MONODROME’s Curators Talk-3rd Athens Biennale 2011

2011年第三届雅典双年展——“单值”策展人访谈

来源:Yatzer 作者:Apostolos Mitsios 编译:顾灵

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雅典,希腊的首都,作为当下全球瞩目的焦点正经历着历史性的关键转变,然而经历严重的金融危机并不意味着同样经历创意危机。2011年第三届雅典双年展“单值”(10月23日 – 12月11日),希腊最大的国际当代艺术展,是城市脉搏跳动活力的例证。尽管艺术并非是所有问题的解决之道,但定能引发一些有趣的问题。由知名策展人、评论家Nicolas Bourriaud[i]与XYZ[ii](其成员Xenia Kalpaktsoglou & Poka-Yio是雅典双年展的联合总监)组成的策展团队以“单值”(MONODROME)的主题在转角邂逅了一个几乎不真实的巧合:小王子遇见瓦尔特•本雅明(The Little Prince meets Walter Benjamin)。
雅典双年展三部曲的前两部分别为2007年的“摧毁雅典”(DESTROY ATHENS )与2009年的“天堂”(Heaven)。“单值”(MONODROME)在雅典市中心网罗大量活动与项目尽纳伞下,总计110位参展艺术家与众多演出、互动、工作坊与公开讲座。第三届雅典双年展的展馆分设于Plateia Theatrou的Diplareios School (一所成立于20世纪、招生广泛、影响深远的工艺学院),位于Parko Eleftherias的艺术中心,与Eleftherios Venizelos美术馆与反独裁民主抵抗博物馆(the Museum of Anti-dictatorial Democratic Resistance)。

我们诚邀您阅读下文与第三届雅典双年展策展人Nicolas Bourriaud 与XYZ的访谈,探索展览中所有潜藏的小秘密!

问:雅典当下正经历着前所未有的危机,既来自经济也来自道德。与此同时举办一场大型艺术展览的难度可想而知,因为城市的一切都无时不刻地改变着。现状局势是如何影响第三届雅典双年展的策展的?
希腊的当前局势异常艰难与复杂,这让双年展不可避免地被牵扯为一个政治决定。“单值”(MONODROME)处于希腊当代史空前危机的正中,这一危机远远超越了经济范畴。整个国家踟蹰于银行破产的沼泽地里,文化教育的拨款无疑被头号减免。过去的十年见证了双年展的一系列“一鸣惊人”,乐于强调国家与城市的政治形势与情状,且对市场敞开怀抱。如今的金融危机让我们不得不反思,双年展是否也可是一个暂停、自我反省的时刻,一种假以质询我们的审美价值及其与政治或伦理关系的渠道。“单值”是一个仓促的构想,其表达的意义很是苍白。展览截至目前没有一个赞助商,国家的支持还未确认,因此展览的实现全需感谢每一个参与人,他们的热情与合作、坚定与耐性和富于远见的信任,尤其是来自广大志愿者的无价付出,感谢雅典双年展的朋友们。

今年的双年展有何值得期待的精彩内容?你们此次的最大理想与担忧是什么?
希腊危机并非纯粹是一个国家的危机,它来自全球金融语境,并影响全球经济局势。这是对经济泡沫破裂的本土衰败,后者影响着当代社会的各个层面。如何才能不自欺欺人地描述对其的感知与思考?我们决定反省这一局势的最佳方式是组织一股策展力量,来挑战我们对希腊局势的立场。就某种意义上说,“单值”试图把多样的迷局碎片拼出一张完整“此时此地”说明书,以此反映全球化与区域性之间错综复杂的关系,确定探索文化行动“新模式”的基调。“单值”理想的展出并非锦上添花的艺术,而是对既定社会中的社会讨论的关键因素。

第三届雅典双年展背后的主题是一场别致的邂逅:小王子遇见瓦尔特·本雅明。这个点子是怎么来的?这场想象的邂逅与双年展有着怎样的联系?
“单值”借鉴了瓦尔特·本雅明的生活与创作,灵感也同样来自其同名书(单向街, 1928)。试图通过小王子与瓦尔特·本雅明之间的虚构对话来表达某种讲述。当这名学者在面对逐步升级的窘迫忧虑时退避三舍,小王子却以其让人开怀的童言无忌不断向局势本身提问。

第三届雅典双年展“单值”是自2007年首届双年展“摧毁雅典”(Destroy Athens)与其后2009年的“天堂”(Heaven)以来三部曲的最后一部。每次展览的标题都引发某种期待,在我们前往参观展览之前就已形成了某种预设的印象。展览主题“单值”从何而来?独立个体的自由在情势中的立场是否被考虑为一条单向街?摧毁是否是通往天堂的唯一“单值”?
“摧毁雅典”是针对包含终极死胡同—“死亡”—的个体死胡同的叙述性研究。第二届雅典双年展“天堂”好比幕间节目,讨论失落的天堂、20世纪未实现的乌托邦。今年的第三届绕个圈回到首届双年展的主旨,为整体融合增添了一个新层次,这次被堵在死胡同里的不再只是个人、而是集体。在历史大步流星地更迭展开的当下,艺术不得不对抗功利喧哗的复制,单向街正是对自虐与灾难欲望的质问。

为何选择Diplareios School,Eleftherios Venizelos美术馆与反独裁民主抵抗博物馆(the Museum of Anti-dictatorial Democratic Resistance)作为展馆?在艺术与展馆空间之间是否有明确的对话?
每届双年展都迁向不同的场地;对展馆的选择基于主题并对之有所提升。“单值”讨论与强调的是多重结构(国家的、历史的、政治的、文化的、教育的等)与“社会体制”观念及其“纪律”性。这些话题首先被所选的展馆所凸显;正如第三届希腊双年展的展馆均占领了中央舞台。位于Plateia Theatrou的Diplareios School(一所成立于20世纪、招生广泛、影响深远的工艺学院),这座破败的建筑处于城市中心却逐渐为人遗忘。此外,位于Eleftherias Park(自由公园)的艺术中心和Eleftherios Venizelos博物馆均是希腊现代史中的重要场所,艺术品将在这三处与历史档案、文献、文物与“遗迹”同场陈列,勾勒出希腊与第三届雅典双年展“单值”的图景:一座透着既定衰败但奋起反抗的荒废破旧的博物馆。

第三届雅典双年展“单值”(MONODROME)© 雅典双年展

2011年第三届雅典双年展包含一场国际展览与一部影片展映。

这组蓄意地特别配对揭示了展览发生的语境:持续升温的社会政局与经济动荡,喻示着展览将用人性而诗意的语言风格展开讲述。

雅典、希腊,正处于全球社会经济震荡的中心,其余震不仅尚未平息反而日益加剧:展览将如何对此进行反思,不仅局限于当地、国家,而是以全球化的视角?是否可以就此轻易地指向所谓的“希腊门”(Greek example)——历史的关键转折点?

2011年第三届雅典双年展的策展人团队相信希腊对其所处的大环境而言是被过度嘲弄然而未被过度曝光的典型,它势必成为文化研究的焦点。从某种角度说来,过去几年中的展览简单、重复并僵化为某种常规,且已不再悲怀更谈不上道德感。因此,策展人决定将这些话题植入展览概念框架与双年展本身的展览形式中双管齐下:一是将双年展转变为一场静坐示威或聚众集会,邀请政治机构与市民参与到改变社会的行动中,共同创造一个政治时刻而非政治表演舞台。其二,展览设计、制造与发展的多样丰富为Nicolas Bourriaud 执导的影片提供基础,这部基于真实事件的科幻影片将首次以如此通透而富于创意的方式探究当代艺术与电影语言之间的关系。

双年展期过后,影片的最终版本将同步面向当代艺术界与电影界发行,影片执行制片为常驻巴黎的Kino Prod (www.kino.fr) 。

双年展将发行一本画册与配套DVD,包含参展艺术家的影像与文字资料。

“单值”旨在引发针对已毁的讨论,同时也可一瞥将至的新鲜。

From Yatzer By Apostolos Mitsios, 02 November 2011

Athens, the capital of a nation that is experiencing what can only be described as profound historical moments, may be at the center of the world’s attention but one should have in mind that going through a financial crisis does not necessarily mean going through a creative crisis as well. The 3rd Athens Biennale 2011 MONODROME (23 October- 11 December 2011), the largest international contemporary art exhibition in Greece, is proof that the heart of the city is still beating hard.  After all, art may not be the answer to all problems but it can certainly raise some interesting questions. Curated by renowned curator and art theorist Nicolas Bourriaud and X&Y (Xenia Kalpaktsoglou & Poka-Yio, co-directors of the Athens Biennale), MONODROME revolves around an unlikely encounter: the Little Prince meets Walter Benjamin.

The 3rd Athens Biennale is the final part of a trilogy which started with DESTROY ATHENS 2007 and continued with HEAVEN 2009MONODROME functions as a network umbrella that embraces many events and projects in the centre of Athens, with 110 participating artists plus an array of performances, interventions, workshops and public talks. The 3rd Athens Biennale is being held at the Diplareios School at Plateia Theatrou (a seminal Arts & Crafts School that operated for the largest part of the 20th century) and a complex of venues atParko Eleftherias, including the Arts Centre, the Eleftherios Venizelos Museum and the Museum of Anti-dictatorial Democratic Resistance.

We invite you to discover all the little surprises that the 3rd Athens Biennale holds for you, through a detailed interview that its curators, Nicolas Bourriaud and X&Y (Xenia Kalpaktsoglou & Poka-Yio), gave to Yatzer. Enjoy!

Athens is a city that is experiencing an immense crisis at this very moment, not only economically but morally as well. I find it quite challenging preparing a major art event in a city where everything is under a constant transformation. In which way has this influenced the way that you curated the 3rd Biennale of Athens?
Things here in Greece are exceptionally difficult and complicated so maintaining the Biennale as such was in itself a political decision. MONODROME is being realized in the midst of an unprecedented crisis in contemporary Greek history, which indeed goes beyond its economical dimension. As the country lingers on the verge of bankruptcy, the funding for culture and education are among the first to suffer. The last decades have seen the emergence of biennials as programmed “blockbusters”, willing to highlight a national scene and/or contribute to a city-branding politics, and are largely market-oriented. The financial crisis is forcing us to think about how a biennial can also be a pause, a reflexive moment, a vehicle with which we can question our aesthetic values and their relation to politics or ethics. MONODROME was conceived in a state of emergency and produced with very frugal means. The exhibition has hardly any sponsors and state support is still unconfirmed so it is materializing thanks to the enthusiasm and cooperation of all participants, the conviction and stamina of a dedicated team of people working for the organization, the invaluable assistance of a larger group of volunteers and the trust of visionary individuals, the Friends of the Athens Biennale.

What should we expect from this year’s Biennale? Which is your greatest aspiration and which is your greatest fear?
The Greek crisis is not a purely national crisis; it is affecting the whole planet and comes from an international financial context. It is the local declination of the explosion of an economic bubble which affects every society today. How would it be possible to describe it without double-crossing the perspectives? We decided that the best way to reflect this situation was to organize a curatorial counter shot, to confront our position about the Greek landscape. In a sense, MONODROME seeks to assemble the diverse pieces of a speculative puzzle that addresses the “here and now”, reflecting on the complex relations between the global and the local, and setting the tone for the exploration of “new modes” of cultural action. Ideally, MONODROME shows that art is not a supplement to a wealthy context, but an essential element in the social negotiations within a given society.

The main idea behind the 3rd Biennale of Athens is a very particular encounter: The Little Prince meets Walter Benjamin. How did you come up with the idea? How did this imaginary meeting condition your approach to the event?
MONODROME draws upon the life and work of Walter Benjamin and is loosely inspired by his book by the same title (One Way Street, 1928). It is an attempt to articulate a narrative via the imaginary dialogue between The Little Prince and Walter Benjamin. As the intellectual retreats defeated in the face of the escalated distress, the Little Prince keeps questioning this condition with the disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child.

The 3rd Athens Biennale 2011 Monodrome is the final part of a trilogy which started with Destroy Athens 2007 and continued with Heaven 2009. Every title raises expectations since we have already formed an idea before deciding to visit the exhibition. Why Monodrome? Where does personal freedom stand in a situation that is perceived as a one way road? Is destruction the only “monodrome” to heaven?
Destroy Athens was a narrative study on personal dead ends concluding with the ultimate dead end; death. The second Athens Biennale, HEAVEN, was an interlude in which we dealt with the lost heavens, the unrealized utopias of the 20th century. The third edition makes all of this come full circle by returning to the first biennale motif and adds a new level of integration since this time around the dead end stops being personal and becomes collective. At a time when history is unfolding at an accelerated pace, art cannot but defy the reproduction of teleological pronouncements and the One-Way-Street questions the lust for self-flagellation and catastrophe.

Why did you choose the Diplareios School, the Eleftherios Venizelos Museum and the Museum of Anti-dictatorial Democratic Resistance for this year’s Biennale of Athens? Is there a specific dialogue you wanted to establish between the art and the venues?
In each biennale we move to a different site and a different location; our selection of venues is informed by the concept and also adds to it. MONODROME addresses and emphasizes various structures (national, historical, political, cultural, educational etc.) as well as the notion of the “sociology of institutions” and their “disciplinarily” character. These issues are primarily highlighted by the selection of the exhibition venues; the buildings that host the 3rd Athens Biennale take centre stage. Diplareios School- a seminal Arts & Crafts School that operated for the largest part of the 20th century – is located at Plateia Theatrou, a degraded block in the heart of the city that had fallen into oblivion. In addition, the venues at Eleftherias Park (Park of Liberty), namely the Arts Centre and the Eleftherios Venizelos Museum, constitute focal sites of Modern Greek history.  In all three spaces artworks are put side by side with historical archives, documents, artifacts and  ‘ruins’, mapping Greece and the 3rd Athens Biennale MONODROME as a derelict museum that transmits and resists the predetermined downfall.

3rd Athens Biennale 2011 MONODROME
© Athens Biennale

3rd Athens Biennale 2011 MONODROME

23 October – 11 December 2011
Curators: Nicolas Bourriaud & XYZ 
Various venues

The 3rd Athens Biennale 2011 is a double project in the form of an international exhibition and a feature film.

Curated by renowned curator and art theorist Nicolas Bourriaud and XYZ (Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Poka-Yio and Augustine Zenakos, the curatorial trio which founded the Athens Biennale), MONODROME revolves around an unlikely encounter: The Little Prince meets Walter Benjamin. This intentionally peculiar coupling of the two figures acts as the ground onto which the ongoing worldwide sociopolitical and financial upheaval will be examined, through a narrative that will address humanity in a universal and poetic manner.

Athens, and Greece for that matter, has been the epicenter of a social and economical earthquake whose consequences are becoming stronger: How could one reflect on this situation which seems to exhibit characteristics that make it global rather than national or local in nature? Is what has been rather facilely referred to as the “Greek example” a significant turning point in history?

The curators of the 3rd Athens Biennale 2011 believe that the widening situation for which Greece is a much derided yet overexposed case-study must become the focus of cultural investigation, in a way that it is no longer poignant – or even moral – to simply keep making exhibitions in the way that had become the norm in previous years. So, they decided to address these issues into the exhibition’s conceptual framework and into the biennale exhibition format itself, by following a double process: Firstly, to transform the biennale into a sit-in and a gathering of collectives, political organizations and citizens involved in the transformation of society, an invitation to create a political moment rather than stage a political spectacle. Secondly, as the exhibition is designed and produced, its various stages of development are providing the basis for a feature film directed by Nicolas Bourriaud. The film will be a work of fiction albeit based on real events. This is the first time that the relationship between contemporary art and filmic language is investigated so thoroughly and so creatively.

Following the completion of the biennale, the film in its final format will be distributed both in the art world and the cinema circuit. The executive producer of the movie is Kino Prod (www.kino.fr) in Paris.

A catalogue will document the whole process of the 3rd Athens Biennale, and a DVD edition of the biennale, including the movie and documents on participants’ works, will be published.

MONODROME aims to provoke debate around something that has broken down, but also offer the possibility at a glimpse of something new to come.

Diplareios School 
Theatre Square 3, Psyrri | Metro: Monastiraki / Omonia

Arts Centre & Eleftherios Venizelos Museum
Eleftherias Park, Vasilissis Sofias Avenue | Metro: Megaro Moussikis

23 October – 11 December
Tuesday – Friday: 12.00-21.00
Saturday – Sunday: 10.00-21.00 
Closed on Mondays
The exhibition will remain closed on Thursday the 17th of November


[i] 提出了关系美学:Nicolas Bourriaud, Esthétique relationnelle (关系美学),P113, 1998.“一系列从人类关系及其所处社会语境出发的理论性或实践性的艺术活动,而非独立与私密的空间。”

[ii] Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Poka-Yio和Augustine Zenakos成立于雅典双年展的策展三人组

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