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Given that 2011 was the year of protesting and dreaming dangerously, 2013 prompts us to think responsively and come up with useful ideas and suggestions. At a time when the financial crisis in Greece and elsewhere is reaching a high point, the 4th Athens Biennale (AB4) cannot but respond to this bleak situation through a pertinent question: Now what?
While Monodrome (AB3) attempted to reflect upon Modern Greek history and the origins of the crisis, this year the Biennale will set out to explore creative alternatives to a state of bankruptcy.
Pondering this turning point, AB4 puts into play the collaborative process in producing an exhibition. Titled AGORA, it reflects on the way a biennale has to operate under the current socio-economic circumstances. Using the empty building of the former Athens Stock Exchange as its main venue, AB4 proposes AGORA not only as a place of exchange and interaction, but also as an ideal setting for critique. Contrary to an idealized image of the ancient agora, this new AGORA points to a radical re-orientation in thinking – one that entails judgment, ruptures and conflict. As a contested space where multiple theses and doctrines emerge, this AGORA cannot be taken for granted: it aims for pleasure and purpose; it opts for the carnivalesque and the ambiguous, for the significant as much as the insignificant.
AGORA draws on the notions of the assembly and the assemblage. Conceived both as a living organism and an exquisite corpse, it is formulated through a succession of objects, collaborative events, performances, roundtable discussions, film screenings, workshops and educational programs. In AGORA works and theses evoke that which is urgently needed at this particular moment: an engaged subjectivity, an unearthing of timely attitudes, a reevaluation of artistic strategies, a deconstruction of mystifying narratives.
AB4 will be realized by a nameless and ephemeral group of artists, curators, theorists and practitioners in the creative industries. AGORA is thus a collective experiment, the result of a process of fermentation between professionals from different backgrounds. What matters most to those who participate in such an experiment is a shared sense of responsibility and an urge to co-produce meaning.
National Bank of Greece Building, 8-10 Sofokleous str.
CAMP Contemporary Art Meeting Point, 4 Eupolidos & 2 Apellou str.
4th Athens Biennale AGORA | 29 Sep – 1 Dec |
Former Athens Stock Exchange, 8-10 Sofokleous st.
AGORA offers a season ticket for the exhibition for 8 euros. The season ticket allows admission throughout the two months of the 4th Athens Biennale and for all the events hosted by the AGORA.
Additionally, AGORA offers a daily ticket for 5 euros and a discount ticket for 3 euros, for students who hold a student ID, teens 12-18 years old and senior citizens (70 years old or above).
Holders of the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) card, students of the Athens School of Fine Arts, members of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece, ICOM, AICA, IKT as well as special needs attendants are granted free entrance with appropriate ID.
source/read more: athensbennale.org