AB5to6: OMONOIA

The Athens Biennale, constantly intuitive towards the institution of biennales, revises its identity by extending its duration to two years. Bridging the past to the present and the future, the fifth edition of the Biennale (2015) merges with the sixth (2017). The Athens Biennale 2015 – 2017, a daring and experimental endeavor launches its activities in June 2015 and peaks in June 2017 with the opening of documents 14.

In view of the critical historical juncture, the Athens Biennale 2015 – 2017 focuses on burning issues such as the emergence of alternative economies, the performative in the political and the establishment of institutions that redefine the systems structures and its pre-existing models, while highlighting the current views of contemporary art.

The Athens Biennale 2015 – 2017: “OMONOIA”  builds on the successful fourth edition of (AGORA) 2013 forming a curatorial team consisting of social philosophers, political thinkers, art theorists, curators and artists. The Athens Biennale 2015 – 2017 arises as a reaction to the current political and social conditions and a need to activate the public through art and contemporary theoretical viewpoints.

The Athens Biennale’s 2015 – 2017: “OMONOIA” launches a two-year period of activities that will run from June 2015 through the summer of 2017, in various venues across the Athens centre, and, more specifically, at Omonoia square. The aim of this two-year period and the collaboration with the Municipality of Athens is the discovery of a permanent location for the organisation’s partnerships, from which point the activities of Athens Biennale 2015 – 2017 will take place. The creation of a cultural centre in a period of crisis and cultural reconstruction led the Athens Biennale 2015 – 2017 to Omonoia square and the selection of the former hotel Bageion as the symbolic starting point for the unfolding of the artistic program.

The four-storey listed building of the former hotel Bageion, an excellent example of the Athenian urban architecture, dates back to the late of the 19th century. Ernst Ziller built the hotel between 1890-1894 after the donation of Ioannis Bagas, The Bageion located in Omonoia square, the oldest square in Athens, which until 1930 was the centre of secular life and commercial point of the city. In the basement of the hotel was housed a traditional cafe with habitués from all social strata of life, who found there freedom from the conservatism of the time. In the early 1920s the Bageion becomes a spiritual refuge for the young writers of the time (Mitsos Papanikolaou, Napoleon Lapathiotis, Tellos Agras, Minos Zotos, Nick Saravas) and becomes one of the most important places where the new generation of the Greek Literature was formed later.

SYNAPSE 1

The Athens Biennale 2015 – 2017 “OMONOIA” began a two-year-long collective experiment which will transform the Omonoia area into a social laboratory of ideas with the contribution of anthropologists, researchers, activists, academics, artists, civic organisations and self-managed groups.

It began its official programme on November 18, 2015 with Synapse 1 : Introducing a laboratory for production post-2011. During Synapse 1 the  Athens Biennale inhabits the grater area of Omonoia, joins forces and shares its spaces and facilities with cultural institutions, such as the National Theatre of Greece, non-profit art organisations, individual artists and groups. From the empty of building Bageion, which serves as the central venue, the Athens Biennale expands across independent art initiatives, shops and small-scale enterprises that operate in the area. Massimiliano Mollona, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London, is the Programme Director of the Athens Biennale 2015-2017 “OMONOIA”.

SYNAPSE 2

The Athens Biennale 2015 ― 2017 OMONOIA presented Synapse 2: Rethinking Institutional Critique – A View from the South. Synapse 2, the second peak of the 2-year programme of AB5to6, consists of the international summit and the second strand of the cohabitation experiment in Bageion.

The international summit opened on Friday April 15 at the National Theatre – New Rex (48, Panepistimiou Str., Athens) and continued on Saturday April 16 at Bageion (18, Omonoia Square, Athens). More than 35 international scholars, artists, activists and cultural organisations are invited to rethink institutional models and ways of working together, by reimagining the analytical framework of institutional critique and embracing the perspective of the European South.

The residents of Bageion, art collectives and independent art spaces, inhabited the rooms of the disused hotel. Their creative labour is focused on this new approach on institutionalism and comes to life during a condensed, 10-day long programme of artistic and curatorial activity.

PROGRAMME DIRECTOR
Massimiliano Mollona

DATES
June 2015 – April 2017

VENUE
Bageion Hotel, Omonoia

CONTRIBUTORS
Amalagama Dance Company, Artist Initiative, Sotirios Bahtsetzis, Brett Bailey, Beton 7, C.A.S.A., Vasyl Cherapanyn, Carabet Chupacabra, Vasif Cortun, Thomas Diafas, The Dome Project, Sofia Dona, Anastasia Douka, Entos/Ektos, Fatma Ergkiounker, Ramy Essam, European Alternatives, Exile Room, Geopolitics Group, Dimitris Ginosatis, Greek Artists Initiative, Tania Hron, Amin Husain, HYLE, Tatiana Ilichenko & Moritz Metzner, Khaled Jarrar, Lamia Joreige, Fanis Kafantaris, Francesco Kais, Christos Karakepelis, Katayoun Karami, Athanasios Karanikolas, Valentina Karga, Nikos Kessanlis, Georgia Kotretsos, Krytyka Polityczna, Napoleon Lapathiotis, Grigoris Liakopoulos, Ektor Lygizos, Marta Madej,Mriganka Madhukallya, Barbara Marcel, Jenny Marketou & The CalArts, Rilene Markopoulou & Eva Giannakopoulou, Hiroshi McDonald, Ioulia Mermigka, Hiroshi McDonald Morj, Alyssa Moxley, Daniel Mutzel, Marita Muukkonen, Openshowstudio, Yannick Oster, Maria-Louisa Ouranou, Playroom, Paul B. Preciado, Laure Prouvost, Neda Razavipour, Residents of Mets Initiative, Oliver Ressler & Dario Assellini, Georgia Sagri, Sebastian Schafer, Panos Sklavenitis, Sound Development City, Raimar Stange, Katerina Stassinopoulos, Station Athens, Ivor Stodolsky, Joulia Strauss, Rafal Swirek, Kuba Szreder, Theaster Gates, Issa Touma, Transition Group, Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou, Under Construction, Urban Dig Project, Filippos Vasileiou, Augustus Veinoglou, Kostas Voulgaris, Rainer Werner Fassbinder

TEAM

Head of Production & International Projects
Marilena Batali

Programme Co-ordinators
Alkisti Efthymiou
Vanessa Melissourgaki
Nefeli Myrodia
Katerina Nikou

Curatorial Assistants
Stella Angelidou
Ioannis Chalas
Wasil Schauseil

Production Team
Myrto Christou
Artemis Kotioni
Maya Mitrousia
Georgia Nikologianni

Press Office
Fotini Barka
Rodis Savvakis

Communication Co-ordinators
Vassiliki Soulani
Magda Terzidou

Social Media Team
Dimitris Alibertis
Vasilia Choulidou
Constantinos Morfakis
Konstantina Panteli
Anastasios Sarelas

Communication Team
Dimitris Alibertis
Vasilia Choulidou
Eva Galatsanou
Anastasia Laboglou
Simoni Niarou
Konstantina Panteli
Dafni Passa
Constantinos Raptopoulos
Katie Whittaker

Graphic Design
Studio Christos Lialios

Website Design
Studio Christos Lialios
Stella Markidi

Venue Manager
Thanos Katergaris

Audiovisual Equipment
Plaisio Computers
Yannis Malatantis

Exhibition Installation
Move Art S.A.

Audiovisual Documentation
Nysos Vasilopoulos
Dimitris Diakoumopoulos
Thodoris Popeskou
Apostolos Strantzalis

TV Spots
VICE

Radio Spots
Beton 7

Volunteers & Internships Office
Dimitris Alibertis
Anastasios Sarelas

Stavroula Aggelaki
Eleftheria Anagnostopoulou
Joanna Arvaniti
Irene Attanasio
Nasia Bania
Maria Fragouli
Kilda Gjini
Maria Goutra
Adamantia Chelioti
Irini Chranioti
Margarita Chomatianou
Eva Dermitzaki
Aggeliki Diamanti
Nickolena Kalaitzaki
Mariadni Karachaliou
Olga Koutroumanou
Tzina Kouvara
Penny Krikou
Lia Lazaridou
Elli Leventaki
Vasiliki Lekou
Zafiris Magarakis
Gabriela Marco Martinez
Constantina Mastrokostopoulou
Polyxeni Michalopoulou
Nickos Nickolakakos
Eleftheria Ntinopoulou
Eleni Palatou
Tzortzina Pantazopoulou
Eleni Papaioannou
Lina Patmali
Marianthi Roussou
Christina Skitsa
Tonia Stefanatou
Maria Voltsi

PHOTOS

Installation views from the 5th Athens Biennale 2015-2017 OMONOIA © Athens Biennale

VIDEOS