More from OMONOIA – Athens Biennale 2015–2017 on our December Cover Story

International Summit Synapse 1 at New Rex of the National Theatre of Greece. 'Session II: Rethinking Institutions': (from left to right) Leo Panitch, Maria Hlavajova, Adam Szymczyk, Amalia Zepou (moderator), Hilary Wainwright, Emily Pethick, Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna) © Eva Galatsanou.

The above picture by Eva Galatsanou was taken during 'Session II: Rethinking Institutions' one of the Summit panels that launched OMONOIA, the Athens Biennale 2015–2017. Latitudes participated in this panel on November 18, as one of the speakers. The current Cover Story on our home page features this event at the National Theatre of Greece, New Rex.  

Below some more photos of that day and the working group meetings that took place at the former Bageion Hotel (18 Omonoia Square) on November 19, 2015.

 Omonoia Square. On the left the Bargeion Hotel (with the orange banner), HQ of the Athens Biennial 2015–2017.
 
Omonoia Square from the first floor of the Bageion Hotel.

 Artistic Director Massimiliano Mollona, and Athens Biennale directors Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (left) and Poka-Yio (right) welcome guests to the second day of the Summit "Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post". 

 After the welcoming words, guests joined closed-door working groups sessions around the building on 'Cooperativism', 'Commons & Urban Welfare', 'Alternative Currencies' and 'Solidarity Networks'.

 10am–1pm: Latitudes joined the 'Commons & Urban Welfare' working group which had representatives of Avtonomi Akadimia (GR), Omada Metavasis / Transition (GR), Omikron Project (GR), Sarantaporo (GR), Votanikos Kipos Squat (GR), Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (TBC) (GR), Green Park (TBC) (GR), Luigi Coppola (Parco Commune dei Frutti Minori, IT), Sylvia de Fanti (Teatro Valle, IT) and Federica Giardini.

2–5pm: During the Open Assembly, artist, activist and Berlin-based curator Margarita Tsomou feeds back to the audience what was discussed during the 'Solidarity Networks' working group which had representatives from Refugees Welcome (GR), Solidarity4all (GR), HYLE[Ύλη]matter (GR), Notara Squat (TBC) (GR), The Other Human (TBC) (GR), Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko (GR), European Village (GR), Ivor Stodolsky (Perpetuum Mobile) (NO).

Potent voices like that of Tsomou raised questions about a proposed 'open' biennale format and the possible (in)adequacy of visual arts to host activism. "I do my activism in the street" – she exclaimed. (Tsomou has recently interviewed Adam Szymczyk (artistic director of documenta 14) for DIE ZEIT – download here.)

 Other speakers were more direct in their pragmatism and asked the forum "What do we have? Do we have a hammer? Do we have chairs?" to which Mollona and Poka-Yio responded the biennial has the Bageion Hotel building and in-kind sponsorship for production, everything else has to be decided and invented collectively for the next two years. 

 End of the Open Assembly at the Bageion Hotel.

 Stairs of the Bageion Hotel.


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Latitudes in the 'OMONOIA' Summit of the Athens Biennale 2015–2017

1960s view of Omonoia Square (Concord Square) in Athens – one of the many views of the site shared in this flickr.

Latitudes will participate in one of the three panels that will comprise a two-day International Summit (18–19 November) that initiate the next two years of activities of the next edition of the Athens Biennale, titled “OMONOIA” (Concord). Intuitive towards the institution of biennales, the Athens Biennale intends to revise its identity and bridges the past with the present and the future by merging the fifth edition (2015) with the sixth (2017).

The Summit is framed within the "Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post" the first synapse of what will be an ongoing series of events that will run over the next two years.  

The first day (18 November, 9:30–20h: National Theatre – New Rex, 48 Panepistimiou ) of the Summit will be organised under three panel discussions – Alternative Economies, The Performative in the Political, Rethinking Institutions. See the programme here.
 

The second day (19 November 2015, 9:30–20h, Bageion, 18 Omonoia Square) will host a series of working group meetings between scholars, self-organised initiatives, cooperatives and activists as well as an open assembly that will summarise the proceedings and discuss potentials for the future. 

The aim of the Summit is to promote transnational knowledge-exchange and consider common grounds among academics, artists, activists and initiatives involved in practices of commoning, urban welfare and grassroots participation and kickstart the urban laboratory that the Athens Biennale aims to become for the next two years.

#AB5to6
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Report from Athens: "AGORA", 4th Athens Biennale 2013, 4 November 2013.


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All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




'Near-Future Artworlds Curatorial Disruption Foresight Group' seminar convenes in its third iteration in Birmingham's Eastside Projects, 15 November 2015

Façade of Eastside Projects in Birmingham.

Latitudes
will lead a day-long session on November 15, one of the two-day self-reflective evaluation sessions that the Extra Special People (ESP) Associate scheme programme of Eastside Projects is organising under the title "Re-Imagining ESP II".

Taking place during the weekend of the 14–15 November in Birmingham, UK, these two sessions are aimed at stimulating a conversation amongst the current members of the practice-led peer support network ESP in order to explore the possibility of them becoming active participants and even producers instead of receivers of predefined formats and contents.


This will be the third iteration of the 'Near-Future Artworlds...' meetings (following those in Bari and San Francisco) – a forum for informal dialogue about megatrends and the future of contemporary art institutions.  

The first meeting in Bari broadly addressed to what degree organisational forms of art institutions are embracing or resisting similar transformations through various curatorial/editorial prototypes and prognosticative use-case scenarios. With an emphasis on cross-pollination between design thinking and curatorial thinking, the second meeting in San Francisco broached, among other things, the notion of the post-disciplinary, and the question of appropriate speeds or periodicities institutions should follow

Poster produced for the seminar by Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco.

In Birmingham, the session will collectively imagine a ‘What if?’ – a post-apocalyptic scenario in which an art ecology has to be regrown from the ground up. What would be most urgent in terms of organisation, facilities, tools? The second part of the meeting will involve a practical exercise modeled to prototype initiatives that might be best suited to Birmingham’s real or imagined artistic, economic and social context.

In order to be conducive to freedom of interaction, these meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule. This allows participants to express personal views, to listen, reflect and gather insights with a clear distinction from the position of their employers and/or the policies of any associated organization. Participation is expected, but there will be no resolutions issued, no votes are undertaken, and no policy statements proposed.


Archive photo of ESP activity. Courtesy: Eastside Projects.

Extra Special People (ESP)
is a practice-led peer support network organised by Eastside Projects that "works with artists, designers, curators and writers to support the development of work, ideas, connections and careers through a programme of events, opportunities, and projects. Members become active contributors to a practice-led peer support network and benefit from Eastside Projects’ experience of the contemporary art world and regional, national and international contacts."

Eastside Projects is an "internationally renowned centre of excellence based in a free public gallery imagined and organized by artists, in partnership with Birmingham City University." Eastside Projects is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Fund 2010-14, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Eastside Projects
86 Heath Mill Lane
Birmingham B9 4AR
0121-771-1778
www.eastsideprojects.org
www.extraspecialpeople.org


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This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




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