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Athens Biennale 2015-2017 „OMONOIA“ launches on November 18, 2015
Bageion Hotel, Omonoia Square, Athens © Marilena Batali
Bridging the past with the present and the future, the Athens Biennale 2015-2017, symbolically titled „OMONOIA“ (Concord), launches a two-year period of activities, starting now. Gradually the program will reach its peak in the summer of 2017, in various venues across the Athens centre and, more specifically, around Omonoia Square. Due to the constantly changing sociopolitical situation in Greece, the Athens Biennale revises the launch date of its new programme to November 18, 2015. The Bageion Ηotel, the epicentre of OMONOIA’s artistic programme, located at the homonymous square, will reveal its previously unseen sides through a series of art installations, while an international symposium taking place between the 18th and 20th of November will kickstart a discourse on the pertinent issues that will become the focus of the Biennale for the next two-year period.
Furth er information about the artistic programme of „OMONOIA“ will be announced in the coming weeks.
Massimiliano Mollona appointed Programme Director of the Athens Biennale 2015-2017 „OMONOIA“
Massimiliano Mollona, Programme Director of the Athens Biennale 2015-2017 „OMONOIA“ © Nysos Vasilopoulos
Massimiliano Mollona, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London, will lead the Athens Biennale for the next two years, running a daring and experimental programme which highlights the current views on contemporary art and unfolds in three strands of debate and research intervention:
- the emergence of alternative economies,
- the performative in the political; and
- the establishment of institutions that redefine existing structures.
Unlike traditional biennial formats, Mollona’s, role of Programme Director will combine theory, curating and process-based urban interventions.
Programme Directors statement:
„Greece is at a historical juncture. In spite of wide popular opposition against debt, welfare cuts and privatisations, the country was forced into a new regime of austerity by the European Union. But popular mobilisation for a just and human economy remains strong. At issue is not only Greece’s future but the very future of democracy in Europe.
The Athens Biennale aspires to be a stage for the experiments of grassroots democracy and economic solidarity that are spreading throughout Greece and in Europe’s South. More than art in the service of society, it is art as an experimental space for new modes of thinking and performing life.
How can art and cultural institutions contribute to this moment of radical change? How can they rethink their traditional institutional structures and build grassroots, discursive, dispersed and processual forms of cultural production?
Building on its tradition of independent, cross-disciplinary and discursive cultural institution, the Athens Biennale will run over two years (conflating the current and the future editions) through an ongoing programme of residencies, talks and laboratories in key neighborhoods of Athens. Within the framework of „OMONOIA“ the Biennale will host various cultural and activist groups that deal with issues of coproduction, self-organisation and urban commoning and also function as an institutional space where the realm of the political is reframed through the lenses of art. These meetings, laboratories and discussions will be the experimental „engines“ of the Athens Biennale, lasting at least until 2017. Nevertheless, our ambition is that the programme of the Athens Biennale will become permanent“.
Upcoming activities of the Athens Biennale
Reimagining the institution of biennial exhibitions, the Athens Biennale extends its duration. Therefore, and prior to its launching activities in November, it will present two events:
KYKLOS OMONOIA presents Sound Development City
Sound Development City, 2015 © Nicholas Schaerer
The Athens Biennale 2015-2017 „OMONOIA“ launches a new series of activities KYKLOS OMONOIA aiming to introduce international creators and cultural organisations, which visit Athens to get in touch with the local scene and experience the atmosphere of the city, to the Greek public.
The Swiss cultural organisation Sound Development City (SDC) comes to Athens for the first time, together with a team of 13 international artists, and organises an open discussion on September 21, 7pm at Romantso, in collaboration with the Athens Biennale. „OMONOIA“ functions as host and mediator in such an initiative and wishes to establish and maintain an active connection between the visiting participants and the city of Athens. SDC’s participating artists will engage in dialogue with the creators and the public, based on their artistic practice and experience of Athens.
Sound Development City is an annual three-week expedition to two European cities for artists from all disciplines and from around the world. SDC is an adventure, a place for experimentation, and a research lab, where work theses can be examined, new project ideas or forms of expression can be tried out and bold visions can be put into practice. The 4th edition takes place in Belgrade and Athens from 9 to 27 September 2015. For further information concerning the project, read more here.
Venue: Romantso | 3-5 Anaxagora str., Omonoia square, 105 52 – GR, Athens
Film project in the framework of the International Film Festival – Opening Nights
Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler, „Occupy, Resist, Produce Vio.Me.“, HD, 30 min., 2015 (video still)
Courtesy artists Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler
The Athens Biennale 2015-2017 „ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ“, in the framework of the Athens International Film Festival (Opening Nights), presents the film project of Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler Occupy, Resist, Produce on October 2, 8:15pm. In view of the critical historical juncture, the Athens Biennale 2015-2017 „OMONOIA“ unfolds in three strands of debate and research intervention: the emergence of alternative economies, the performative in the political and the establishment of institutions that redefine existing structures. In relation to these pertinent issues, the Biennale presents for the first time in Athens, the social project of Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler Occupy, Resist, Produce, which presents occupied factories where workers managed to organise labour under their control. The three films focus on the factories of RiMaflow (Milan), Officine Zero (Rom e) and Vio.Me. (Thessaloniki) respectively.
Films have been produced for the first three factories and more are to follow. For each film, discussions with the workers and their assemblies, as the main decision-making body of the workers‘, are conducted and recorded. These discussions offer the workers the possibility to publicly address the achievements, difficulties, advantages and challenges of workers‘ control. Read more here.
Venue: Greek Film Archive Foundation | 48 Iera Odos str., Kerameikos, 104 35 – GR, Athens