History Zero comprises a film of three episodes alongside an archive of text and images. The film questions the value of money and the role money plays in the formation of human relationships by depicting the experiences of three very different individuals; an elderly art collector suffering from dementia, an immigrant trawling the streets for scrap metal, and an artist taking snapshots of the city.
At the center of the installation will be an archive of examples and evidence from various models of alternative, non-monetary exchange systems. Rather than simply documenting these models, the archive stands as a political statement proposing a reformation towards autonomous communal patterns and forms of survival and resistance.
History Zero, specially commissioned for the Biennale, comes at a critical moment in contemporary Greek and European history. The artist views the culmination of the multi-layered crisis as an opportunity to interpret an alternative visualization of the future. History Zero implies not the end, but a point of departure, of recovery and growth: the beginning of something new. By approaching our relationship with money poetically, from a philosophical perspective, the artist proposes dynamic ways to reaffirm solidarity, cooperation and co-responsibility in response to the present crisis. The combination of the archive and films brings together the diverse culture surrounding economic exchange whilst challenging the social, political and performative aspect of alternative currency models.
Based in Amsterdam and Athens, Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ work refers to the past, collective and individual memory, the genius loci, or protective spirit, of a place, and notions of public discourse. His work also deals with the technology of the image, television aesthetics and the historical authenticity of cinema.
Stefanos Tsivopoulos was born in 1973 in Prague, Stefanos Tsivopoulos lives and works in Amsterdam and Athens. He studied fine arts at the Superior Academy in Athens, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Solo exhibitions include ISCP, New York (2011); Heidelberg Kunstverrein (2010); Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (2010); and Art Forum, Berlin (2009). Group exhibitions include Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2010); BFI Southbank, London (2009); ev+a, Limerick (2009); Athens Biennale (2007); and Thessaloniki Biennale (2007). Tsivopoulos is represented by Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan, and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens.
Syrago Tsiara was born in Larissa in 1968, Syrago Tsiara lives and works in Thessaloniki. She is a curator, art historian and Director of the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art, part of the State Museum of Contemporary Art – Costakis Collection. Tsiara studied Art History at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Social History of Art at the University of Leeds and completed a PhD on public art and national memory in Greece. She was a curator of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale, Praxis. Art in times of Uncertainty (2009). Shows which she has curated at the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art include Masquerades: Femininity, Masculinity and Other Certainties (2006); Disquieting Muses (2011); and Places of Memory – Fields of Vision (2012). Tsiara taught public art, historical avant-gardes and art theory at the University of Thessaly (2004–2007).
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