one of the primary objectives of the aesthetics of crisis research project is to be as open and dialogic as possible. so, besides making my data accessible online i wanted to also create a physical space for discussion. i eventually chose to put together a small exhibition of some of the photographs that i took in athens, juxtaposing them with quotations from interviews i conducted with street artists. in this i was hoping to transport the eclectic and complex stories told by the walls of athens to berlin and have them inspire perspectives on the crisis that diverge from those disseminated by mainstream media and politics.
the exhibition took place from july, 25 to august, 1 2013 at the non-profit friedrichshain gallery raum für drastische maßnahmen and included 168 photos of the works of more than 30 different artists as well as 16 quotes from 9 artists (bleeps, cacao rocks, D!, gall d’indie, oré, refur, STMTS, sonke) and 1 writer (laurie penny). those were losely arranged in and around 9 clusters constituting different aesthetics of crisis: protest / politics / the romance of protest /crisis / everyday life in crisis / children / beautification as well as two more random aspects i thought interesting: text – mainly to contain the 3 crisis tags βασανιζουμε, λαθως and wake up – and visitors – to show how many international people have left their marks on the city. to make clear how interwoven and overlapping those aspects are i connected them with a red line of tape.
throughout the opening night and during the following week approximately 100 people came by to see the exhibition, most of them giving interesting comments, asking all the right questions and telling me about their own projects. i met new and old greek-berliners and researchers of the crisis, street art enthusiasts and makers, economists and actors and got lots of amazing input from all of them and owe them my thanks. another installment of the exhibition is not planned for the near future, yet if you are a space or organization interested in hosting some of the pictures, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. besides: all the photos from the exhibition and a few hundred more can be accessed and downloaded for non-commercial use from flickr.
a note on interviews and media appearances
to my own surprise (and probably related to the famous sommerloch) the exhibition opening generated a lot of short-lived media interest for the topic which resulted in me giving one interview to the süddeutsche zeitung/jetzt.de (the “young” section one of the biggest german newspapers) and talking to 4 more radio broadcasters: deutschlandradio kultur, deutsche welle griechenland, rbb kultur and radioeins. while i am obviously happy and flattered by all that attention i do want to make clear that i never intended to speak about the topic as an “expert” but rather an enthusiastic observer and researcher. however, it is obviously impossible to stay in complete control over the indevidual production processes and their outcomes. i am more or less happy with all of the articles and interview even though some of them hold partially wrong information (e.g. that i lived with street artists or that i went to research in turkey during #occupygezi), could not accomodate my requests (e.g. making sure the artists are always credited in pictures) and made somewhat weird generalizations out of what i said (e.g. making my claim that while not everyone considers themselves leftist all of them hold critical, leftist positions in a way into “all of them are leftist in some way”). i do sincerely hope noone feels offended by anything that i said and encourage anyone who does to get in touch with me about it.