Athens biennale reveals artists participating in its 2018 edition

3 October 2018

The 2018 Athens Biennale has released the full list of artists participating in its sixth edition, which opens October 26 and runs through December 9. Curated by Stefanie Hessler, Kostis Stafylakis, and Poka-Yio and titled “ANTI,” the exhibition will consider attitudes of opposition, non-conformity, and marginality. According to a release, the biennial “dissects the way we polarize, fight and antagonize in post-digital times: in the age of social media, of neo-reactionary movements, of post-truth nihilism, and of conspiracy theories developed by the alt-right. ‘ANTI’ is about inventing the most effective strategies to oppose the hate of the alt-right and other neo-reactionary fronts.”

Set to take place in several venues across the city, including the TTT building, Esperia Palace, Benakeios Library, and Kolokotroni 4, the exhibition has also recently addressed a controversy sparked by artist Luke Turner. The Jewish artist, who claims he has been repeatedly threatened by white supremacists and targeted by the alt-right over his political work HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US, 2017, withdrew from the biennial and penned an open letter protesting the inclusion of artist Daniel Keller in the upcoming event.

Turner’s collaboration with Shia LaBeouf and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US—an installation comprising a camera in front of which people were invited to recite the phrase “He Will Not Divide Us” in protest of the election of President Donald Trump—is at the center of controversy. Turner recently engaged in a Twitter battle with Keller over the work. The argument was sparked by artist Deanna Havas, who liked a post on Twitter that showed a Pepe the Frog meme, stealing the piece. While the cartoon amphibian first made its debut in 2005, it has since become associated with the alt-right.

Keller defended Havas and exchanged words with Turner on Twitter, which prompted Turner to allege that Keller’s actions are enabling antisemitism and fascism—according to Document Journal, in the past, Havas has Tweeted posts sympathetic to far-right ideologies, such as “Bannon is cool,” and “Antifa is a terrorist organization.”

Upon learning that Keller was going to exhibit in the Athens Biennale, Turner urged the biennial to investigate him. Organizers of the exhibition responded by releasing multiple statements, an excerpt from one reads: “The Athens Biennale and its curators will not expel an artist based on unfounded accusations. Accusations of anti-semitism and fascist sympathies should be supported by hard evidence . . . We have a responsibility to resist disinformation disseminated online, and instead foster actual debate within the spectrum of anti-fascism. We believe that giving voice to different, progressive, positions, is the best way to tackle fascism, which is so urgently needed in our time.”

Keller also defended his actions in an interview with Document Journal. “I am Jewish, I am a socialist, and I detest racism and authoritarianism,” he said. “Any disagreement Luke and I have is over tactics—not about our shared goals of justice and equality. Any attempt at depicting my views or practice differently is a willful mischaracterization.”

The first iteration of HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US was mounted on the exterior of the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, in February 2017, but the piece was removed after the institution claimed that it had become a “flashpoint for violence.” The artists then took it to El Rey Theater in Albuquerque and FACT gallery in Liverpool, but it was also pulled from both locations.

The artist list is as follows:

Spyros Aggelopoulos

Monira Al Qadiri

Loukia Alavanou

Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic

Ivana Bašić

Tianzhuo Chen

Chim Pom

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti

Brody Condon

Celia Daskopoulou

Ted Davis

Danielle Dean

JP Downer

Nina Runa Essendrop

Georgia Fambris

Cao Fei

Ed Fornieles

Angelos Frentzos

Sarah Friend

Front Deutscher Äpfel

Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė

Eva Giannakopoulou

Gigas, Joey Holder

Carsten Höller

Callum Leo Hughes

Actually Huizenga (of Patriarchy)

Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman & Daniel Keller

Binelde Hyrcan

Maryam Jafri

Sascha Jahn & TheBoundCollective

Jakub Jansa

Geumhyung Jeong

Kahlil Joseph

Florence Jung

Raja’a Khalid

Joy Kolaitis

Peter V. Kritikos

Laboratory for Microclimates

Euripides Laskaridis / Osmosis

Delaine Le Bas

Candice Lin

Fei Liu

Rachel Maclean

Basim Magdy

Miltos Manetas

Marianne Maric

Eva and Franco Mattes


Quenton Miller


Shana Moulton

Sirous Namazi


New Models

Pinar Öğrenci

Marisa Olson

Uģis Olte & Morten Traavik

Omsk Social Club

Ilias Papailiakis

Eva Papamargariti

Yuri Pattison

Heather Phillipson

Signe Pierce

AnnaMaria Pinaka

Wong Ping

Michail Pirgelis

Agnieszka Polska

Lykourgos Porfyris

Porpentine Charity Heartscape

Johannes Paul Raether

Jon Rafman

Kosta Rapadopoulos / Jasin Challah

Tabita Rezaire

Roee Rosen

Iepe Rubingh


Tai Shani

Heji Shin

Aliza Shvarts

Helle Siljeholm

Marianna Simnett

Linnéa Sjöberg

Panos Sklavenitis

Marilia Stagkouraki

Jenna Sutela

The Agency

The Domestic Godless

The Peng! Collective

Ryan Trecartin

Theo Triantafyllidis

Anna Uddenberg

Nicole Wermers

Tori Wrånes

Lauren Wy

Lu Yang

Young Boy Dancing Group

Costas Zapas


Source: Artforum

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