Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation – Digital Games for Adults (Athens, Greece)
The Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation implemented an online activity to enhance creativity and self-confidence, transform introversion into expression, and encourage the use of digital tools from the elderly.
The museum was designed from the onset to house the Collection of the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation. The collection focuses on modern and contemporary art by Greek and foreign artists, including rare works by masters of the European avant-garde such as Cézanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Degas, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Miró, Giacometti, Balthus, as well as works by distinguished modern Greek painters including Parthenis, Bouzianis, Vassiliou, Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Tsarouchis, Moralis, Tetsis and others.
The building is a total surface area of 7,250 sq.m. and consists of 11 floors, five of which are below ground. The exhibition areas cover a total of five floors; four above ground with a surface area of 1,124 sq.m. where the permanent collection is housed and one below ground with a surface area of 530 sq.m. which will host temporary exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists within the framework of the Foundation’s established exhibition policy which has pervaded its activities on Andros over the last forty years.
The building also houses a museum shop where visitors are able to purchase publications by the Foundation and other publishing houses as well as gifts. The museum’s café-restaurant is located on the mezzanine floor.
The below-ground floors host a library with around 6,000 books, a children’s workshop which hosts educational programs and art classes for children, as well as a state-of-the-art 187-seat amphitheater that hosts events including lectures, conferences, screenings, performances, concerts, and other artistic and scientific activities.
From November 2020 to March 2021, the online action “Digital game for adults” presented the themes “Common points” and “Horizon of the body”, as part of the interactive tours in the collection of the R&D Goulandris Foundation. With stimulus, selected works of the collection and by using the method “θάλλω” (meaning to thrive, to flourish), the participants become experientially acquainted with the world of art, through a game-like process. The aim of the activity was to enhance creativity and self-confidence, the transformation of introversion into expression and the encouragement of the use of digital tools from the Third Age. This activity was aimed mainly at people over 65 years, but also at people with mild cognitive impairment of any age. People of any age group could also join the online meetings, in order to socialize the elderly and encourage intergenerational contact.
The museum developed an innovative online activity targeted at people over 65 years, but also at people with mild cognitive impairment of any age. In our interview Mr. Paraskevopoulos, who was in charge of the activity he noted that they were surprised by the public’s response. They were able to reach new audiences that for different reasons they couldn’t visit the Museum (age, distance, fewer opportunities, etc.) as well as they attracted a more engaged audience. The participants except of getting in touch with art that in that time (lockdown) was really crucial for their mental state were also trained in using new digital methods to engage with each other, learning new things, and developing new relationships.
The overall outlook from this case was that a quick response and the fast adaptation of new techniques in times of crisis is of most importance, particularly in the cultural world, giving the audience ways to escape from the stressful reality. The participation and the support of the audience to that initiative also showed new appreciation in Museums, cultural organizations, and the role they play in the everyday life of societies particularly in times of crises, particularly in the target groups (people over 65 years, but also at people with mild cognitive impairment of any age).
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