Athens Biennial or art crisis

   |  6 December 2011  |  AMA  |  Tweet  |  LinkedIn

Athens, 7 December 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Greek capital is currently presenting the third art Biennial until 11 December 2011, organised by the trio XYZ (Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Poka-Yio, Augustine Zenakos), along with curator and art theorist, Nicolas Bourriaud. The Biennial is being held around an improbable meeting which is the base of a reflection on sociopolitical and financial reality, through a universal and poetic narration on humanity: The Little Prince meets Walter Benjamin.

The exhibition, called Monodrome is meant to be a commentary on the Greek crisis, however, the uneasiness created by the displayed works, resounds the reticence of the European project. The biennial is open to discussion around the subject “Crisis and Culture”, organised by Athens International Film Festival.

Symbolically, the Biennial is installed in an abandoned school in the heart of the more underestimated areas of the city. It is an imposing abandoned building of the 1930s, where the painting flakes away and the walls are covered with graffiti scrawled by the school students. The soundtrack of an installation, representing crowds chanting slogans resounds on the floor surrounding the visitors. In one corner, marble sculptures representing distorted boxes are displayed as if they were old forgotten cardboard boxes. In another room, a television broadcast presents extracts of the great Greek sports victories with cheers of the public.

Neither the artists nor the curator of the exhibition are paid for their work. The daily management of the Biennial is carried out by volunteers; there are no sponsors. It would be considered obscene to support such a “useless” event, when Greece was on the edge of implosion. Several artists will be presented, such as the Greek designer Kostas Bassanos, conceptual artist Julien Langendorff and filmmakers, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Meville.

In fact, the third Biennial of Athens entitled Monodrome, is a double project presented as an international exhibition, but also as a feature film directed by Nicolas Bourriaud. The film which is half art work, half fiction based on real people and events, constitutes a first exhaustive approach of the connection between contemporary art and cinema.

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