The official Greek participation of the 55th Venice Biennale, Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ History Zero will be presented in Thessaloniki at the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki (Warehouse B1, port) from October 3, 2014 and until January 10, 2015.
The exhibition at the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki is kindly sponsored by the non profit organization for Culture and Development NEON and OUTSET.
History Zero, by Stefanos Tsivopoulos, bears a complex structure: it comprises a film of three episodes alongside an archive of texts and images in order to create a single visual narrative about the role of money, the fluctuation of value and the invisible interconnectivity between people’s lives.
Syrago Tsiara, Director of the CACT and Curator of the exhibition -both in Venice and in Thessaloniki- gives her own interpretation: ”Although the work stems from crisis, it is not about crisis per se. It intends to define a restart point, a different point of view of the current situation.
The film depicts three seemingly unconnected human lives that indirectly meet, as the actions of one influence –unconsciously at least- the choices of the other. In the first episode, an immigrant searches for scrap metal in the streets of Athens, in order to sell it and secure his survival, until an accidental finding, a bag full of money in the shape of flowers, disrupts his daily routine. In the second episode, an artist wanders the city collecting images as material for his new work, when suddenly he finds something that captures his attention: a supermarket trolley full of metallic objects. In the last episode features a lonely old lady who is a contemporary art collector and lives in solitude at her home. Her favorite occupation is a unique craft: she makes origami flowers, using Euro notes as raw material.
The archive is entitled: Alternative Currencies – An Archive and a Manifesto. It is a collection of thirty two stories composed after historical and anthropological research about past and present alternative economic systems that have rejected the usage of a common currency; about communities that invent their own money or apply models of self-management, barter goods and services, in order to deal with worsening problems in times of crisis.”
The artist, as well, Stefanos Tsivopoulos mentions regarding his work: “In History Zero the three separate stories never meet directly, they only “meet” in the viewer’s mind or memory. I’m mostly interested in this aspect of interconnectivity and that all actions do have meaning and affect each other’s lives. The work deals with this greater aspect of “what is at work”, what makes the world move. Many would argue that it is money or the constant fluctuation of value. I think in essence it is something else. And I’m very happy if this something else remains invisible and has no name”
On Saturday October 4th Stefanos Tsivopoulos gave a masterclass at the exhibition venue (Warehouse B1, port) at 11:30-13:30.
Through the presentation of his recent works, the artist focused on his particular film style, on the use of archives, the relationship between fiction and documentation, as well as the new texchnologies of image.
The exhibition and the masterclass are both included on the 49th Dimitria festival, organized by the Municipality of Thessaloniki.
History Zero, here and elsewhere:
Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ History Zero was the official Greek participation at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Solo exhibitions followed at Stella Art Foundation Moscow, Art Basel Miami South Beach, Kunstforingen GL STRAND Copenhagen, Cycladic Art Museum Athens, group shows at CAFAM Biennial (Beijing), EVA International Biennial (Limerick), Lehmbruck Museum (Duisburg), Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo (Seville) and screenings at New York, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Brussels, Torino, Tel Aviv.
Stefanos Tsivopoulos (b. 1973), is a Greek artist and filmmaker living and working between Amsterdam and New York. His films are often the result of long-term research into archives, historical photography and film banks with a focus towards the political, social and economic aspects that determine history and our world. Most recently he participated in the 55th Venice Biennial representing Greece with his work History Zero. Recent solo shows and venues include Cycladic Museum Athens (2014); Art Basel Miami South Beach (2013); Stella Art Foundation, Moscow (2013); ISCP, New York (2011); Heidelberg Kunstverein (2010); Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade (2009). Group exhibitions include 2nd CAFAM Biennial Beijing (2014); 2nd Xinjiang Biennial, Urumqi (2014); EVA Biennial, Limerick (2014); Kunstforeningen GL STRAND Copenhagen (2014); SALT, Istanbul (2012); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2010); BFI Southbank, London (2009); Friedericianum, Kassel (2008); 1st Athens Biennale (2007).