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”.
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.