How the Seventh Athens Biennale Would Queer History Itself
Judy Chicago, Immolation from Women and Smoke (1972). Fireworks performance. Performed in the California Desert. © Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Through the Flower Archives. Courtesy the artist; Salon 94, New York; and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco.
Over 80 Artists have been announced for the seventh Athens Biennale, which will take place from 24 September to 28 November 2021.
The exhibition is being co-curated by Ghanaian-American curator Larry Ossei-Mensah and artist collective Omsk Social Club, who use methodologies such as Live Action Role Play (Larp) to explore topics such as rave culture, survivalism, cat fishing, and positive trolling.
The title of the exhibition is ECLIPSE. It aims to amplify Black, queer, speculative, and radical artistic voices as a means of revisiting identities and queering history.
Omsk Social Club said the exhibition will explore how to 'fathom a new potential of experience not only in our artistic practices but one that begins in our emotive bodies.'
'We hope this can address the lives we live "differently",' they said.
The exhibition will take place across three buildings: the neo-Baroque Sina Hall, which was converted into offices before it was abandoned in 2008 during the global financial crisis; eight-floor department store Fokas, empty since 2013; and the old Santaroza Courthouse in Justice Square, where communist party member Nikos Beloyannis was sentenced to death in 1952. The courthouse has been sealed up for the past 30 years.
In a statement, the biennale said these locations are evocative of the bankruptcy of contemporary Greece and possibilities for a post-capitalist era.
'When it started, [the biennale's] scope was to help place Athens on the international contemporary art map,' said Poka-Yio, founding director of the Athens Biennale and artistic director of ECLIPSE.
Now, he said, it aims 'to help the Athenian cultural scene contribute to the international discourse by providing the alternative perspective of an evolving metropolis.' —[O]
*denotes new commission
manuel arturo abreu,
as they lay w/ Abdu Ali + Markele Cullins*,
DETACH (Voltnoi & Quetempo)*,
Happy New Tears*,
HellFun (Josefin Arnell & Max Göran)*,
Jack Hogan & Trakal*,
Deborah Joyce Holman & Yara Dulac Gisler*,
Navine G. Khan-Dossos*,
Kris Lemsalu & Kyp Malone*,
Marissa Malik & Yeshe Bahamon-Beesley*,
Omsk Social Club*,
Ebony G. Patterson,
Kameelah Janan Rasheed,
Victoria Santa Cruz,
Paul Mpagi Sepuya,
Jakob Kudsk Steensen,
The Critics Company,
the Mycological Twist*,
Hank Willis Thomas,
Cajsa von Zeipel*,