Conceived as a dialogue across contexts, methodologies and practices it wants to investigate the economic conditions that determine and define the work of small-scale organizations of contemporary art and culture in Athens. It will revolve around a central question: how to transform the increasingly precarious existence of small-scale organizations and independent art workers into a more sustainable one, both in terms of economy and work ethics?
“Parthenon Marbles”, ongoing performative action by Alexandra Pirici
11:00 at Acropolis of Athens
13:00 – 15:00 at the premises of State of Concept
Alexandra Pirici will present a new ongoing action commissioned by Future Climates together with KADIST. “Parthenon Marbles” is a work that tells a story that evolves around the controversial request of repatriation of those marbles to the Acropolis Museum in Athens , as a metaphor and an entry point into a larger discussion about capital, accumulation, circulation, redistribution and the role of the arts within today’s economies. It proposes a performative repatriation, an immaterial version of the sculptural ensemble. This action includes a performed research into the financial and legal implications of the sculptures’ situation: a speculative journey into a “what if” scenario of return developed in collaboration with writer and curator Victoria Ivanova.
Performers of “Parthenon Marbles”: Alexandra Tatsi, Bilio Marneli, Christiana Kosiari, Nicolas Vamvouklis, Sofia Maria Kikilintzia.
15:30 – 16:00
From Institution building to Instituting? Time for Redistributing
Antonia Alampi, iLiana Fokianaki and Evita Tsokanta
16:00 – 16:40
Olav Velthuis, Whitewashing reputations in the contemporary art world.
In times of decreasing public support and government subsidies for the arts, (private) philanthropy is widely seen as an alternative support system. In many countries, both ‘developed’ and ‘still developing’, this system is currently further being developed, among others by awarding tax incentives to private donors. Little is thought and said about the source of this new philanthropic wealth which the arts seek to tap into. In this talk I will present preliminary results of a study of these sources. On the basis of a systematic analysis of publicly available information, I focus on the ethics of the way top private art collectors and philanthropists earn(ed) and manage(d) their money In doing so, I take into account issues like tax evasion, questionable use of tax exemptions for cultural foundation, involvement in corruption, or embezzlement of government funds. By acquiring art and supporting art institutions, some of these philanthropists try to improve their dubious reputation. Although this practice of using the art world to whitewash reputations is hardly new (indeed, artists like Hans Haacke or Andrea Fraser have thematized it in their work), it remains little discussed.
16:40 – 17:10
Q&A moderated by Mohammad Salemy
17:20 – 17:40
Victoria Ivanova, Valuing the ways in which we are linked together without being one.
Valuing the ways in which we are linked together without being one is a phrase borrowed from Randy Martin’s A Precarious Dance, a Derivative Sociality (2012) as a working title for an ongoing collaboration with artist Alexandra Pirici. Taking Martin’s work as a prompt to deepen the investigation of how cultural referents may be deployed to demystify finance’s seemingly impenetrable operations, this collaboration re-instrumentalises finance’s most notoriously black-boxed instrument — the derivative — by re-imbuing its mechanics with cultural and social meaning. In this presentation, Ivanova reflects on the possibilities for a cultural rewiring of financialisation through the prism of Pirici’s new work Parthenon Marbles.
17:40 – 18:00
SEP (Association of Cultural Workers), An(other) Association of Cultural Workers?
In 2016 the Temporary Academy of Arts (PAT) took the initiative to establish the Association of Cultural Workers (SEP). SEP is an official body that advocates for the promotion and support of labor rights of cultural workers in Greece, taking into account the relevant legal, economic and social context. The association is linked to other organizations globally such as WAGE, the Carrot Workers etc. For Future Climates Elpida Karaba, Glykeria Stathopoulou and Despina Zefkili will make a short presentation of SEP and will ask participants, should they like, to complete a form regarding their ideas and aspirations on such initiatives. The meeting will aim in a unofficial way to create a network of expected and unexpected articulations.
18:00 – 18:20 Emily Pethick
Emily Pethick, Director of The Showroom, London, will talk about working in networks that assert the roles of small-scale producers in the arts ecology, in both practical and theoretical terms. These include the advocacy network Common Practice, who published research papers such as Size Matters, which critiques the dominant modes of measuring value; the European network Cluster that produced knowledge-exchange and collaboration between organisations located on the peripheries of major cities; and the project How to work together, a shared programme of contemporary art commissioning and research between three organisations that was based on a premise of resource and infrastructure-sharing and joint fundraising that simultaneously looked into the politics of artistic and cultural production, such as in the text How to work together by Andrea Phillips that looks at: “The very real tension between how organisations would like to work, both internally and in collaboration with sister local and international organisations, and the way they must work in order to sustain themselves financially and promotionally…”
18:20 – 18:40 Maria Lind, What does an art work do?
While it is important to debate art’s infra-strucutre and working conditions, I will address art itself and its ways of functioning, beyond utilitarianism.
18:40 – 19:40 Respondant Angela Dimitrakaki and Q&A with speakers moderated by Mohammad Salemy
20:00 – 21:00 Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle, The origins of e-flux: how we got our first spaceship
When we first arrived to Earth, it quickly became clear that in order to realize the full potential of art, an entirely new structure was necessary.
As our colleague Menni has observed, “on Earth, sculpture and picture galleries are peculiar to capitalism, with its ostentatious luxury and crass ambition to hoard treasures. But on our planet, things are quite different: In a socialist order, art can be found disseminated throughout society, so as to enrich life everywhere.”
Since our arrival, we have been working to dismantle advanced capitalism. To that effect, creating networks for the dissemination of art has been our main preoccupation (e-flux projects function as vehicles to shuttle information back and forth between planetary models). Our final goal is to prepare Earth for colonization by our people. Now, let us tell you the story of how we got that first spaceship…
22:00 – 1:00 Drinks and Music by cumulus humilis, Tief Winfried and DJ Sheisswetter
Image credit: The Secret of the Martian Moons, Donald A. Wolheim, 1955. Cover: Alex Schomburg.
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