Athens, September 4, 2018
The Athens Biennale strongly and actively opposes fascism and anti-semitism. Its organizers and curators are actively participating in struggles against fascism and anti-semitism, among other issues. Our institution will not censor different strategies and opinions on how to deal with these urgencies. Bigotry and intolerance have no space in the Athens Biennale.
We, the curators of the Biennale’s upcoming 6th edition, ANTI, have invited Daniel Keller and LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner to exhibit.
Luke Turner, a member of the artist trio LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner, demanded from the curators to expel another participating artist, Daniel Keller, as a prerequisite for his participation at the 6th Athens Biennale ANTI. Turner suggested that Keller is complicit with neo-reactionary ideas and networks. We immediately and thoroughly investigated the issue; spoke to Turner and his collaborators Shia LaBeouf and Nastja Rönkkö, as well as to Daniel Keller. No substantial evidence was offered or discovered proving that Daniel Keller supports anti-semitic or fascist ideas, on Twitter or elsewhere. Daniel Keller’s work, and specifically the work he will be exhibiting at the Athens Biennale, offers a critical, thorough analysis of today’s reactionary politics and the alt-right.
We renewed our invitation to LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner to participate in the exhibition and use it as a rostrum to address issues of reactionary politics, and anti-semitism in particular. We will not participate in attempts to silence another anti-fascist Jewish voice, that of Daniel Keller, or other voices against anti-semitism. Turner’s public address is false, defamatory and contributes to the trivialization of the issues it purportedly addresses.
ANTI is not a neutral discussion platform but an agonistic space hosting different approaches on how to deal with ominous tendencies in politics and culture. Diverse voices are essential to initiate a meaningful discussion on how to combat such issues. Dealing with these controversial issues is the exact core of the conceptual framework of the exhibition and denotes the urgency of ANTI.
The curators of the 6th Athens Biennale ANTI
Stefanie Hessler / Kostis Stafylakis / Poka-Yio