The Athens Biennale announces its seventh edition, entitled ECLIPSE, co-curated by Omsk Social Club and Larry Ossei-Mensah under the artistic direction of Poka-Yio. ECLIPSE will take place from September 24 to November 28 (preview: September 23) in various locations in Athens. The exhibition will feature artists based in North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, many of whom will be exhibiting in Greece for the first time. The exhibition title highlights the obscured perspective of reality caused by the constant state of flux we are experiencing in our society now. ECLIPSE engages the social, political and spiritual changes of today’s global construct and in Athens itself, as a rising metropolis located at the intersection of Europe, Asia and Africa both physically and historically. An eclipse is a phenomenon of filtering and shrouding as well as a cosmic event. The experience of the eclipse functions as a catalyst for reprocessing an unresolved past that can inform an unspoken present and ultimately shape our future. Thus, Athens serves as the appropriate vantage point for contemplating the nuances of time and space. Furthermore, examining the questions is the west in decline or in a moment of significant transformation?
ECLIPSE seeks to assess the implications of identity, history, and cultural complexity. The 7th Athens Biennale offers an arena to interrogate many of the ideas, queries, concerns, and desires that are frequently not platformed within a Biennial format. In an effort to activate a dynamic cross-cultural discourse, ECLIPSE will highlight the works of artists from the African Diaspora in addition to other artistic voices that have historically been pushed to the periphery. This engagement will be articulated through the use of a “Black Lens” as one of the frameworks. This approach seeks to engage the varying perspectives and artistic practices percolating within the African diaspora. This dialogue will be situated alongside a complimentary framework of artistic interventions that use dynamic manifestations to compose unique practical narratives. Their aim is to strategically address the viewers imagination of potential parallel worlds and futures. Composing a set of spaces that platform ideas such as radical care, interspecies friendship and sonic viewing strategies, ECLIPSE presents a translocal chapter of contemporary thought on how to co-exist within a world differently.
Defying the prevalent politics of historical narratives, ECLIPSE proposes to challenge oppressive mechanisms and outdated idealism. By deploying various immersive techniques such as real game play, radical gossip, persuasive realities, “emotional hypnosis”, bodying, synthesis, and visualization, ECLIPSE activates narrative fabrication and orchestrates an experiential shift in art viewing opening an alternative future for contemplation.