Yiannis Pappas | The Wanderer Above the EU Borders

Yiannis Pappas | The Wanderer Above the EU Borders

Inspired by the famous work "The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" by Caspar David Friedrich the video "The wanderer above the EU-borders" shapes and re-shapes a new utopian human re-presentation as a metaphor for the unknown future. The video-work is filmed on the island of Psarra, opposite the Greek-Turkish borders,

Gaddis (2004) felt that the impression the wanderer's position atop the precipice and before the twisted outlook leaves "is contradictory, suggesting at once mastery over a landscape and the insignificance of the individual within it." Today we have become our own avatar in a digital universe. ‘The individualism of technological civilization relies precisely on a misunderstanding of the unique self’, writes the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.

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Athina Kanellopoulou | "Concord"

Athina Kanellopoulou | "Concord"

Is it possible for a language to keep all the elements and the pronunciations of words, when the residents of a country migrate and leave behind much of this tradition in an effort to adapt to new conditions? How does the meaning of a word sound from a man who lacks the state of the exact word and from someone who has forgotten its interpretations/ meanings?
The movement of populations and globalization are two reasons that make people to the use a common language as a communication medium. The result of this phenomenon is the elimination of those cultural platforms over the years. It is quite difficult to be able to keep the elements and the factors of a language from the previous generation to the next, because those elements are not parts of an everyday experience by the new users.

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Written and first published by Minbusplato



Today is the last day of documenta 14 and rather than retracing my steps over what happened between Athens and Kassel since April, instead I want to look to the future, specifically to an ongoing project that I first encountered in the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and then again in an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Kunsthochschule Kassel (KMMN).

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Back in June while visiting ASFA I noticed several posters for a talk by artist and activist Gregory Scholette and regretted not arriving a few days earlier. On each of these posters there appeared an image of the Trojan Horse which seemed to provocatively challenge the documenta 14 symbol of the owl as an alternative and more subversive model for art and activism in Greece.


When I returned for a second visit to Kassel earlier this month, the Athenian friends I was staying with took me to an exhibition that one of them (Eleni Zervou) was participating in.


When I walked in I immediately recognized the same Trojan Horse image from Athens.

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I was then introduced to James Simbouras who was the organizer of the Scholette talk back in Athens as part of a project called To the Future Public under the aegis of the artist cooperative Contemporary Art Showcase Athens (C.A.S.A).


The exhibition in Kassel, organized in association with KMMN, not only reactivated Scholette’ talk from June (with copies of his book as part of the installation), but also, amongst others, a project that took place in Omonoia Square as part of last year’s Athens Biennale called Acts of Engagement.



Included in this project and documented in Kassel was Eleni Zervou’s Free Araf in which the artist collected wishes in the form of drawings in Omonoia Square made by a variety of people, young and old. Many children used drawing to illustrate their wishes on flying lanterns which were released from the square.


Finding Athens in Kassel in this way, as a hub for the reactivation of past projects and looking forward to a future public, was a timely reminder that so much of what happened at documenta 14 is unfinished. There is at least one artist still residing in Athens – Rick Lowe – as his project Victoria Square Project continues until April and perhaps beyond. As documenta 14 ends, one way for us to move forward is to continue to look to Athens and projects that are continuing, such as the Victoria Square Project and C.A.S.A’s To the Future Public. When Lucy R. Lippard in her article ‘Trojan Horses: Activist Art and Power’, described a form of art ‘based in subversion on the one hand and empowerment on the other’, part of that empowerment must come in the form of our own attention. If we only look to Athens within the temporal and institutional frameworks of documenta 14, then what we can learn is seriously restricted and limited. For my own part, I am determined to continue learning from and with Athens over the coming years, both as a Classicist and in writing Minus Plato, within the legacies of documenta 14 and beyond.


Written and first published by Minbusplato