KALLOS. The Ultimate Beauty (Back)

Read More
Images (Back)

KALLOS. The Ultimate Beauty, 500m2

Athens, Greece, 2021

Curated by Prof. N. C. Stampolidis and Dr. I. D. Fappas
Museographical Design by Despoina Tsafou
Lighting Design by ASlight
Visual Identity by BEND
Photography by Paris Tavitian
Sponsored by L'Oreal Group

The ancient Greek ideal of Kallos, roughly translated as interior and exterior beauty, is explored in this exhibition through three hundred antiquities from all over Greece, dating from the seventh to the first century BC.

Occupying the entire ground floor of the Museum of Cycladic Art, the marble statues, ceramics, jewelry and accessories on display are divided into ten units exploring Beautification and the various facets of Beauty, such as Human, Divine, Heroic and Demonic.

The antiquities in the new wing of the Museum, on Neophytou Douka Str, are displayed in linear built-in cases on either side of the corridor-like consecutive rooms.  The brightness of the display cases contrasts starkly with the darkness of the space itself: visitors are enveloped in a regal dark blue tone.  This calming environment is further subdued through the incorporation of a dark blue carpet, softening sound and movement.  Captions are placed on a locally lit, dark blue continuous strip under the display cases, intensifying the linearity of the spaces and acting as a navigation tool.  Quotes and explanatory text, in a light font, is placed on the walls, seemingly floating in the darkness.

The matte dark blue tone is met again in the continuation of the exhibition in the Stathatou Mansion, where a slightly different approach was taken.  Inspired by the concept of the sculpture garden while also considering the different nature of this neoclassical manor to the new wing, we created “islands” of plush dark blue carpet within each room on which the pieces were placed perimetrically on blue pedestals, with one or two central pieces.

The benefit of this approach was twofold: we were able to create a visual separation among the subcategories of Kallos within each room, and we also freed the walls of the Mansion, which remained unaltered for this exhibition, in order to showcase their neoclassical detailing and provide an exciting juxtaposition with the antiquities.  Dedicated spotlights are used for each piece in an otherwise underlit space, highlighting particular characteristics to be explored.