Avtonomi Akadimia was formed in 2015 by the artist Joulia Strauss as an open access intra-cultural university in Athens. During Athens Biennale 2015 ― 2017 ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ, Avtonomi Akadimia is transferred from its initial venue, Akadimia Platonos, to Bageion at Omonoia Square, where it hosts lectures, seminars and actions. These gatherings of artists, philosophers, scientists and political activists inaugurate and realise a major change in the educational system and in art.
Βeton7ArtRadio is an art project by Beton7, Centre for the Arts, based in Athens. It is a radio which speaks Art; a station available over the internet on www.beton7artradio.gr, on a 24-hour basis. The programme of Beton7ArtRadio covers issues in art and culture, highlighting contemporary creation. It features interviews, creative thematic shows, music programmes, live concerts and special tributes to outstanding figures from Greece and abroad.
Campus Novel is an artist-run group that was founded in November 2011. The group focuses on several aspects of the archaeology of the present as part of a retrospective practice seeking for new signifiers. Campus Novel are Giannis Cheimonakis, Giannis Delagrammatikas, Foteini Palpana, Yiannis Sinioroglou and Ino Varvariti. Within a set context of attempted redistributions, transfers and crossings between centre, periphery and public sphere Campus Novel present their second project under the title Archiving Topologies. The project will develop around Omonoia and it will run on aleatory detection and recording practices involving transitions, fieldtrips and routes between collective, historical or invented landmarks. The project will run through a series of collaborations with artists from Greece and abroad, starting with Ilaria Biotti and the group of Tatiana Ilichenko and Moritz Metzner. The overall initiative is based on the idea of dispersion and multiplication of a given centre through the creation of performative events interacting with the local and the international.
Contemporary Art Showcase Athens (C.A.S.A.)
Contemporary Art Showcase Athens (C.A.S.A.) is a not-for-profit, independent, collaborative cultural platform from Athens, Greece. The activities of C.A.S.A. involve contemporary art curation, organisation of seminars and workshops, contextualisation and facilitation in the development of individual and collaborative projects. During Synapse 2, C.A.S.A. presents the 1st Transmission Art Festival, a ‘transmission relay station’ between Athens and the city of Karlsruhe in Germany. Transmission Art Festival, organised in collaboration with a group of new media artists, runs in parallel between the two cities with programmes that include artist exchanges, performance-art presentations, talks, workshops, and exhibitions. The festival operates as a platform of horizontal communication and exchange, while inviting the public on a curated exploration of how local and global experiences intersect through performance art and new media practices. The activities of Transmission Arts Festival in Athens will take place at Bageion and BIOS Romantso (3-5 Anaxagora Str.)
Greek Artists Initiatives – Acts of Involvement
Seven different Greek artists initiatives, will hold an open public discussion, about their identity, their work and their role in the Greek art scene. Paricipants: Bhive (Gerasimos Avlamis), FOKIDOS (Sofia Stevi), Enterprise Projects (Danai Giannoglou & Vasilis Papageorgiou), OPENSHOWSTUDIO (Sofia Touboura), SNEHTA RESIDENCY (Augustus Veinoglou), Sofia Simaki, Tinos Quarry Platform (Petros Touloudis)
Fanis Kafantaris – Speleo~ / Σπήλαιο~
This open workshop is a call to initiate a set of group-walks in the urban space occasioned by a search to identify and map unoccupied buildings in the city-centre, in the area of Omonoia. Aiming to publicly enhance the debate on the intensive and long-term presence of vacant buildings and underused spaces in Athens, the exhibition of the mapping records and experiences in Bageion attempts to gradually construct an archive open-to-the-public.
Designed and curated by Fanis Kafantaris
In collaboration with Yiannis Grigoriadis, Stavros Mouzakitis, Vassilis Vassiliadis
Katayoun Karami – The Other Side, talk
Born in Tehran, Iran 1967. Graduated from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. The artist is focused on socially themed projects. Through a combination of different media and symbols she responds to her surrounding using a thin irony. Retrieved from a series of her artwork The Other Side will focus on common experiences in today’s world
Lo and Behold
Lo and Behold, founded in 2008 by a group of artists, is a non-profit organisation centred on cultural activity with a focus on contemporary art. The main founding purpose of Lo and Behold is to create a platform managed by the creators themselves, which would focus on the intellectual product and social dialogue. During Synapse 2, Lo and Behold present the project Regarding Authority, which investigates the concept of power through an ongoing participatory action.
National Theatre – Experimental Stage [-1]
The Experimental Stage [-1] of the National Theatre restages three of the plays of the Platform for Young Artists, on the Greek Civil War. Can we yet talk about that period of Modern Greek history, or is it still a taboo, especially in the current, tense, political context of economic crisis? What aesthetical language do we need to use to approach the historical events of that period with? Which of their aspects do we reveal? What meaning do we give to them and what conclusions do we come to? Eventually, how can art and modern theatre in particular, contribute to the understanding of history and our attitude towards our common wound? The plays that will be staged include Civil2 by Stella Christodoulopoulou, Civil War: A foreign country by Aris Laskos, Kitty Paitazoglou and Eleanna Stravodimou at Bageion, Plague by Grigoris Liakopoulos and the performance Anaparastasi by Anna Tzakou and the Geopoetics Project, starting at Rex Theatre and ending at the National Garden
Netting the Work – GOMENES I
The Netting the Work project GOMENES I, arises from the examination of gender fluidity and its impact on stereotypical structures prevalent in the European South, as viewed by artists and theorists from Austria and Greece. Creating an experimental laboratory of coexistence in the form of Symposia and performances, GOMENES attempts to rethink the predominant institutional binarism, by showcasing alternative approaches of gendered social institutions.
Ohi Pezoume Performing Arts Company
Ohi Pezoume Performing Arts Company that specializes in site-specific performances with a strong element of dance and theatre. Its UrbanDig Project (2004) is an on-going series of site-specific productions in the urban set activated through buildings, large constructions, neighbourhoods. Since 2012 the preparation of its performances also creates a platform of collective activities for mapping local cultural capital. They are currently examining the possibility of creating an UrbanDig Project at Omonoia.
Perpetuum Mobile’s Artists at Risk platform is dedicated to mapping the field of persecuted art practitioners, facilitating their safe-exit from countries of origin and hosting them at so-called Safe Haven residencies. For Synapse 2, Perpetuum Mobile is inviting Helsinki’s first artist at risk Ramy Essam, ‘the singer of Tahrir Square’, whose song Erhal (Leave) became the anthem of the 2011 revolution. As an accompaniment to the Artist at Risk platform, Perpetuum Mobile presents Risk, a series of related creative works. At Synapse 2, we include an introduction to Khaled Jarrar’s new film Destination Berlin (2016) and Issa Touma’s prize-winning film 9 Days from my Window in Aleppo (2012)
Playroom operates, mainly in Athens, since 2010 conducting educational activities for the young and old, who want to experience contemporary art and familiarise with it. It has worked with various cultural institutions, organisations and artists and organises educational programmes. Within the framework of the Athens Biennale 2015 ― 2017 OMONOIA, Playroom operates through Project Room, a meeting point for artists, educators, architects, graphic designers, musicians, actors and performers that aims to foster the cooperation and participation of the public in the implementation of activities related to the educational process. For Synapse 2, Project Room revolves around the issue of the exotification of Greece through a series of workshops for people of all ages
Laure Prouvost – Into All That Is Here
Born in 1978, Croix, France. Living and working in Antwerp. Graduated from Central Saint Martins and also attended Goldsmiths, University of London. She won the 2013 Turner Prize. Her work Into All That Is Here (2015) will be presented as a response to the ongoing theoretical framework of the Athens Biennale 2015 ― 2017 OMONOIA and particularly of Synapse 2: Rethinking Institutional Critique- A View from the South and is in dialogue with State of Concept’s current show C’est l’est not ouest curated by Iliana Fokianaki. This work explores the notion of lust after times of darkness, using the language of contemporary social media, ‘spamming’ the viewer with an array of seemingly unconnected images
Neda Razavipour – Unstable Equilibrium, talk
Born in 1969 in Tehran, Iran. Lives in Tehran. Graduated in Fine Arts from the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, and in Stage/Space Design from ENSAD, Paris. Her recent investigations into performance art allude to the notion and experience of equilibrium, forming a threshold between order and chaos. Razavipour has co-founded several collectives and NGO in Iran, including different range of activities as experimental theatre company, collective artistic space, artist health support network, and civil rights activism
Residents of Mets Initiative – ΙΛΙΣ-SOS
The Residents of Mets Initiative is an activist group founded in Athens in 1984 to prevent the demolition of a 16th century windmill. ΙΛΙΣ-SOS is an ongoing project, which started in 2010. In Bageion, they will present documented projects. The presentation aims to become an incubator for future collaborations. The outcome will be used in two planned actions of the ΙΛΙΣ-SOS project: the surfacing of two sunken monuments. In the context of Synapse 2 the Groups Transition and Residents of Mets Initiative will organise workshops in Bageion to construct a solar air heater using available material
The Screenings Programme is focused on issues that the Athens Biennale 2015 ― 2017 OMONOIA deals with: the emergence of alternative economies, the performative in the political and the rethinking of institutional critique.
Raw Material (2011) by Christos Karakepelis, 78 mins The documentary explores the backstage of consumerism and chronicles the main actors recycling the scrap metals of an entire country.
Khaima (2011) by Athanasios Karanikolas 86 mins Documentary about six hundred Afghans living in a makeshift camp in Patras for ten years, waiting for their applications for asylum to be granted by Greece or any other European country. In 2009, the Greek government demolished the camp without a thought to what will become of the refugees.
Boy eating the bird’s food (2012) by Ektoras Lygizos, 80 mins Fiction film showing three days in the life of an Athens 22 year-old boy who is without a job, without a girlfriend, or anything to eat. The only thing he has left is his canary, and he will quite literally share with it anything he’s got. Based on the novel Hunger by Knut Hamsun.
Katzelmacher (1969) by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 88 mins The story of a Greek immigrant worker in Germany and the relationships built after he joins a group of young people. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a “communist” and “Greek dog”
Katerina Stassinopoulos – OMONOIA 14/12/05
A video that captures one day and night in one of Athens’ most central and neuralgic places, Omonoia Square, which in Greek means the square of concord. The video studies how this urban landmark functions spatially and in time, by combining one 24-hour general static long shot of the square with photographs (taken during the 24 hours) showing instants, that give the viewer both a general, as well as an intimate feeling of the moment, and of the precise part of the square where the picture was taken. The idea for the video was conceived by Katerina Stassinopoulos, who also produced it and did the post-production. Five photographers (Angeliki Panagiotou, Cathy Cunliffe, Kostas Kourtidis, Ioanna Nikolareizi and Sylvia Diamantopoulou) participated in the project by taking photographs during the 24 hours of the shoot, and Panos Tzelekis did the sound recording during that day, as well as the sound design of the final film.
Kuba Szreder – Diverse Economy of Contemporary Art, a cognitive mapping session
This session will revolve around a centre question: how to conduct our artistic/curatorial projects in a more equalitarian way? In order to reflect upon this issue, we will map the diverse economies of contemporary art, with their specific types of labour, systems of transactions and modes of distribution. To analyze these apparatuses, we will apply methods of feminist economy, artworkers inquiry, and critique of creative industries. Equipped with such toolkits, we will investigate the role played by individual mobility, the structural imposition of cynical opportunism, the systems of production based on vocational involvement, the importance of reputations, the informality of hierarchies, the risks of precarity and exclusion. Considering these traits of contemporary artistic production, we will refer to a specific case of the Athens Biennale and its diverse economies. Our exercise in cognitive mapping will serve as a point of departure for discussions about practical viability of transforming diverse economies of contemporary art, particularly considering the limitations of neoliberal conditioning.