One of the primary objectives of the Aesthetics of Crisis research project is to be as open and dialogic as possible. Besides making my data accessible online via this website I also wanted to create a physical space for discussion and exchange. 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 manner I was hoping to transport the contingent 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 research exhibition took place from 25 July to 1 august 2013 at the non-profit Friedrichshain gallery Raum für drastische Maßnahmen. It 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). The photographs and quotes were losely arranged in and around nine thematic clusters: protest, politics, the romance of protest, crisis, everyday life in crisis, children, beautification as well as two more random aspects I thought interesting: text – containing the 3 crisis tags βασανιζουμε (I am tormenting myself), λαθως (wrong) and wake up – and visitors – to show how many international people have left their marks on the city of Athens. To make clear how interwoven those aspects are I connected them with red lines of tape.
Throughout the opening night and during the following week approximately 100 people came by to see the exhibition, many of them sharing interesting comments and feedback. I met new and old Greek-Berliners, 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.