press release

ANATHENA EXHIBITION CONCEPT Anathena is a group exhibition presenting works by artists based in Athens, largely unknown to the city’s ‘mainstream’ art world as - for years now - they use their self-devised production and distribution mechanisms. This parallel creative universe does not represent a movement or a self-manifested “scene”, but rather local undercurrents of small groups and individuals, who do not necessarily work together and, in their vast majority, do not insist on calling what they do as “art”.

Although they share an embedded coding in taste and style (for example, the impact music has on most of them, on a very basic level), these artists cannot fit neatly to charts and typologies. Naming or characterizing their activity will make it lose its vital quality. “Cursed” to an eternal adolescence, which allows imperfections, they dare to transform ideas into actions through a rather immediate manner; and what seems to make them special may be the understanding of their art practice as a reciprocal maintenance.

More often than not, they produce work outside the ordinary art world, within an inter-local network based on friendships, personal contacts, common influences and preferences, while not relying - under any circumstances - to an institutional structure for the promotion of their work. This voluntary self-exclusion from the local art establishment is, in a way, an “anathema”. Totally lacking the polemic and anger usually related to the term, this anathema is gentle, and suggests more an attitude of romantic indifference rather than one of dogmatic denouncement.

The Anathena exhibition is an incomplete collection of works of such artists and artist groups. It has the character of a snapshot, documenting the work in progress of a diverse local “scene”, which bears no predetermined aesthetic and philosophical affinities and which has existed for a long time before this exhibition and will continue to exist outside its limited time and space trajectory.

One strong aim is to examine new possibilities for the contemporary art practice and its distribution system in Greece, focusing on a variety of relative experimental approaches based on music, sound, film, drawing (in the streets, on paper, on anything), gatherings, fanzines, etc. The idea for Anathena is partially inspired by the current exhibition presented at DESTE. The affiliation with Panic Room seems to be quite important. Through the co-existence of some members from a “wider community”, coming from different parts of the world but knowing each other through the internet, the network will be reinforced internationally. At the same time, locally, DESTE as an art institution will be open to a variety of unsettling (or not), unknown factors.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a radio program entitled DESTE KE AKOUSTE, powered by most of the artists involved in collaboration with vinyl micro-store and will be hosted by the internet frequency of vinyl micro-store.

A fully illustrated catalogue featuring rare texts and archival visuals on the “scene” will be published. Moreover, there will be a series of events taking place; information on them will be announced at a later date.

Marina Fokidis & Marina Giotis


only in german

Deste Foundation selects Anathena as the first Yellow Room Exhibition
Kuratoren: Marina Fokidis, Marina Giotis

mit b. , B & D ( Black & Decker), Alexandros Dimitriadis, Dimitris Emmanuil, Erasers, Marina Gioti, Karatransavaguardia, Andreas Kasapis, Filippos Kavakas, Panos Koutroubousis, Fotis Kouzinos, Xristos Lialios, Dimitris Merantzas, Pantelis Pantelopoulos, Stavroula Papadaki, Dimitris Papadatos, Foivos Papadopoulos, Marios Perakis, Angelos Plessas, Natasha Poulantza, Dimitris Protopapas, Hercules Renieris, Ioakim Sidiropoulos, Giorgos Tourlas, Andreas Vais, VM Radio (vinyl microstore), Lefteris Yakoumakis