Ideological Legacies in Greek Art of the 1970’s: Shaping the ‘Idea’ Amid Heroism and Romanticism

By Vicky Karaiskou.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

An extremely powerful ideological mesh with direct repercussions to the cultural phenomena was evident in Greece after the end of the dictatorship in 1974 and during the 1970s. Poetry, music and the fine arts became the means through which the introverted and conservative notions of the Greek tradition were reproducing the patterns of the myths, accumulating a wide range of symbolisms in the social body. Due to the local political circumstances the heroic element was promoted as glorification of the essence and the ideals of western romanticism, codifying the national ‘Idéa’ into visual, verbal and written patterns. At the same time, it was used as a physiological barrier towards the European political orientation of the country and its’ forthcoming participation in the European Common Market. The political fights and the victory towards dictatorship revived as an analogy to Christ’s sufferings and His resurrection and, thus, shaped politicized artistic expressions. Taking into consideration the above context and given the use of culture and aesthetics during the junta, any aesthetic innovation in visual arts was identified primarily as a reaction against certain political ideologies and only secondarily was it interesting as pure and unbiased aesthetic quest.

Keywords: Greek Identity, National Ideology, Heroic Patterns, The us and the others Pattern, Symbolic Narrations, Human Figure

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.143-152. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 278.984KB).

Prof. Vicky Karaiskou

Assistant Professor, Program "Studies in Hellenic Culture", School of Humanities and Social Studies, Open University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

Vicky Karaiskou is Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator at the Open University of Cyprus, Programme “Studies in Hellenic Culture”. Since 2002 she has taught topics of art history, visual communication and stage design history as an on contract lecturer and assistant professor at the Universities of Thessaly and Patras in Greece and at the Greek Open University. Her researches focus on the relationships between the works of visual art and their social environment, along with the ways through which the iconographic, or other, components contribute to the understanding of the historical and social phenomena. She has published numerous essays on contemporary art in Greek art magazines and has contacted and published, in the form of book, four researches, the latest one being: Modern Greek Sculpture: approaches and interpretations. Gutenberg ed., Athens 2011.