AGATHOFRON [THE COLLECTOR'S ATLAS]
title. Agathofron, the Collector's Atlas, An experiential Installation
concept. Daphne Kokkini
creative team. Alkistis Kokkini, Yorgos Kourmadas, Karolina Moretti, Dimitris Theodoropoulos
dramaturgie consultants. Armin Kerber, Maria Skiada
sound installation. Kornilios Selamsis
date. June-July 2018 , Official selection of Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2018
space. Benaki Museum in Athens, Peiraios 138
city. Andritsena / Athens / Zürich
type. installation / performance / production
© Eleni Gerasimou, Athens & Epidaurus Festival
Constantinos Agathrofron Nikolopoulos was born in Izmir, possibly the year 1786, and was later left abroad to study. He ended up in Paris in October 1806, 20 years old, where instead of just studying, he stayed for 35 years.
Vision vs poverty, isolation vs ambition, dream vs self-sacrifice: these are the contradictory elements that consist of his life. Agathofron was an engaged intellectual, part most high educated circles, contemporary and personal friend of Adamantios Koraes, with whom he shared the same dream of seeing Greece an independed state. In 1814 he became a librarian at the French Academy, worked as a teacher to make part of his living and studied byzantine music, for which he as well composed several well-known hymns. But all these are shadowed by his great passion for books, for Agathofron was a true book collector. He managed in times of deprivation, to create one of the most astonishing in rarity and precision private book collections of its age.
Few know what it takes to build up such a collection , strong will and so many decisions. On the other hand many factors threaten to cause its dispersal.
In this project we dive into the ocean of book collecting, order vs chaos, the gifts of cataloguing, the notions of dedication and sacrifice. We have the chance of working closely with the survived collection, now in the hometown of his father, Andritsena in Peloponnese; Mostly we attempt to reconnect to the unique story of the man that changed his name to redefine his relation to a young state, Greece, to reconnect to Agathofron Nikolopoulos and the odyssey of his books.