Berlin Biennale 7, Occupy Berlin Biennale 7 and Occupy Occupy Berlin Biennale 7 are similar in many ways, unfortunately one of their common traits is simulation, the other one we must point out is strategic ignorance and even refusal of critique. While 2012ISTHESEASONFORTREASON came to an end with an engaged discussion of neo-fascism in broader social context (specifically its involvement with neofolk and martial industrial music scene, as well as its influence on both the youth subculture and official “mainstream” politics in Greece), subsequent Kavecs Projects presentation in KW Institute For Contemporary Art was simulated into non-existence. Kavecs Projects clearly fell out of the Occupy line – was that a reason for the unannounced re-scheduling of the talk on the night before it took place in KW?
Strangely, there was no notice over FB, Twitter or the official Occupy BB7 website about the change of the time for event entitled “Kostis Stafylakis: Third Positionism and the politics of Greek indignados/ Image Wars: an introduction by Sotirios Bahtsetzis”. An ad for the talks as taking place at 20:00 on Monday 14 May remained on the official OccupyBB7 website till late into the night of Sunday 13 May (it might still be available here). Only then was the allocated times were changed into 14:00 – 16:00. Due to the fact that even general assemblies of OccupyBB7 fail to gather a significant number of people, leave alone the fact that all documentation of the “occupied” KW leave a depressing image of “social activism”, the sudden and unannounced change of the scheduled times for Kostis’ and Sotiros’ presentation could only reduce the number of people attending, and certainly not increase it.
So far OccupyBB7 issued no critique of the BB7 itself, which received numerous serious comments, even from the “mainstream” press, which targeted the persisting nationalism, racism and ethnic separatism of the BB7. Neither OccupyBB7 nor Occupy OccupyBB7 issued any commentary about the named issues. This is not a case of only disrupting someone’s career (although we admit it would be a significant progress in the anti-racist project), it is a case of the clear (and not only political) positioning. The depressing OccupyBB7 silence about the “cultural” problems of their leaders (BB7 curators) end up affirming the source of social injustice they initially claim to oppose. “Financial Capitalism” is not the only problem to be solved. Eurocentric “Serious” Bourgeois Culture of which art is part and parcel is at the core of reinventing the capitalist project, and Berlin Biennale 7 is so stupid it doesn’t take much effort to realize this.
Once again, we present you with Kavecs Project, who took part in our program 2012ISTHESEASONFORTREASON:
The artists, and their collaborators, put to the test several forms of artistic interventionism in order to reprocess public discourse and its hegemonic “nodal points.” They impersonated authorities and misused positions of power. The artistic practice employed by Kavecsprojects is inspired by practices of “overidentification”, but tries to further blur the boundaries between incarnating a hegemonic identity and subverting it. By trying to avoid overt mockery and offer bemusing, persuasive and elaborate situations-speeches-impersonations, the kavecs artists try to test the viewer’s identifications and enhance a detailed reflection on cultural and social dogmas.
“The Black Circle: An answer to a misguided comrade.”
Action at Outlet Space (2011)
Video Installation (23 min).
The Black Circle project was conceived by Kostis Stafylakis and Vana Kostayola as a response to a series of events that took place in the aftermath of the Greek December 2008. The uprisings of December 2008 were triggered by the murder of a youngster by a police officer and soon became a massive protest against the conservative government of Kostas Karamanlis. During street fights a large number of buildings in the Athenian center were burned. The generalized uprising enhanced the rapid radicalization-politicization of parts of the Greek youth. Among the existing leftist, autonomist and anarchist groups, concentrated in the Athenian area of Exarcheia, some rather newborn, albeit preexisting, groups emerged in public space. Namely, two youth groups that belong to the ambiguous current of Autonomous Nationalism and/or National Anarchism: a “third position” synthesis of nationalism, anti-capitalism and anarchism that is now revived in different countries across Europe. One of these groups appears in public wearing white Guy Fawkes (V for Vendetta) masks. The “Black Circle” started as a simulation of an existing National Anarchist group. This strategy involved an appropriation of the aesthetic and discursive practices of these groups. The video documents a “Black Circle” speech at Outlet space (Athens).
“Threnodies: Reflections on the merchant, the geographer and the snake in Antoine de Saint Exupery´s “Little Prince.””
Video installation (11 min.)
(The rest of the video is available to everyone after contacting the artists.)
A threnody is a weeping poem-song. The Threnodies project is a critical reflection on the public discourse of the greek version of the indignados movement. The narration employs the leitmotiv of Antoine’s de Saint Exupery’s “Little Prince” and examines three figures of this famous storyline. Along with the hegemony of despair and miserabilism, a peculiar form of ethnopopulism with anti-Semitic edges prevailed. The performances include references to the nationalist discourse of the famous composer Mikis Theodorakis, references to W. Benjamin’s Critique of Violence and references to the slogan of “direct democracy”
Visit Kavecs Projects @ http://kavecsprojects.com/