asfaBBQ 2019 The social contract & its discontents
Enjoy your Symptom
2019, 13 - 20 September
In 2019, the achievements of identity politics and societies of multiculturalism, inclusion and tolerance seem more at stake than at any other moment in the last 50 years. All over the world, reactionary discourse previously considered unacceptable has gained significant ground. Simultaneously, there has been a somewhat urgent return to group formations and grassroots movements seeking to create safe spaces and form new concepts of togetherness. Some of these grassroots approaches, such as “the commons” and the “99%” movements have at times oversimplified the concept of human togetherness and collaborative discourse, often proposing neo-primitivist understandings of society that leave little space for individual expression and the complexities of 21st c. identities. This leveled down and forced expression of togetherness has largely not convinced the post-internet generation, a generation Z of no financial prospect and environmental disaster that lives amidst continuous social media conflict, while the alt-right paradoxically offers shelter to digital misfits.
The time has come to reevaluate ideas of togetherness when it comes to political/social ideals, aesthetics and so on. The artist as an individual (often male, white, cis, abled) has been the main focus of art history for some time; it is now scenes, movements, art spaces, waves, unexpected collaborations and all sorts of communities that allow for conflict and difference that gain ground, much like in previous politically treacherous times (the 1960s, the 1920s etc). asfaBBQ 5 is interested in giving space to some of these (largely DIY) scenes that have appeared in the Athenian landscape in the last five years and especially since the arrival of documenta14.
Instead of a centrally curated programme, asfaBBQ 5 will consist of separate mini curations, each on a different day, by a series of scenes / group initiatives / spaces operating in the city.