Massimiliano Mollona, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London, will lead the Athens Biennale for the next two years, running a daring and experimental programme which highlights the current views on contemporary art and unfolds in three strands of debate and research intervention:
- the emergence of alternative economies,
- the performative in the political; and
- the establishment of institutions that redefine existing structures.
Unlike traditional biennial formats Mollona’s, role of Programme Director will combine theory, curating and process-based urban interventions.
Programme Director’s statement:
“Greece is at a historical juncture. In spite of wide popular opposition against debt, welfare cuts and privatisations, the country was forced into a new regime of austerity by the European Union. But popular mobilisation for a just and human economy remains strong. At issue is not only Greece’s future but the very future of democracy in Europe.
The Athens Biennale aspires to be a stage for the experiments of grassroots democracy and economic solidarity that are spreading throughout Greece and in Europe’s South. More than art in the service of society, it is art as an experimental space for new modes of thinking and performing life.
How can art and cultural institutions contribute to this moment of radical change? How can they rethink their traditional institutional structures and build grassroots, discursive, dispersed and processual forms of cultural production?
Building on its tradition of independent, cross-disciplinary and discursive cultural institution, the Athens Biennale will run over two years (conflating the current and the future editions) through an ongoing programme of residencies, talks and laboratories in key neighborhoods of Athens. Within the framework of “OMONOIA” the Biennale will host various cultural and activist groups that deal with issues of coproduction, self-organisation and urban commoning and also function as an institutional space where the realm of the political is reframed through the lenses of art. These meetings, laboratories and discussions will be the experimental “engines” of the Athens Biennale, lasting at least until 2017. Nevertheless, our ambition is that the programme of the Athens Biennale will become permanent“.