Blanka Amezkua Takes Kairos From Athens, Greece — Greek City Times

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You can’t tell just by looking at her that Blanka Amezkua is a Philhellene in more ways than one.

She lived for six years in the heart of Athens from 2000 to 2016 at the height of the Greek crisis. I had the chance to take the floor to interview him in his gallery room, the now famous BBBP or the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project.

When Blanka received the BRIO award from the Bronx Council on the Arts in 2007, she did something incredible: she turned her bedroom into an art gallery. The BBBP, the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project, was avant-garde in its early days. In a borough that lacks spaces to see public art, Blanka has made the private public. His apartment doubles/triples a living space, a gallery and a workshop. When I visited him, the exhibition was called “What we had left to see. . .” featured the works of Michele Brody and various artists who painted scenes outside their windows during quarantine in 2020.

His relationship with Greece and Greek culture can be summed up in one word: Kairos.

Blanka confesses that Greece has always been very present for her as an artist who had studied the Western classical tradition and films featuring summer lovers on the islands since her youth in Mexico. Was it coincidence or fate that she was married twice, both to Greek men she met in California. (One of them is a global DJ who still spins tracks for Neos Cosmos and Sto Kokkino in Thessaloniki.) Leonidas, her current husband of 25 years, had spent time with her in Mexico, so she insisted on that she discovers her country not as a tourist but as a citizen.

When he arrived in April 2010, “it was perfect! she exclaims. “I’m not going back to New York.” But living in chaos at the height of the Greek crisis sandwiched between Exarcheia and Kolonaki with the jobless tear gas puffs. She taught English for a while and took Greek lessons. She admits that if it hadn’t been for the twice-weekly English conversation sessions she had with a Greek psychiatrist and the rich conversations that resulted, she might not have survived. But she will never regret the experience of having lived through the worst. She told her husband: “If I die, I will have known all the beauty of my blood and my spirit because I lived in Greece.”

Blanka Amezkua

Blanka’s creative impulse in Athens reflected much of the same sass that BBBP had. She had another idea for a project: 3///3. . . three walls on Wednesday. This project began with its physical journey of three walls through the Athens metro and the creation of a gallery space in different areas of the city inviting artists from any point of the globe to exhibit their work on them. .

For two years, it becomes a nomadic art gallery settling in the streets. “Who is that crazy girl on the sidewalk? she says. Yet because she was in the right place at the right time, the project made headlines. Artists from all over the world sent his work; the Greek press picked up the story. Until she hurt her back. Week after week, a portable gallery, a burro galleria, had taken its toll.

It was then that she turned to opening up a more traditional artistic experience.

In the spring of 2014, she created Fo Kia Nou 24/7, a dynamic project space for arts, music, workshops, food, dialogue residencies and general community meetings. In 2016, Fo Kia Nou 24/7 became Fokianou Art Space upon its return to New York and is now run by two artist friends from Athens.

Blanka bears witness to the affinity between Mexican and Greek cultures. “Even though all of Greece fits into the state of Chihuahua, when I’m in Athens I feel like I’m in Mexico. Greeks and Mexicans have a similar temperament,” she quotes There is a bustle in the streets. The two countries share a similar political context sharing many of the same problems: devastating unemployment, catastrophic debt, corruption, crime, street protests. But she notes that there is a light in Greece setting apart “This light is very special. You understand why so many things have blossomed there the way they have.”

Blanka Amezkua

Blanka attended the Accademia di belle Arti in Florence, Italy, and earned her BA from California State University, Fresno. His work has appeared in the United States, Mexico, Belgium and Greece and for cultural institutions such as MoMA-PS1, Exit Art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art, Towson University , Dorsky Gallery, Le Taller Boricua, The Block Gallery among others. She is currently completing a residency for Wave Hill at Winter Workspace 2022.

Blanka represents the resilient, flying by the seat of your pants power kind of creativity. She has a knack for building alternative exhibition spaces and unleashing her raw energy on the street. Just the kind of person who fits perfectly into the frame of Greece.

To learn more about Blanka, visit www.blankaamezkua.com

Blanka Amezkua

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Key words:
Accademia di belle Arti, artist, Athens, BBBP, BRIO Prize, Bronx Blue Bedroom Project, Bronx Council on the Arts, California State University, Dorsky Gallery, El Museo del Barrio, Exit Art, Fo Kia Nou 24/7, Fresno, Greece , MoMA-PS1, Philhellene, Queens Museum of Art, The Block Gallery, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Taller Boricua, Towson University, Winter Workspace
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