7th Athens Biennale
September 25–November 29, 2020
Professional preview: September 24
Opening days: September 25–November 29
Sitting on the torn-off cliff edge of Mount Parnassus, Zenith slugging rose quartz water begins to speak, Magnolia watches the horizon letting ants run over her acrylic manicured nails whilst tilting her jaw towards Zenith in a soft acknowledgement of their voice…
Squinting into the sun behind her reinforced sunglasses she lavishes the words;
Magnolia: “In the West, we inhabit a world that is constantly being retold the story of its own death. Some are wishing to avoid it and some are trying to deny it. This intimate demise of all things earthly comes from a chimaera economy of predators, be they external governance, raging environments, outmoded traditions or tenants that rack up track lines on its skin. Yet beneath the tectonic plates lays a potential vanguard mass. One that will haunt and harass the self-appointed demigods of our history books.”
Pausing she blinks;
Zenith: “There will be an eclipse coming soon, auguring the opening of floodgates to those rival practitioners of colonial antiquity—a plethora of mediums and living bodies that will dance upon the soil. Using the tools of cultural imagineering and creative expression they will rewrite space and time, through radical gossip, persuasive realities, emotional hypnosis and collective hyperrealities. I promise you Magnolia we do not want to miss it.”
Magnolia picks up a smooth round pebble and opening her mouth she utters in response;
Magnolia: “Over the past few years, the doors between the dominant worlds have begun to fray, the worn rhetorics have become undone and the world occupies a slippage in space—one of ultimate illusion and possible transformative futures.”
A bird cries in the distance. Magnolia flicks her wrist and continues…
Magnolia: “Zenith, Athens sits at a natural crossroads to these worlds, it occupies a space situated between Europe, Asia and Africa. Making it an opportune location for fluidity. Yet these gates have become barricaded with meta-narratives of the past and the borders of the global mind-muscle that is injected daily with the intellectual steroids of a few. But it’s coming… the new threshold is upon us.”
Magnolia whispers, like a crack of thunder;
“It will be a forced eclipse.”
Storytelling questions and reveals various ways to think about time and space. Like the characters, Magnolia and Zenith, we all have queries, visions and aspirations that help expand our understanding of our place in this world. The 7th Athens Biennale (AB7), entitled ECLIPSE, highlights the obscuring perspectives of reality caused by the constant state of flux currently impacting our global society. The transformative experience of an eclipse functions as a catalyst for reprocessing an unresolved past that can inform an unspoken present and ultimately shape our future. Forefronting creative voices from the African Diaspora in addition to other parts of the globe, ECLIPSE invites the viewer to engage in an emotive, nuanced, and visceral discourse from the viewpoint articulated through the selected practitioners.
Curated by OMSK Social Club and Larry Ossei-Mensah, ECLIPSE aims to contribute to an ongoing cultural dialogue that seeks to rewrite the outdated canons of a Western metropolis. The curatorial body will work with over 100 practitioners of arts and culture to stage an exhibition that proposes the reclamation of life. AB7 will survey how to collectively fathom experiences that bleed out of the traditional white cube and into our daily lives.
ECLIPSE will open on the September 25, 2020. Locations will be released soon.
The 7th Athens Biennale is co-financed by the Hellenic Republic and the European Union through the Regional Operational Programme of “Attica” in the framework of NSRF 2014-2020, performs under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and is realized in partnership with Onassis Culture.