Stefanos Tsivopoulos will represent Greece at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, with his work History Zero.Venice Biennale opened its doors on May 31 and will run until November 14, 2013 in Venice, Italy.
The journalists who have already visited the 90 national pavilions record their impressions and make lists of the most interesting works. The Greek participation, History Zero, managed to attract the attention of countries and artists that are very important to contemporary art. The famous British style magazine Dazed & Confused ranks Tsivopoulos among the top ten young artists of the Biennale, with special mention to the way he handles the topic of the economic crisis that is plaguing Greece.
In addition, the British newspaper The Telegraph, mentions the Greek pavilion among the ones monopolizing interest. “In the Greek Pavilion, a three-part film about money contains footage of an African immigrant pushing a supermarket trolley through the streets of Athens while hunting for scrap metal to sell – a reminder, of course, that the land of Homer is still flirting with bankruptcy. According to the press release, Stefanos Tsivopoulos’s History Zero questions the value of money.” It is difficult to imagine Greek politicians asking similar questions when they go cap in hand to the EU,” wrote The Telegraph.
History Zero, specially commissioned for the Venice Biennale from the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, comprises a film of three episodes alongside an archive of text and images. The film questions the value of money through the stories of three completely different individuals, an old demented collector of contemporary art, an immigrant who collects scrap metal, and an artist who collects images. History Zero explores the role of money in the formation of human relationships.
The archive is a collection of evidence about various models of alternative, non-monetary exchange systems. However, the role of this archive is not just to document these models, but it stands as a political statement suggesting a reformation towards autonomous communal patterns and forms of survival and resistance.
History Zero appears at a critical moment for contemporary Greek and European reality. It is the moment that a multi- layered crisis is culminating and at the same time, the crisis context opens possibilities for a different visualization of the future. It suggests a moment of rupture with the historical continuum, a moment when old forms die and the new ones are not born yet.
The project is curated by Syrago Tsiara, Director of the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art.