Meanwhile, in Athens: After Babel

18 mei 2019

Until now I haven’t seen much more than subwaystations and the fair so I decided to visit the city. Inquieries told me that in the concert-hall/ cultural centre Megaron Musikis I could find an exhibition under the name “After Babel”, so I decided to visit that. But first I went back to the fair, because we wanted to do the art route that Und. set out in Lefkados street. Not everything could be found or recognized, but we got a lot:

This seems like a deliberate set up!

This white shadow must be painted by an artist, or not?

Unmistakably Vasilis Botoulas was here!

The painter of white ghosts passed by.

This makes me think of the Malieveld project in Den Haag that I participate in!

? Great stuff anyway!

This also seems very delibarate, it connects to the poster in the first picture.

In Kallithea subwaystation I found a hidden painting which I think could have some more attention.

After checking on the installation I could leave for downtown. The exhibition “After Babel” is a trilogy with the subtitle “The Unwritten Library”. The concert hall and the new wing form a labyrinth which the curator Anna Kafetsi changed into the post Borgesian library of Babel. It consists of reading rooms, archives and stackrooms in the public and secret areas of the complex. Happily there are guides that help you find your way in the immense building.

But then in the buiding, the exhibition starts with a beautiful installation by Gary Hill: I Believe it is an Image in Light of the Other – 1991 – 1992 It plays with books and videoscreens

And the second beautiful work is by William Kentridge

A video that goes trough a book: Second hand Reading – 2013

The third work is also a surprise: A video of Ulysses Carriòn, dutch visual poet and book artist we hardly hear about anymore.

It was great to hear him talk about his work… Bookworks revisited – 1986

Kyrillos Sarris: The Journey of a Fool Stop – 1995

Irma Blank: UR-BUCH Ovvero ROMANZO BLU – 1987 An Interesting artist, books, language and painting combined

Stephanie Syjuco: Free Text – This is a workspace with prints of theoretical texts, available on the internet,

Some prints are put up on the outside, take away the leaf that interests you and you can find the URL on it.

Rivane Neuenschwander set up bureaus with typewriters for the public to write whatever they want. Only the texts can not be read, because the signs do not correspond to the letters on the keys

Jorge Méndez Blake: All the Borges Books (conversation between Jorge Luis Borges and Jorge Méndez Blake) – 2018

George Hadjimichalis: 66 Photographs from the archives – persons, details and situations -2012

Kyrillos Sarris: Finn, or the eternal recall of the end – 2011 This is a loop with picture from the life of James Joyce from infancy to death-mask

The one hundred letter word, the first thunderclap from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.

Annotations from Finnegan’s wake, it ’s so huge it buries the book itself

Gary Hill: Viewer- 1996

Jorge Méndez Blake: From an unfinished work (the garden of Eden) – 2014

Jorge Méndez Blake: 20 things I learned about libraries (detail) – 2018

Rania Bellou: Confession of a kiss I-XII, Turning a hundred times around I, II – 2014 The reconstruction of the life of Mrs. Margareth Becker of new York in drawings and installation

The drawings seem to fade away which gives a dreamlike quality to them

Irma Blank: Radical writings – Dal libro totale – doppia pagina VIII – 1983

Estefania Peñafiel Loaiza: Sismografies 3. Entrenerfs – 2013

Fiona Banner: Performance Nude – 2007

Fiona Banner: Performance Nude – 2007 It’s interesting that the nude is painted in tekst, which gives a totally different effect and a time element to the work

Rania Bellou: The diary of M. Becker 1940 – 2014

Estefania Peñafiel Loaiza: Déclaration de flamme – 2011 – 2018 A text in charcoal and gunpowder on two sheets of paper, not printed but placed directly on the surface. It could blow away in a minute which gives it an ephemeral quality.

Rania Bellou: Dismantling the Past – 2014

Of this work I didn’t find info, liked the drawings though

And the snakes went all over the building in the garage

Jorge Méndez Blake: The Castle – 2007 About Franz kafka’s book The Castle

Shilpa Gupta: For, in your tongue, I cannot fit – 100 jailed poets – 2017 – 2018

Shilpa Gupta: For, in your tongue, I cannot fit – 100 jailed poets – 2017 – 2018

George Hadjimichalis: Workshops of projects and images in crisis – 1994:  A shack in which surfaces are prepared to paint on. There should be a colour chart of the sky, a description of places and a history of the building of men’s houses. This is part of a workshop as part of a series of exhibitions when Greece presided over the European communities in 1994.

This the exterior of the shack

Michael Mandiberg: Print Wikipedia – 2009 – 2016

Thu van Tran: To exist hidden – 2009

The exterior of the building which was designed by Marcel Breuer

At night, at the fair, Lucia Bricco performed part III of “The Morning, the morning, the morning”.

The dead tree was stamped against the blue floor splitting in four

And at the end coffee again!

After Babel

Platforms project 2019