KANTHAROS GATHERINGS_Artist-designed wine tastings in Dexamenes Seaside Hotel

text in EN, GR

Contemporary Art meets Wine Tasting at Kantharos Gatherings
Kantharos Gatherings is an original series of wine tasting events designed by emerging visual artists, powered by Dexamenes Seaside Hotel. Curated by Eleni Tranouli, Kantharos Gatherings bridges hospitality with contemporary art and intertwines with the Dexamenes’ story as a postwar winery turned into a barefoot luxury resort.

It all began when visionary hotelier Nikos Karaflos approached Eleni Tranouli to imagine a bespoke art concept for his award-winning Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, that opened this season at Kourouta Beach. Captivated by K-studio’s monastic design of the hotel, the curator immediately started digging into the site’s industrial past rooted in wine production and trade, to devise Kantharos Gatherings, a series of multi-sensory wine tasting events staged by emerging contemporary artists, with offerings sourced from exciting local wineries.

The name for the events derives from the ancient Greek cup kantharos, a typical vase used for drinking wine, and an attribute to the god Dionysus.

During summer, handpicked creatives are invited to explore Dexamenes as residents and stage multi-sensory, site-conscious wine tastings using performance art, installation, sound, and media, affording guests a transformative journey through sound, visual narratives, performative objects, costumes, and flavors.

Guests will get to taste wines that have been carefully selected by expert sommelier Chryssa Giatra Batzi from the distinguished Mercouri, Brintziki, Markogianni, and Stavropoulos wine estates in Ilia, each of whom carries its own special tradition in winemaking.

The artists headlining at Dexamenes this season are Panos Profitis, Despina Charitonidi, and Paky Vlassopoulou. On June 29 and July 13, Profitis and Charitonidi are joining forces for a moving, participatory experience engaging with performance, site-based sculpture, sound, handcrafted clay spittoons and organic-industrial scenography. On August 17 and August 24, Vlassopoulou will be staging a nomadic journey inside the hotel, tackling questions of purity, proper etiquette, and good manners, in a wine tasting turned into a katharsis ritual of body and mind.

Spit: A wine tasting performance by Panos Profitis & Despina Charitonidi

-text by Eleni Tranouli, Curator and Concept Designer

Kantharos Gatherings is an artistic concept intertwining with Dexamenes Seaside Hotel’s original story as a century-old wine factory turned into a barefoot luxury resort. During summer 2019, emerging visual artists are invited to explore Dexamenes as residents, discover the local wineries of Ilia, and stage site-based wine tasting experiences, informed by space, hospitality, the viticulture, the role of a hotel as a community hub as well as a place of transformation.

On June 29 and on July 13, resident artists Panos Profitis and Despina Charitonidi presented Spit, a carnal wine tasting performance relating to the body and oscillating between the individual and the collective.

For the overall scenography, the artists get inspired by both the industrial architecture of the hotel and its natural surroundings. Using steel joists, they fabricate slender stands that hint at the reeds one finds abundantly at the beach.

This raw, uncovered setting frames the space and deliberately intervenes with the guests’ line of vision.  

The wine tasting process is enhanced with handcrafted clay spittoons, each of whom is different than the other, yet imagined as part of a coherent whole. These spittoons carry figurative and abstract forms, migrated from an expanded iconography relating to wine, the primitive past, the organic world, and the industrial heritage. These other-worldly receptacles solemnize the trivial, sometimes embarrassing, action of spitting or dumping the wine.

Throughout the performance, Panos Profitis and Despina Charitonidi use their bodies either as a unity or in a binary, complementary way. Their movements, anchored in stillness, balance or endurance, and complimented by GHONE’s soundscapes, form delicate, sometimes playful, tableaux-vivants set against the metal carapace of the hotel’s signature tanks.

The flux of the event goes full circle with the servers, going in and out of the tank, wearing laser-cut, metal green costumes that resemble to the exoskeleton of a beetle, which was the bug that the ancient wine cup kantharos borrows its name from. Along with the wine bottles, the servers bear objects with loose associations to the four wine labels served from Brintziki, Mercouri, Stavropoulos and Markogianni Estates.

In the end, togetherness is celebrated. What once used to be one’s own, is collected and fused, in order to become part of a larger, structural whole, where wine, water and body fluids unite. What was excreted by the body (spit), or by one’s glass (wine), becomes component of a communal fountain/body.


A wine tasting by artists Panos Profitis and Despina Charitonidi

Saturday, June 29 & Saturday, July 13

A wine tasting by artist Paky Vlassopoulou

Saturday, August 17 & Saturday, August 24

Eleni Tranouli offers research-based curatorial and advisory services driven by art as experience. She believes that art can elevate the everyday, challenge perception and help access a refined way of living. With a focus on hospitality and a flair for affecting design, she develops bespoke art concepts that give form to people’s ideas and fantasies about the places they inhabit and traverse.

Panos Profitis’ practice is rooted in movement, rituals, body gestures and characters. He often works with industrial materials and fabricates unusual objects that get activated through performance. His inspiration comes from the systems of objects that surrounds us, food culture, the human condition and strange personalities. He often expresses feelings and situations through the use of masks, and contemporary and archaic symbols.

Despina Charitonidi’s work spans sculpture, site specific installations and performative art. She is particularly interested in studying the properties of different materials and what they evoke to the viewer. Many of her works introduce notions of weight and balance. Her practice explores issues like the relationship between intimacy and power. In her performances, she treats body as a tool for limited capabilities, uncontrolled fragility and mimic repetition.

Paky Vlassopoulou’s work is informed by the dialectics of traditional sculpture making in relation to spatial issues, object hood, functionality and bodily experiences. She is often concerned with thematics that deal with knowledge production, history, ruins and issues with issues revolving around the service providing industries by questioning the role of care and hospitality.

See here the entire project presentation for Dexamenes Seaside Hotel by K-Studio


Το Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, μέλος των Design Hotels, σας προσκαλεί στα Kantharos Gatherings, σε συνεργασία με την επιμελήτρια Ελένη Τρανούλη. Πρόκειται για μια σειρά από οινογνωσίες, σχεδιασμένες από σύγχρονους καλλιτέχνες, που συνυφαίνονται με την ιδιαίτερη ιστορία του ξενοδοχείου, ως πρώην εργοστασίου σταφίδας που μεταμορφώθηκε σε σύγχρονο τόπο φιλοξενίας.

Στις 29 Ιουνίου και τις 13 Ιουλίου, οι προσκεκλημένοι εικαστικοί Πάνος Προφήτης και Δέσποινα Χαριτωνίδη παρουσίασαν το έργο Spit, μια ολιστική καλλιτεχνική εμπειρία συνδυασμένη με το κρασί, μέσα από ένα πρωτότυπο έργο που ενώνει performance, γλυπτική in situ, χειροποίητα κεραμικά και μια οργανική/βιομηχανική σκηνογραφία. Το έργο πλαισιώνει ηχητικά ο guest soundscape artists GHONE (Γιάννης Κοντανδρεόπουλος). Στις 17 Αυγούστου και τις 24 Αυγούστου, η Πάκυ Βλασσοπούλου θα σχεδιάσει ένα νομαδικό ταξίδι στους χώρους του ξενοδοχείου, θέτοντας ζητήματα καθαρότητας, αποδεκτών συμπεριφορών και καλών τρόπων, σε μια οινογνωσία που μετατρέπεται σε τελετουργία μυαλού και σώματος.

Τη λίστα κρασιών επιμελείται η sommelier Χρύσα Γιατρά Μπατζή και περιλαμβάνει επιλεγμένους τοπικούς οίνους της Ηλείας από το Κτήμα Μπριντζίκη, την Οινοποιία Μαρκόγιαννη, το Κτήμα Σταυροπούλου και το Κτήμα Μερκούρη. Τα events συνοδεύονται από finger food που έχει επιμεληθεί, ειδικά για το κάθε event, ο head chef του Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Σπύρος Δρακούλης.

*Οι φωτογραφίες είναι του James Gabriel Martin. Για επιπλέον υλικό, μπορείτε να επικοινωνήσετε με το [email protected] και με το [email protected]

ΛΙΣΤΑ ΚΡΑΣΙΩΝ (29 Ιουνίου και 13 Ιουλίου)

Τινακτορώγος 2018, λευκό

ΠΓΕ “Ηλεία”, 100% Τινακτορώγος

Κτήμα Μπριντζίκη

Chardonnay βαρέλι 2018, λευκό

ΠΓΕ “Πελοπόννησος”, 100% Chardonnay

Οινοποιία Μαρκόγιαννη

Κοράλλι 2018, ροζέ

ΠΓΕ “Πελοπόννησος”, 100% Μοσχοφίλερο

Κτήμα Σταυρόπουλου

Κτήμα Μερκούρη- Ερυθρός 2017, κόκκινο

ΠΓΕ “Λετρίνοι”, 85% Refosco,15% Μαυροδάφνη

Κτήμα Μερκούρη


ΛΙΣΤΑ ΚΡΑΣΙΩΝ (17 & 24 Αυγούστου)

Φολόη Fumé 2017, βαρέλι, λευκό

ΠΓΕ “Πισάτης”, 100% Ροδίτης

Κτήμα Μερκούρη

Αυγουστιάτης 2018, ροζέ

ΠΓΕ “Ηλεία”, 100% Αυγουστιάτης

Κτήμα Μπριντζίκη

Όγδοος 2016, κόκκινο

ΠΓΕ “Ηλεία”, 100% Αυγουστιάτης

Κτήμα Σταυρόπουλου

Θύμησες, οίνος γλυκύς, ροζέ

ΠΓΕ “Ολυμπία”, 50% Φωκιανό, 50% Μαυρούδι

Οινοποιία Μαρκόγιαννη