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The second Athens Biennale unravels the idea of "Heaven"

17 June 2009 / 18:06:40  GRReporter
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The first Biennale, which took place in the Greek capital, was called Destroy Athens and the second one, which started on June 15th and will continue until October 4th is called Heaven. The latter one is taking place in the coastal area of the city. The Biennale presents six big exhibitions, which show the works of more than 100 visual artists.


In order to organize the second big meeting of visual artists, the creators and art directors of the Athenian Biennale, XYZ Group, invited a selected group of art people, who unraveled the idea of “heaven” – now that the common feeling  in all of us tend to be disappointment and confrontation.


The six exhibitions of the Biennale have been designed by architect Andreas Angelidakis and are in the form of autonomous views regarding this vast subject. And here you can find out more about them here:


1.    Live (curators Dimitris Papayoanou and Xagoraris)


Temporary installation form connected with each other theatrical stages, screens and floating platforms, among which viewers and spectacles exchange their places. New uses of space have been created under the water surface, around the streets and on roofs of nearby buildings without interrupting the life of the already existing ones.


2.    World Question Center (curators Chus Martinez)


Chus Martinez’s exhibition aims to broaden the knowledge borders through a series of acts, which are still taking place… This part of the exhibition is entirely dedicated to the meaning of asking questions. Heaven could be understood as a space, where things happen. It looks easy, even though it is not. In today’s world there is nothing harder than avoiding the logical question “why?”


3.    For the straight way is lost (curator Diana Baldon)


The exhibition was build around Dante’s eight circles, through which it must be passed, in order to enter heaven: the purgatory. According to Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” souls pass by a mountain and go through a series of hardships, which are the circles.


The idea of the curator is far different than Dante’s epic poem but she uses the structure as an instrument to organize the works in something, which can be imagined as the horizontal incarnation of the purgatory—in other words, a cone, which ends in a small hole, which could be the door to heaven.


4.     Splendid isolation, Athens (curator Cay Sophie Rabinowitz)


For many artists, who show their paintings at the Biannale, there is something – material or spiritual, lived or imagined, religious or scientific, which provides them with the means to think through, form, or even restructure this place – heaven and Athens, which depicts their inspiration.


5.    Hotel Paradies (curator Nadia Argiropoulou)


In time and space, which are standing between the only sure thing – death, and the possibility for life after death, exists great tension, which has a firing spark called: desire. According to this prism, heaven could be understood as a “Loose desire.”


6.    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? (curator Christoforos Marinos)


This exhibition depicts heaven as more of a probability or a promise, which is outside of our everyday lives, than connected with the rest and the salvation of the soul after death. The exhibition is divided in three parts and shows works, which all together pass the idea of “cultivated” heaven, which is built around human understanding and limits.

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