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Photos: 1: the Minos Beach resort hotel in Aghios Nikolaos, Creta, Greece. 2-6: Scuptures from the 3rd Minos Beach Art Symposium "Art in politics", 1993. Artists: 2: Klara Borbas, Hungary, 3: Malgorzata Koscielak, Poland, 4: Tamas Hencze, 5: Ludwika Ogorzelec, Poland / France, 6: Adela Matasova, Czech Republic. Photos: 3-4-5: Vangelis Rokkas; 2-6: Constantin Tzelios

Copyright architecture, art and photos 2000 The architects, the artists, G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation.




In 1987, young Miss Gina Mamidakis, managing director of the Mamidakis Hotels of Greece, conceived the idea of the Minos Beach Art Symposia.

This initiative was inspired from her concept that turism should upgrade its prerogatives and become also a cultural experience for the traveler. She certainly had in mind that the elevated natural environment of Minos Beach, the cultural tradition of Crete - which spans nearly four millennia of tangible civilization -and her personal need for constant renewal, could all combine in a single creative process directed towards Contemporary Art - a medium which offers itself to fulfill all these quests.

The first Minos Beach Art Symposium became a reality in laos, produced remarkable works of art which were scattered in the lavish gardens and on the long coastline of the hotel. It was a very stimulating and revealing assemblage of the many different tendencies in Contemporary Art practiced by American and European artists - with several Greeks among them.

Actually and sadly, the absence from greece of significant and repetitive international Contemporary Art events, such as biennales and other occasions for meetings and symposia, when added to the absence of even an elementary infrastructure of Greek investments towards such international artistic events, makes the Minos Beach Art Symposia an even greater cultural event as it is eventually one of kind.

Two years later, in 1990, the second Minos Beach Art Symposium took place, this time with a precise theme: the search for a new Mediterranean cultural identity. Sixteen artists were invited and come from Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. The intimacy that resulted from a common geographical back-ground, produced works characterized by the deeply felt need for narration-beyond-the-image and a remarkable necessity to indentify the materials used with the sublect of each sculpture - principles present in all the works done in situ, in Crete. It was clear that the artists took in their hands the responsability for a new or renewed cultural identity, which could and would eventually differentiate, both on a conceptual and sentimental base, their art from the one of the North Europeans.

The encouraging outcome of this Symposium which was added to the first, prompted Miss Gina Mamidakis to continue her endeavour and stimulated her to create a foundation, which would be the receptacle of all these works of art that most artists felt they wanted to leave in Crete - so that even more people could share the experience of seeing them, year after year.

In 1993 the G. & A. MAMIDAKIS FOUNDATION became a reality. Named after her parents, George and Aristea, Miss Mamidakis became the managing director of her Foundation and organized the Third Minos Beach Art Symposium.

The theme this time was Art in Politics. Most of the invited artist (twenty two in all) came, or originated, from Central or Fast European countries that were totalitarian states, but which, since recently, decided to revert to democratically elected governments. By timing it to coincide with the international celebrations for the 2,500 years from the birth of Democracy in ancient Athens, the concept behind this invitation was to organize an exhibition with works done in Crete by such artists that, for one reason or another, had encountered serious difficulties in expressing themselves earlier, limited, as they were, by the restrictions of the freedom of expression imposed on them - or, better, on all.

This exhibition, to which were added sculptures from the first two Symposia, embraces and expresses the given theme. The new works reflect either optimistic or pessimistic views towards the future of Art in the light or the shadow of Political reality today, few years before the end of this century and this millennium - which seems, by all standards, a very short one indeed, full of incredible events that have shaped contemporary behaviour and conscience in a most biased manner.

Dmitri L. Coromilas

Curator of the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation



The 3rd Minos Beach Art Symposium "Art in politics", 1993

Following the success of the first two Minos Beach Art Symposia and in view of the many works left by the artists in Crete for the visual enloyment and stimulation of the visitors, we have decided to create a foundation, which would be the receptacle of these significant works of Art.

Actually, it has become quite clear to us all that we will persevere with our effort and continue in the same way well after the cultural events we are organizing become an established institution.

Named after my parents, George and Aristea, the G. & A. MAMIDAKIS FOUNDATION for the advancement of the Arts saw the light this year and its first task was to organize the 3rd Minos Beach Art Symposium, this time titled Art in Politics.

The idea behind the title was to organize an exhibition, with works done in Crete, by such Central and East European artists whose creativity and output was seriously limited, or even thwarted, by the restrictions of both the collective and the individual freedom of expression imposed upon them by the totalitarian regimes of their countries.

I would like to convey my warmest thanks to the artists and the speakers of this Symposium for their  participation and endeavour in this year's effort and also for their substantial contribution to broadening the field of Contemporary Art.

Gina Mamidakis

Managing Director

G. & A. MAMIDAKIS FOUNDATION Aghios Nikolaos, Creta, Greece, June 1993



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7-11. Pictures from the 1999 exhibition "The Chilean art travels to Creta". 7. Cecilia Campos (offer to Poseidon) 17/7/1999. 8. Lily Garafolic (Dialogue) 17/7/1999. 9. Andreas Ducci (The dance of the sky with the marguerites/ El baile de cielo con las margaritas) 17/7/1999. 10. Andrei Ducci. Frutas. 11. Maria Louisa Vidaurre? Sunset at paradise 17/7/1999. 12. Maria Louisa Vidaurre? (Tempo de sociedo / Time of calm) 17/7/1999


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