The National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, IL will reopen this fall on September 26th with a special photo exhibition titled Resilience by Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark. The museum is the second oldest institution in America focused on Greek and Greco-American culture and is located in the country’s third largest city, Chicago, in the Greektown neighborhood outside the loop.
Prince Nikolaos is the son of Constantine II, the last king of Greece, and Anne-Marie of Denmark. Prince Nikolaos is a prolific photographer who has exhibited his work internationally since 2015. Resilience is his first solo show in North America and explores the beauty of nature and the complexities of environmental disasters and our collective settlement with them. He has been dealing with such topics for a long time outside of his artistic practice – the 51-year-old sits on the board of the Anna Maria Foundation, a non-profit organization that was founded by the former Greek royal family and supports the victims of natural disasters in Greece.
The National Hellenic Museum shows Prince Nikolaos’ exploration of ecological crises
Resilience opens on September 26th with a public appearance and presentation by Prince Nikolaos. At the heart of the exhibition is Sea Cred, a photographic mosaic made from Parley Ocean Plastic®, a material made from plastic that pollutes the world’s oceans. Nikolaos worked in partnership with the nonprofit Parley for the Oceans to produce this piece. Parley for the Oceans works to unite thinkers, creators and leaders to spread awareness of the ecological crises the world is facing today.
“As an artist, Prince Nikolaos is always drawn to open spaces; Nature was an integral part of his work, ”says Marilena Koutsoukou, curator of Resilience. “Like an archaeologist who meticulously digs up, records and draws conclusions, the artist’s intention with this work is to deconstruct and explore where this strength comes from.”
Nikolaos believes that the power of the human mind can withstand the challenges of natural disasters. The people of Greece recently faced an incredibly devastating fire with the forest fires that continue to rage across the country. In a statement on the strength and ingenuity of communities in need, he quoted Greek poet Odysseas Elytis as saying, “If you dismantle Greece, you will end up with an olive tree, a grapevine and a boat. That is, with so much you reconstruct it. “
Despite the profound impact of the climate crisis on Greece last month, the topic is shared by people around the world and is starting to raise its head in other places as well. The subject of Prince Nikolaos is becoming more and more universal – and his work should reach as large an audience as possible, explains curator Koutsoukou:
“This exhibition goes far beyond Greece, however, it is an expression of our collective experience with a new normality, a shared conviction that we have to let go of our previous paths and find ways to celebrate and protect nature and ultimately ourselves. ”