The 6th Athens Biennale flirts with the term, the attitude, the (im)possibility of ANTI, asking: How does opposition play out today? What kind of identities does it forge? ANTI deals with phenomena of normalization of opposition and non-conformity, from politics to web culture, from videogames to Netflix, from Zizek to Rihanna.
Fall 2018 will mark a decade of crisis in which Athens has been an incubator of revolt, opposition, reaction and regression. In 2017, the Athens Biennale organized a series of performative events under the title Waiting for the Barbarians, and declared a strategic postponing of AB6 in a year of “Active Waiting”. “Active Waiting” was intended as a playful exercise on the political imagination of large-scale periodic exhibitions, and functioned as a prelude to ANTI.
photo © Nysos Vasilopoulos
ANTI, curated by Stefanie Hessler, Kostis Stafylakis and Poka-Yio, considers attitudes of opposition, non-conformity and marginality. Instead of assuming a position of critical detachment, ANTI introduces us to the pleasure and discomfort embodied in both revolt and reaction. It does not seek to merely outline such fantasies; we cannot fight reactionary culture and politics in the “post-truth” era with yet another ANTI. To deal with ANTI means to oscillate between power and revolt by internalizing, reenacting or cannibalizing both. As such, AB6 is designed as a distilled, intensified reality — a constellation of functional spaces that invites visitors to indulge in ANTI. These devices assume forms of actual domains shaping our lives today: the gym, the office, the tattoo studio, the dating website, the migration office, the shopping mall, the nightclub, the church, the dark room . The Athens Biennale aims to instigate the experience of ambiguity, polarity and contrariness inherent in ANTI by lubricating the absurd personification of such currents. The exhibition, here, becomes a purgatory without a purge.
More than 100 international artists, media creators and theorists will participate in ANTI. The exhibition venues and full participants’ list will be announced soon.
Cabaret Negatif is programmed by FYTA with Nayia Yiakoumaki and will be running throughout the duration of ANTI.
Two limited-edition Crypto Certificates by Ed Fornieles Studios will be sold to help fund the production of a large-scale LARP The Group as well as the Athens Biennale itself. Collectors of these limited edition prints will be able to share future profits generated by the sale of work developed through The Group performance.