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 documenta 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 center, 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 organization’s parternships, 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 center 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.

DATES

June 2015 – April 2017

VENUES

Bageion, Omonoia

POSTER

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

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Massimiliano Mollona

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

Volunteers & Internships Office

Dimitris Alibertis

Anastasios Sarelas

Volunteers

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

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

Photographers

Nyssos Vasilopoulos

PHOTOS

Photography © Nysos Vasilopoulos

VIDEO