the perplexities of beginning *, 2021
embroidery, 200m light blue and white thread on white cotton, 18 x 21, Athens, 2021.

This embroidery is a replica of a stamp worth 4 drachmas, which was published on the 1st of April 1930 and depicts the two phases of the Greek Deliverance: 1890 and 1930. Its publication was part of the production of a commemorative series of the centenary of Independence and printed in the English printing houses Bradbury Wilkinson & Co και Perkins, Bacon & Co.

The whole series of the commemorative stamps consists of the following 19 depictions of representations and heroic figures of the Greek Revolution: R. Feraios, Patriarch Gregory V, Al. Ypsilantis, Ath. Diakos, L. Bouboulina, K. Kanaris, T. Kolokotronis, G. Karaiskakis, M. Botsaris, A. Miaoulis, L. Kountouriotis, I. Kapodistrias, P. Mavromichalis, D. Solomos, A. Korais, Map of Greece, Agia Lavra, the Siege
of Missolonghi and Arkadi.

This particular edition provoked controversial reactions and was criticized for the choice and physiognomy of the depicted persons and the historical accuracy of the map of Greece **.

Stamps have a great potential for dissemination, they are used as tools for intercultual exchange and diplomacy. This work becomes the means of exploring an introspective reflection on concepts such as revolution, independence, national and individual identity, historicity and historical memory.

* The phrase is included in a book by Hannah Arendt (Arendt, Hannah, and Jonathan Schell. On Revolution. Penguin Classics, 2006.) 
** Parts of the text are excerpts from the doctoral dissertation of Myrsini Vardopoulou (Vardopoulou, Myrsini. Ideological and Aesthetic Management of Greek Stamps 1861-1961, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. School of Social Sciences & Psychology, 2015. Many thanks to the Philatelic and Postal Museum of Greece for its contribution to the research.

This embroidery is part of the group exhibition organised by grcollectors under the title "1821, Visual of a Revolution" to commemorate the 200 years of the Greek Revolution of 1921. Under the Patronage of H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The opening of the digital exhibition and the 3D virtual tour took place online on Saturday, May 29, 2021, at the specially designed website www.optiki1821.gr and through the platform www.grcollectors.com. In July 2021, the exhibition will be presented to the public, at the War Museum, Rizari 2-4, Athens. Curated by Eleni Gatsa.

The original 1930 stamp by ELTA.

Photos by Lea Petrou.


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