Babel Fragments: Revisited
April 23 – May 15, 2015
TAF - The Art Foundation
Athens 105 55,
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 12 – 9PM, Sun 12 – 7PM
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 8.30PM
Michel Abajoli, Campus Novel, Kostas Christopoulos, Maria Glyka, Bianca Hildenbrand, Alexandros Kaklamanos, Konstantinos Kotsis, Eleftheria Kotzaki, Kosmas Nikolaou, Vassilis Papageorgiou, Dimitris Papoutsakis, Panos Sklavenitis, Kostis Stafylakis, Christos Vagiatas, Michailangelos Vlassis-Ziakas, Paky Vlassopoulou, Vassilis Vlastaras, Adonis Volanakis, Michalis Zacharias, Theodoros Zafiropoulos, Stefanos Ziras
In 2013 Alexis Fidetzis in collaboration with gallery Deuxpiece in Basel (Switzerland) issued a double project inspired by the biblical myth of the Tower of Babel. Consisting of two disparate archives, the publication attempts to open a wider debate around the concept of contemporary nationalism in an era of worldwide information and the decentralization promised -at least at a theoretical level- by the Internet. While the first archive consists of the analogue depiction of a digital online exquisite corpse with the participation of artists from all over the globe, the second one freezes in time the flowing nature of the Internet, presenting in print form data found online about 184 parliaments of nation states, which are full members of the United Nations and the IPU (International Parliamentary Union).
The research project of Babel is connected with the biblical story since the curator perceives these buildings as glorified fragments of the mythical tower, which now serve as flags, as symbols of differentiation from the Other, completing in a sense the mission of the Tower’s destruction. In this light, a particularly interesting oxymoron arises: a parliament building, as a temple of democracy bears the promise of achieving communication among the people, whereas once perceived as a fragment of the Tower it constitutes a permanent reminder of humanity’s weakness to cooperate.
For the exhibition at metamatic:taf, twenty-one artists are invited to become inspired by this archive and, presumably, manipulate it. Following a process of conceptual, aesthetic or archival data mining the participating artists reach their own personal, artistic and research conclusions regarding the aesthetic characteristics that political structures adopt in order to form their facades in the public space. Within this framework, the art pieces address the ways in which conditions of expropriation and abuse of artistic elements of the past attempt to define the contemporary identity of society. At the same time, the exhibition touches upon issues regarding colonialism, the honesty of political structures, as well as the broader notions of parliamentarism and democracy.
Videostill of 4083 by Bianca Hildenbrand, 2015