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AGORA 4th Athens Biennale

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 highpoint, the 4th Athens Biennale (AB4) cannot but respond to this bleak situation through a pertinent question: Now what?

Athens BiennaleWhile 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 is 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.

Curated by the AB4 Team

Participants and projects:
Abbas Akhavan, David Adler, Dimitris Antoniou, Yanna Andreadi, Arbit City Group, Artbank, Art & Economics Group (Tanja Ostojic, Dimitri Kleiner, David Rych), Anestis Azas, Manolis Baboussis, Bertille Bak, Erica Baum, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Dave Beech, Matei Bejenaru, Blitz, Iain Boal, Irina Botea, Tania Bruguera, Campus Novel, Charley Case, Giuseppe Chico & Barbara Matijević, Katerina Christidi, Neil Cummings, Bruce Gilbert and BAW, Nuria Güell, Dashndem, Design 99, Dimitris Dokatzis, Sam Durant, Charles Esche, Fallen Fruit, Heiner Flassbeck, FYTA, Rainer Ganahl, Nikolaus Gansterer & Emma Cocker, Fernando Garcia-Dory, Fotini Gouseti & Culture Travellers, Grupo Etcetera, Severin Guelpa, Konstantinos Hadzinikolaou, Jan Peter Hammer, Paul Handley, George Harvalias, David Harvey, Yota Ioannidou, Nazima Kadir, Valentina Karga & Pieterjan Grandry, Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne, Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Anna Kleberg, Ika Knezevic, Zissis Kotionis, Maria Konti, Chryssanthi Koumianaki, Gabriel Kuri, Kyklos Ensemble, Gosalyn Mallard, Paolo Manasse, Jenny Marketou, Gabriel Mascaro, Konstantinos Mihos, Never the Same, Vladimir Nikolic, Nomadic Kitchen / Shedia, Nils Norman, Navid Nuur, OKK Actiongroup, Boris Ondreicka, Geof Oppenheimer, Georgia Paizi, Yiorgos Papadakis, Panos Papadopoulos, Leda Papaconstantinou, Elias Papaioannou, Vito Polito, Sally Poter, Ester Partegàs, Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Adrian Piper, Antonis Pittas, Thomas Poulsen / FOS, Theo Prodromidis, Qualia, Gene Ray, Raymondos, Lucrezia Reichlin, Steve Reinke, Oliver Ressler, Juan Carlos Romero, ROMVOS, Frances Ruane, Salinas / Bergman, Salon de Vortex, Marinella Senatore, Research and Dissemination Center of Music Scheming, Roman Signer, Laurie Simmons, Deb Sokolow, Soo-Young Kim, Aspa Stassinopoulou, Yannis Stavrakakis, Hito Steyerl, Superstudio, Amund SjØlie Sveen, Theatre of the Oppressed, Petros Touloudis, Nikos Tranos, Kostas Tsolis, Loukas Tsoukalis, Vital Space, Vassilis Vlastaras, Peter Watkins, Wooloo, Mi You & Lisa Bensel, Zafos Xagoraris, ABROAD, Economic Forum, Radio Materiality, Erect Like a Country, Pre-Institutional Critique Workshop, Value, Event as Process, Art as a Changemaker, The New Parthenon

AGORA 4th Athens Biennale open 29 September–1 December, 2013
Preview: September 28

Former Athens Stock Exchange
8-10 Sofokleous st.
4 Efpolidos & 2 Apellou st.