

Denzel Washington in “Fences”




ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”

Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight” (WINNER)

Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”

Dev Patel in “Lion”

Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”




ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”

Ruth Negga in “Loving”

Natalie Portman in “Jackie”

Emma Stone in “La La Land” (WINNER)

Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”




ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Nicole Kidman in “Lion”

Viola Davis in “Fences” WINNER

Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”

Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”

Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”




ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Moana”

“My Life as a Zucchini”

“The Red Turtle”

“Zootopia” (WINNER)




CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Arrival”

“La La Land” (WINNER)

“Lion”

“Moonlight”

“Silence”




COSTUME DESIGN

“Allied”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (WINNER)

“Florence Foster Jenkins”

“Jackie”

“La La Land”

“Fantastic”




DIRECTING

“Arrival” – Denis Villeneuve

“Hacksaw Ridge” – Mel Gibson

“La La Land” – Damien Chazelle (WINNER)

“Manchester by the Sea” – Kenneth Lonergan

“Moonlight” – Barry Jenkins




DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

“Fire at Sea”

“I Am Not Your Negro”

“Life, Animated”

“O.J.: Made in America” (WINNER)

“13th”




DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

“Extremis”

“4.1 Miles”

“Joe’s Violin”

“Watani: My Homeland”

“The White Helmets” (WINNER)




FILM EDITING

“Arrival”

“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”

“Moonlight”




FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“Land of Mine”

“A Man Called Ove”

“The Salesman” (WINNER)

“Tanna”

“Toni Erdmann”




MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“A Man Called Ove”

“Star Trek Beyond”

“Suicide Squad” (WINNER)




MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

“Jackie”

“La La Land” (WINNER)

“Lion”

“Moonlight”

“Passengers”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”

“City Of Stars” from “La La Land” (WINNER)

“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”

“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”




PRODUCTION DESIGN

“Arrival”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“Hail, Caesar!”

“La La Land” (WINNER)

“Passengers”




ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Blind Vaysha”

“Borrowed Time”

“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”

“Pearl”

“Piper” (WINNER)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Ennemis Intérieurs”

“La Femme et le TGV”

“Silent Nights”

“Sing” (WINNER)

“Timecode”

SOUND EDITING

“Arrival” (WINNER)

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“La La Land”

“Sully”

SOUND MIXING

“Arrival”

“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“La La Land”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”




VISUAL EFFECTS

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Doctor Strange”

“The Jungle Book” (WINNER)

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

“Arrival”

“Fences

“Hidden Figures”

“Lion”

“Moonlight” (WINNER)




WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”

“The Lobster”

“Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

“20th Century Women”

Χαμιδιέ Το Χωριό Των Ελληνοφώνων Ελλήνων Κρητικών Στη Συρία

Το χωριό Χαμιδιέ (στα σύνορα Συρίας και Λιβάνου) δημιουργήθηκε στα τέλη του 19ου αιώνα κατόπιν εντολής του σουλτάνου Αμπντούλ Χαμίτ, ο οποίος για άγνωστους λόγους έστειλε εκεί Ελληνες από την Κρήτη, οι οποίοι μέχρι σήμερα διατηρούν της κρητική διάλεκτο και χρησιμοποιούν τις μαντινάδες,,, Οι πρόγονοι αυτών των Έλλήνων Κρητικών ,που ζούν τώρα στη Συρία,είχαν εξοριστεί και εκδιωχθεί από την Κρήτη επί τουρκοκρατίας.

ΑΡΧΑΙΟΙ ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗ; ΑΣ ΔΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΠΟΙΑ ΣΤΟΙΧΕΙΑ


Υπάρχουν πολλές ενδείξεις για την παρουσία των Ελλήνων κατά τους αρχαίους χρόνους στην Αμερικάνικη ήπειρο. Πλήθος ευρημάτων (Αρχαιολογικά, γλωσσολογικά κλπ), μερικά από τα οποία έχουν βάλει διάφορους ερευνητές σε σκέψεις και είχαν σαν αποτέλεσμα την επίσημη αποστολή ομάδας από το Ε.Μ Πολυτεχνείο Αθηνών στο Περού, προκειμένου να μελετήσουν την ομοιότητα των ευρημάτων με τα αντίστοιχα Ελληνικά. Κάποια παραδείγματα είναι:

Αρχαιολογικά ευρήματα: αρχαία κλασικά θέματα όπωε το κεφάλι της Μέδουσας, ο Ηρακλής με λεοντή και ρόπαλο, αγγεία με μαιάνδρους κ.α , αλλά και πολλά οικοδομήματα, φρούρια κλπ που είναι συχνά ευρήματα από αρχαιολογικούς χώρους του Περού και άλλων περιοχών.

Γλωσσολογικά ευρήματα: πολλές τοπικές διάλεκτοι (Κετσούα, νήσοι Χαβάη κλπ) έχουν βάση την Ελληνική γλώσσα και μάλιστα με πλήθος Ελληνικών λέξεων.

2 ίδια πιθάρια σε Κνωσσό και Μπαχάμες…

ΑΡΙΣΤΕΡΑ: Πιθάρι που βρέθηκε από τον Α. Έβανς στο ανάκτορο της Κνωσσού και εκτίθεται στο μουσείου του Ηρακλείου. Οι ομοιότητες με το πιθάρι του Μπίμινι είναι εκπληκτικές(δεξιά). ΔΕΞΙΑ: Πιθάρι Κρητικής προελεύσεως, που βρέθηκε στην περιοχή Μπίμινι των νήσων Μπαχάμες. Φωτογραφία John Kurtich. Πηγή Φωτογραφίας Η ΑΛΗΘΙΝΗ ΠΡΟΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ, Ιωάννη Πασσά εκδόσεις εγκυκλοπαίδεια του Ήλιου.
Ένας αρχαίος πολεμιστής ή θεός με Ελληνικό Λοφίο στην Χαβάη…


 

ΔΕΙΓΜΑΤΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΑΣ ΣΤΑ ΝΗΣΙΑ ΧΑΒΑΗ ΚΑΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΟΛΥΝΗΣΙΑ

Το 1987 το πανεπιστήμιο της Χαϊδεμβέργης εξέδωσε το βιβλίο του Γερμανού ερευνητή N. Josephson με τίτλο -ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΓΛΩΣΣΙΚΑ ΣΤΟΙΧΕΙΑ ΣΤΙΣ ΠΟΛΥΝΗΣΙΑΚΕΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΕΣ-ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΣ ΕΙΡΗΝΙΚΟΣ- στο οποίο περιέχονται συγκριτικοί κατάλογοι 808 Ελληνικών λέξεων και των αντιστοίχων Πολυνησιακών. Ο γλωσσικός αυτός επηρεασμός στα νησιά του Ειρηνικού έγινε κατά τον Josephson περί το 950 π.Χ από Έλληνες αποίκους. Ας δούμε κάποια παραδείγματα:

ΧΑΒΑΗ

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Αέτο ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Αετός

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Αρέτο ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Ψωμί

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Άνγκου ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Πνίγομαι,λαχανιάζω

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Αρότε ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Οργώνω

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Αέρε ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: πλέω

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Χινέ ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Θηλυκό

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Νου-Νου ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Σκέψη

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Μανάω ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Σκέπτομαι

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Μέλε ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Τραγούδι

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Λαούη ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Λαός

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Νόκο ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Ζω-κατοικώ

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Τάρρα (μα Τάρρα) ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Θάρρος

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Τάμα ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Ομάδα ανθρωπων κινούμενοι σε σχηματισμό

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Τόκο-Τόκο ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Ξύλο-Κοντάρι

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Χαννάου ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Γεννάω, γεννιέμαι

ΠΡΟΦΟΡΑ: Χερίκι ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Είδος γρασιδιού

ΑΡΧΑΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ

ΛΕΞΗ: Αετός ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: –

ΛΕΞΗ: Άρτος ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: –

ΛΕΞΗ: Άγχω ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Πιέζω-Πνίγομαι

ΛΕΞΗ: Αροτριάω ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Οργώνω

ΛΕΞΗ: Αείρω ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Σηκώνομαι-πλέω

ΛΕΞΗ: Γυνή ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Γυναίκα

ΛΕΞΗ: Νους ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: –

ΛΕΞΗ: Μανθάνω ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: –

ΛΕΞΗ: Μελωδία ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: – 

ΛΕΞΗ: Λαός ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: –

ΛΕΞΗ: Ναίω ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Κατοικώ

ΛΕΞΗ: Θάρρος ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: – 

ΛΕΞΗ: Δήμος (Δωρ. Δάμος) ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Δήμος-περιοχή-βαθμός ή κατάταξη στον στρατό

ΛΕΞΗ: Δοκός ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: –

ΛΕΞΗ: Γεννάω ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: – 

ΛΕΞΗ: Ερείκι ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ: Ρείκι-γρασίδι

Επίλογος:
Τελικά δεν είναι μόνο η Ευρώπη (βλέπε Μασσαλία ή Σκωτία) που έχουν Ελληνικές ρίζες. Πιο πάνω παρατηρούμε μια μεγάλη ποσότητα στοιχείων που σιγά σιγά συγκεντρώνονται στα γραφεία μας για να παρουσιαστούν σε ένα μεγάλο ντοκιμαντέρ για το εάν τελικά οι Αρχαίοι Έλληνες πήγαν στην Αμερική. Κάτι ανάλογο με αυτό που κάναμε με το ΣΚΩΤΙΑ Η ΧΩΡΑ ΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ.
Source: Βιβλιοθήκη ΕΟΕ ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ ΒΕΡΝ

Michael Zavros puts some muscle into art


BOLD REFLECTION: Artist Michael Zavros, standing in front of his painted image in The Sunbather, at Newcastle Art Gallery. Picture: Marina Neil

Standing in front of a painting with its creator can be awkward at the best of times. But standing in front of The Sunbather in Newcastle Art Gallery with Michael Zavros, I’m lost for words.


Actually, I’m not. I just don’t think it would be appropriate to say, “nice bum”.  

Through what they paint, artists have the ability to reveal some inner truth about the human condition. With The Sunbather, Michael Zavros has revealed his bottom.

“In the privacy of my studio, when I’m not really thinking about an audience for the work, I can do these things,” Zavros explains of his revelatory self-portrait. ‘Yet I’m confronted with this painting, and it just shocks me. ‘Did I make that? And did this gallery actually buy that?’

“I’m suddenly able to see it from a completely different perspective.”

The painting shows Zavros lying naked by a pool, and he is staring at his own reflection. The Sunbather references art history, from David Hockney to Caravaggio, but ultimately your eyes are drawn not to the past but to that buff and tanned body.  

“I think I made it for those reasons, I can talk about Hockney, and about narcissism and role play and those sorts of things,” muses the artist. “But then I just think, ‘Wow, that’s a very audacious thing to do’.

In the flesh, Michael Zavros is not audacious. The 42-year-old is considered, picking his words as carefully as he applies paint to his hyper-realist pictures of beauty. 

Yet Zavros has a reputation for audacity, at least in his public life. For an exhibition at the Melbourne Art Fair at the time of his 40th birthday, Zavros hired the Stenmark twins, who are male models, to hand out chocolates embossed with his monogram. He is often photographed at glamorous openings and awards nights. Zavros himself has won a swag of awards, including the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the richest of its type in the world. He is also keenly sought after for commissions, having painted portraits of former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce for the National Portrait Gallery and Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith for the Australian War Memorial. 

“He’s a rock star in contemporary art,” says Lauretta Morton, the manager of Newcastle Art Gallery. “There’s a public side to him, and there’s the quiet side to him at home. He’s a very serious kind of guy.” 

The public and the private, the performer and the painter, often collide on the canvas. His technique is applauded, but the paintings’ flashiness can blind the viewer to what’s going on under the surface, or the skin, of his images.  

“What’s interesting for me with that kind of [hyper-realist] painting is that there is something completely pointless about it … and it makes it kind of romantic and ridiculous,” Zavros says. “There is on the surface a kind of disconnect, I suppose, but while I talk about something that seems to be pointless, it’s incredibly meaningful to me. What I make and why I do it is significant.”

In The Sunbather, Zavros is baring not just his body but his soul to explore vanity and self-obsession. 

“In some ways, this is as ancient as the Greeks, the idealised human body, but I think in the past few centuries that has become repressed and often seen in bad terms for us men. But I think that’s changed. 

“I think social media has really accelerated that. It fascinates me, but I can’t really see the end point with all this. I think that’s scary. I have young kids, and I think about their lives and what they are starting to want to project.”

Vanity, and the effort required to create and maintain beauty, is a focus of Zavros’ exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery, which opens March 4. It’s titled Magic Mike, a cheeky reference to his own name, and to a Hollywood film about a troupe of male strippers, which, Zavros admits, he hasn’t watched all the way through.

Lauretta Morton first raised the possibility of an exhibition with Zavros in 2015. She has known him since they worked together on a group exhibition at the gallery in 2004, Auto Fetish, looking at Newcastle’s car culture. More recently, she had negotiated with him to buy The Sunbather and another work, The Mermaid, for Newcastle’s collection.

When Morton visited Zavros at his family home and studio in Brisbane last year, he suggested Magic Mike. And, to bring the paintings to life, he proposed setting up a gym in the gallery.   

“At first, I thought, ‘Are you mad?’,” laughs Morton.

But the gym equipment is being installed, and a group of “well-structured male performers” will be working out in front of the paintings. Morton reckons the mingling of art and muscle will appeal to gallery goers.

“Newcastle has such a huge gym culture,” she says. “When you think about it, there’s a gym on just about every corner. There’s no milk bars anymore, just gyms!”

“Basically these guys will be working out among the art,” explains Zavros. “I’m interested in surprising people, or encouraging people to think about something that wouldn’t normally happen inside a gallery.”

The artist sees a link between the act of painting and working out in a gym. “It has this pointless, showy quality to it that someone can be incredibly dedicated to, much like painting,” he says. “It’s this very careful process, a long process.” 

FAMILY PORTRAIT: Michael Zavros in his Brisbane studio last year with daughter, and frequent portrait subject, Phoebe. Picture: Paul Harris 

FAMILY PORTRAIT: Michael Zavros in his Brisbane studio last year with daughter, and frequent portrait subject, Phoebe. Picture: Paul Harris

In painting youth, Zavros often depicts his 11-year-old daughter, Phoebe. She is the subject in the disconcertingly intense The Mermaid, in which she is floating in the pool that her father used for his self-portrait in The Sunbather. Given she is approaching her teenage years, and body image is a major issue for many adolescents, I ask how comfortable both he and Phoebe are about her being painted. 

“She likes it, she likes the work we do,” says the father of three. “It’s that curious thing where you want to guide them and help them and kind of protect them and then let them be themselves. It’s such a different line to negotiate.”

Michael Zavros reckons to paint the subject of vanity, he only has to look in the mirror.  

“I’m definitely vain, but even that’s waning,” Zavros says. “As a parent, you just don’t get the chance to be self-focused, you don’t think about those things so much.        

“When I work out, or I run or I swim now, it’s much less about trying to look good. The older I get, the more I’m a parent, I don’t have time to think about those sorts of things. But it really keeps me sane to run and swim, to do something physical.”