The entire project is inspired by the lauded American photojournalist W. Eugene Smith – and the centre-piece is a biopic starring Johnny Depp as Smith with Bill Nighy as former LIFE magazine editor Robert Hayes. To many, Smith is the father of the photo essay; thanks to his 1970s work to spotlight the devastating effects of industrial pollution caused by the Chisso Corporation in the Japanese town Minamata. His 1975 photo essay, created with his wife Aileen (Minamata – A Warning to the World), was pivotal in uncovering the environmental atrocities suffered by the local population (such as mercury poisoning and disfigurements) and subsequently bringing justice to the victims.
Like Smith, Levitas frets about humanity’s relationship with the environment and feels driven to fight against injustice, through his art.
Here are the four pillars of his Minamata:
Minamata: The Movie
The B&E Goulandris Foundation will host an invitation-only premiere screening on October 20 (due to Covid measures). However, you can catch it when the film opens in Greek cinemas the next day (October 21).
Seven large metal sculptures dwell upon the ambiguity, duality and contradiction that, to the artist’s eye, define man’s relationship with nature and our technological advancement. Photography also plays large in Levitas’ sculptures. The art works will be on display at the B&E Foundation’s temporary exhibitions area from October 21 to November 28.
Between October 21 and October 24, Andrew Levitas, as artist-in-residence, will conduct a Filmmaking Masterclass (in English) titled "The Artist’s Mind", based on the course that he teaches at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. A valuable opportunity for students and professionals who are active in arts, filmmaking, photography and theatre (or anyone seeking to experiment with art and filmmaking), participants will have the chance to explore the creative process through various artforms. Afterwards, they will have one year to make their own short film, which will be screened at the Foundation’s Amphitheatre in September 2022. Completion Certificates will also be issued.
Discussion at the Museum
You can attend a forum titled "Environmental awareness through art" on October 24 at 19:00, involving influential Greek artistic directors in conversation with Andrew Levitas. The event is free with pre-registration required.
For more details on all of these, and information on the gallery's health protocols, jump onto the event link below.
Price: €8 (entry price to the museum); €200 for Filmmaking Masterclass (€160 for B&E members; €150 for seniors, students and unemployed); free admission for Discussion event