Natasa Biza - Σχέδιο φύτευσης / Planting project (2014)

Archive photo from the Athenian Agora Excavations - American School of Classical Studies at Athens


The Other designs. Historical authenticity as artistic project

Exhibition duration: 30. October - 22. November 2014

Panel discussion: November 1st, 2014 | 17.00
Artists: Natasa Βiza | Roland Regner | Romy Rüegger | Vassilis Vlastaras
Curators: Heiko Schmid | Kostis Stafylakis

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 14.00-20.30 | Saturday 14.00-18.00 | Sundays closed

“All countries are burdened by their history, but the past weighs particularly heavily on Greece.” This sentence opens up historian Richard Clogg’s book, A concise history of Greece. And Clogg, at the beginning of his book further speaks of a “burden of antiquity” Greece is carrying, but leaves no suggestion of how history can develop ‘weight’ at all.

*As part of the exhibition "The Other designs. Historical authenticity as artistic project" and the work of the artist Romy Rüegger: Rerouted and Disordered: On Backgrounds and Background Listening - a Narrative Investigation" you can bring and play your favorite vinyl records!

To explain this “burden” all countries have in regard to their past, and using Greece as an example, one has to explore various historical layers. A starting point could be the initial unveiling by central-European archaeologists of ancient historical sites in Greece during 19th century. Another point to consider would be the architectural developments in Athens which, during the same period, began to use the classicist “language of forms” thus proclaiming a certain central-European image of antiquity. And in considering these exemplary two points one must also take into account that these “developments” were subject to local adaptations and revisions skewing the perception of a historical “authenticity”. With reciprocal affinity, both western and local/diasporic classicism and romanticism shape the imaginary/ aesthetic horizon which fashions the Greek attitude towards its history.

The exhibition and publication project The Other designs, adopts a critical viewpoint shared by many contemporary academics that highlights how the institutionalization of antiquity as “national heritage” has shaped an ideological framework for experiencing and performing a national identity. This viewpoint kick starts an approach to the idea that nations such as Greece are in some way a multifaceted constellation of projections. The Other designs, aims to contribute to the current re-examination of historical authenticity by reflecting upon the status of national identity as a kind of “artistic” setup.

The publication contextualizing the exhibition consists of texts by Sofia Bempeza (Artist, Art Theorist, Assistant Professor for Art & Media at Zürich University of the Arts), Robin Klimecki (Lecturer, University of Bristol), Elpida Rikou (Anthropologist and Artist), Eleana Yalouri (Assistant Professor, Dept of Social Anthropology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences) as well as of the curators of the exhibition Heiko Schmid (Assistant Professor for Art- and Cultural Theorie, Zurich University of Arts) and Kostis Stafylakis (Art Theorist, Teaching Fellow in “Research-based Art” at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit of the Athens School of Fine Arts). The publication includes artistic inputs contributed by Greek artists Natasa Biza, Vassilis Vlastaras and Zafos Xagoraris and Swiss artist Romy Rüegger. The publication was developed by the Swiss-German artist Roland Regner as a contribution to the exhibition.

The project is supported by the “Dossier Internationales” of Zürich University of Arts.

The project will consist of: An exhibition in the Beton7 Athens, A publication with texts of international researchers
A panel discussion at Beton7 Athens
A presentation of exhibition documentations as well as the project publication in Zürich.

Under the auspices of the Embassy of Switzerland in Greece.

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