SYMPOSIUM ΑRCHIVE BIENNALE PART 2

MAIN PROGRAM
Symposium: Archive Public ΙΙ
7.12.2013
11:00-16:00
Pavillion 6 (in the grounds of the Thessaloniki International Fair)
 
Program
10.30-11.00 Arrivals, Registration
11.00-11.15 Opening Ceremony & Welcome speeches
Katerina Koskina. President of the Board of the SMCA. Director of the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
Maria Tsantsanoglou. Director of the SMCA
11.15-11.45 Introduction
Panos Kouros. Desistence of living archives
Elpida Karaba.  A zone of no images
11.45-12.15 Vit Havranek. Think/Classify/Subvert/
12.15-12.45 Zisis Kotionis. An-Archive for temporary accommodation anywhere
12.45-13.15 Georgia Kotretsos. Public Archive/Public History
 
13.15-13.45 Break – Coffee Break
 
13.45-14.15 Marina Griznic. Theory as archive and interventional politics
14.15-14.45 Mikel Bolt Rasmussen. Smoke in the archive
14.45-15.45 Closing Round Table Discussion and conclusions.
Moderation: Panos Kouros and Elpida Karaba
 
The Symposium Archive Public ΙΙ examines the role archive art practices play in the production of public sphere and “agonistic” interventions in social spaces. The symposium looks into the potential of archival practices to produce new articulations of speech and act among persons, social groups, institutions, practices, subjects, physical and virtual spaces, rather than their potential to establish a collection framework in public space.
Archive Public advanced two ideas: the archive as in-law articulatory practice, and performative archiving as dynamic public process operating in the present. Invited speakers will present in different forms (lectures, artworks, performances, talks, etc) case studies, projects, proposals and ideas in order to create a network of archive interventions. Within the framework of the 4th Thessaloniki Biennial, which aims to address issues concerning: a particular locality, the struggle against economic upheavals as well as crises of national identity, the symposium will conclude with a round table discussion questioning:
_What strategies of instituting, participation and articulation can be organized by archival practice in order to intervene in the production of knowledge, history, identity in social spaces?
_How can one understand today the connection between art, archives and activism?
_How can archiving actions offer a new context, in the current condition, to dispersed localities, subjectivities and collectives entering into areas of conflict and struggle, revealing and reconfiguring (cultural) policies and their discontents?
 
Organisation: State Museum of Contemporary Art
Keynote speakers- Coordinators: Panos Kouros and Elpida Karaba
 
Archive Public is an ongoing research and curatorial project. The first part took place in Patras, Greece, organized by the Visual Arts Laboratory at the Department of Architecture, University of Patras and supported by the C. Carathéodory research program (2009-11).
 
Briefs
 
Marina Grzinic. Theory as archive and interventional politics
Today theory is first and foremost perfectly integrated within the new informational mode that governs capitalist societies. Theory is not connected with knowledge in the old, humanist sense of the word, but with information, an archive of information. Theory is first and foremost a tool of colonization through information, presented as an innocent archive. I will discuss this topic and present the archive as a theoretical book/project with the working title: The Vocabulary of Decoloniality, that was published in Vienna, in 2013, for Loecker publisher in English.
 
Vit Havranek. Think / Classify / Subvert
To approach an existing archive in the artistic or curatorial work means to approach its normative epistemology, its normative classification. To create a new archive means to bring into life a way to classify and establish new norms. Deriving from Georges Perec’s essay Penser/classer I would like to talk about some concrete examples of ‘falling’ epistemologies and subjective classifications rerouting the connection in between the word and its meaning, images and its determinations. Consequently a question shall be debated: what are the dialectics of ‘epistemological iconoclasm’ and re-politization of archival practices.
 
Elpida Karaba.  A zone of no images
The statement ‘a zone of no images’ originally declares a deficiency-talking about the ways official history, main stream media representations, official policies, cover and uncover particular views and aspects of events, stories and the public domain. This declaration, though, it might also imply a certain power – whereas such a zone indicates a physical, perceptual or virtual area which evokes us to undertake the action of organizing ways to be seen, heard, act. Organizing, archiving, disseminating and performing ‘zones of no images’ could be an act of empowerment, a device of unexpected articulations, a tool of giving meaning to unwrought material. It might declare a zone which questions not only our lived experience but also our abstract relationship towards phenomena, a process which possibly can lead to a dynamic understanding of our environment. I focus in the growing interest in the art field for the history of the economy of crisis, told from the side of labour, exploitation and the consent to exploitation and the role of movements emerging in different topicalities. Via different examples I examine the active position taken by art archives in formulating this history, in performing new subjectivities and in experimental political understanding.
 
Zissis Kotionis An-archive for Temporary Accommodation Anywhere
Rural and semi urban territories and common social practices of residency are meant to be the public archive and its performative aspects to be discussed.
Rural territories under the force of touristic proliferation become to be economically and culturally colonized. The colonization of (touristic) territories is determined by certain social practices and mechanisms. The practice of choosing/selecting proper destinations, the interconnection of destinations in use of heavy infrastructure, the ethics of optical evaluation of sites and control through rural gentrification are being descanted.
Long after the modern urbanization and touristic colonization of territorial archives, recent transformations in production, property ownership and real estate, under the general “state of exception”, lead to a large scale of territorial re-colonization.
Of fundamental interest is the question of how to intervene in a reverse process of decolonization of (touristic) territories by deconstructing the dispositive of touristic Aufenthalte (accommodation, residency, host, transport). This is also a question of activating the potentials of the commons. A synthetic search is attempted on somatic practices of allocation, wandering, ephemeral staying, reclining, random navigation, unexpected networking in real space. Temporary Accommodation Anywhere is willing to turn the vertical hierarchies of the territorial archive into a horizontal field of common practices.
Α performative exposure of an architectonic research on the wanderers’ armament will be included in setting the argument.
 
Georgia Kotretsos. Public Archive/Public History
Public Archive/Public History toys with speculative approaches of how knowledge is produced by acknowledging the traditional and historical etiquette of its acquisition in the public sphere, through hypothetical inquiries.  Will entertain the idea of how Public History could potentially become a Public Archive through a systematic yet unauthorized reproduction of an event, incident, object, experience and so forth in an effort to revive it in perpetuity. Could the manifold of that moment or object resonate in our collective consciousness?  Could this give us the liberty to claim ownership of the revived and accept the egalitarian attributes of the unauthorized archives?
 
Panos Kouros. Desistence of living archives
The idea of desistence of living archives is not the idea of the “anarchive”, of the dissolution of the archive, but is related to its productive, generative function, when it dissociates itself from the institutional, aesthetic, thematic and hermeneutic framework. We can think of archival desistence as an organized neutral zone for performative archiving action. Performative archiving produces public sphere by shifting the emphasis from archival space to the actions of (public) archivist(s); from public archive to archive public, from the action of preserving and exhibiting documents to the actions of transmission, distribution, recycling. Conversations Curatives, 2009 and Intervention in the Archive of Modern Greek Art, 2012 are discussed as complex works of performative archiving that intervene in the archive dispositives to create public co-utterances in alternative critical micro-instituting.
 
Mikel Bolt Rasmussen. Smoke in the archive
The presentation will present the exhibition This World We Must Leave from 2010 by Jakob Jakobsen and myself. The exhibition was composed of an archive of our collections of material related to the Situationist International and three films about the need for a capital-negation perspective in the present situation of a world-wide crisis.
 
Biographical notes
 
Marina Grzinic. Philosopher, artist, theorist. Lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Vienna, Austria. 
She is Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Head of Post Conceptual Art Practices Study program. She works and is a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana.
 
Vít Havránek, PhD is a curator and organizer based in Prague. Since 2002 he has been working as a director of the initiative ‘tranzit’ in Czech Republic (www.tranzit.org), he is an associate editor of Swiss publishing house JRP Ringier and served as a lecturer of Contemporary art at the Academy of Art, Design and Architecture Prague (2000-2012). He curated and co-curated exhibitions, amongst which are: Encyclopedia of Failure part of Jakarta Biennale 2013; Adaptation festival exhibition Steirischer Herbst Graz; Manifesta 8, Spain; Monument to Transformation, Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Spain, and City Gallery Prague, ‘tranzit’ workshops, Bratislava and other locations; tranzit – Auditorium, Stage, Backstage, Frankfurter Kunstverein; I, Secession Wien; Futura, Prague, ‘tranzit’ workshops, Bratislava; Lanterna Magika, Espace Electra, Paris; Jiri Kovanda, Brno; Otto Piene, City Gallery Prague; action, word, movement, space, City Gallery Prague; and others. He has edited and co-edited books and catalogues, such as Postcolonial thinking I-IV (a series of translations in Czech); Ruti Sela; Babi Badalov; Katerina Seda; Manifesta 8 catalogue; Atlas of Transformation; Autobiographies; The Need to Document; Jiri Kovanda; Lanterna Magika; action, word, movement, space and has written for contemporary books (incl. Green Room, M. Lind and H. Steyerl eds.), catalogues (incl. Promesses du passé [Centre Pompidou] and Voids: A Retrospective [Centre Pompidou], JRP Ringier [Centre Pompidou]) and art magazines (Umělec, Springerin, Flash Art, Manifesta Journal, trouble, and others).
 
Elpida Karaba is an art theorist and independent curator.  As a curator and researcher she has collaborated with institutions including the Whitechapel Art Gallery, ASFA, University of Patras but also with alternative art spaces. Her late book (co-edited P. Kouros) ArchivePublic: Performing Archives in Public Art: Topical Interventions was published in spring 2012. She is the co-editor for the annual journal of AICA Hellas 2013. She collaborates as a researcher-curator with ISET and is the curator in chief of the series ArchiveRights. Her research interests and publication record focus on art and political theory, discourse analysis on documentary, activist and performative art practices. She is a member of AICA International and IKT.
 
Zissis Kotionis is a PhD architect, artist and author. He is a Professor in the University of Thessaly, Greece. He has published six books on architectural theory and urban culture. He has also published two books of fiction and poetry. Projects and buildings of his architectural studio have been published, exhibited and awarded in Greece and abroad. He is also involved in artistic performances and installations and in public art practices. In 2010 he was co-Commissioner of Greece in the 12th Biennale of Architecture, Venice (The Ark). In 2012 he exhibited his recent architectural research on metropolitan architecture under the title “Multidomes” at the Benaki Museum, in Athens.
 
Georgia Kotretsos is a visual artist based in Athens, Greece. In her work she primarily focuses and critiques the conformity of seeing and perceiving artworks in relation to the institution. By studying liberating and anarchic approaches of art viewing – she has created an interdisciplinary body of work in an effort to support that seeing is site-specific and audience members accountable for their art knowledge. Her practice is research based and whether it is manifested as an artwork, a text or an interview, it always encourages speculative approaches to how knowledge is produced.
 
Panos Kouros is an artist and art theorist. He is Associate Professor at the University of Patras, Greece. His work (propositions, actions, theoretical constuctions) interrelates critical art practice with the urban condition and politics of memory. He uses internet wikis, education processes and empirical everyday routines such as walking and archiving for performing archival actions. Some works critically engage the institutional frame of their exhibition into their production. He is co-founder of Gregorios Pharmakis collective and member of Urban Void urban action group. Recent books: Archive Public: Επιτελέσεις αρχείων στη δημόσια τέχνη. Τοπικές παρεμβάσεις, 2012,  Acts of Uttering-together, Athens: Futura, 2008, Constructing the Public Sphere: Topical Works 2002-07, Athens: Futura, 2007.
 
Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen is an art historian and cultural critic. He is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. He has published a number of books in Danish, most recently Krise til opstand. Noter om get igangvæende sammenbrud , 2013 as well as articles about anti-capitalist activism, the revolutionary tradition, and the Situationist International, in journals such as e flux journal, Multitudes, Rethinking Marxism, and Third Text. Recent publications include “Totalitarian Art and Modernity”, Aarhus 2010 (co-edited with Jacob Wamberg), and “Expect Everything Fear Nothing: The Situationist Movement in Scandinavia and Elsewhere”, Copenhagen & New York 2011 (co-edited with Jakob Jakobsen).
 

 
 
Info: 
07.12.2013
Pavilion 6
Stratou Av. & September 3rd str.
(on the grounds of Thessaloniki International Fair)
 
ORGANISATION: State Museum of Contemporary Art
CURATORS: Elpida Karaba, Panos Kouros