The social contract & its discontents
13 - 20 September, 2019
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 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.
The Garden of Dystopian Pleasures
15 - 21 Septrmber, 2018
The Garden of Dystopian Pleasures, the fourth edition of asfaBBQ, is a showcase of performance, talks, workshops, screenings etc on notions of post-truth cultures and the return of reactionary propaganda. The two years that have passed since asfaBBQ’s utopian second installment, have brought humanity to a postmodern dead-end of unapologetic misinformation and have given birth to the alt-right, the coolest fascist movement the world has seen in decades.
With the unimaginative left being unable to respond and identity politics having been appropriated by the bad guys, the world can’t help feeling that it experiences a regression to a pre-WW state or an acceleration towards an even greater catastrophe. Is there a way forward and out of this mess? Can we rethink identity politics? Can we repackage hope as sexy? Can we assist fake-news trolls to their self-destruction?
The Garden of Dystopian Pleasures looks at ways of dissecting and digesting the enemy, through over identifying with monstrosities of post-truth society and reevaluating the politics of (guilty?) pleasure.
This edition of the asfaBBQ will be curated by the conceptual art duo FYTA, alongside the newly-founded think-tank 'Ministry of Post-Truth'.
29 May - 4 June 2017
The 3rd edition of the Athens School of Fine Arts Performance Festival, asfaBBQ, is going to focus on the concept of Dwelling and consequently of building and the home. Dwelling is the foundation of human existence that is intricately connected with being human. We should not only understand dwelling as an art or as a practice of inhabiting; rather we should consider it also in relation to building, growing and cultivating. It represents the way we are and the place where we belong. Dwellings are not only the homes that we built to live in, but also the ideas that we live by, the language we employ to describe and make sense of our world and of course our bodies.
Here is a series of questions that relate to the thematic of the 3rd ASFA BBQ: What is it to dwell? How does building belong to dwelling? What it means to be at home, and what is the meaning of hospitality? What does the figure of the stranger teaches us? And what about strangeness and the uncanny?
Performing Utopia: Celebrating 500 years of Radical Thinking
27th of May to 6th of June, 2016
The second edition of the asfaBBQ, "Performing Utopia", will celebrate and reflect on the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s radical speculations on social organization. There is a shift in the direction of the festival from the human body to the body politic (the theme of the previous edition of the festival was Bodies that Resist), with art being the instrument for imagination and re-constitution. The invocation utopia may seem overambitious, even ironic, if one considers the living situation in Athens today. Nevertheless, the necessity of thinking the conditions of living and creating together, in the fashion that More did 500 years ago, is even more pressing in a context of the continuing disintegration of social and political institutions. Utopic thinking and creating can protect and cultivate creativity, if only temporary, from the pressing challenges of a society in crisis, allowing the space and the time for experimentation and reflection.
Bodies that resist;
1 -14 June, 2015
Alas, the interrogation of the possibility of an affirmative biopolitics should transcend the limits of theory and of language if it is to realize its full potential. It is necessary to perform this critique by acting it out in bodily movement. One should use its own and other bodies performatively as substitute mirrors in an attempt to “see” oneself and to learn something physically about the body. Experiential anatomy and somatic investigations are yet another platform from which everybody has to construct a movement vocabulary that addresses the questions around the body and constructs affirmative biopolitics. Movement research should supplement critical theory in an integrated methodology that addresses body, subject and liberation.
La Pocha Nostra / Territories of Crisis
13 June, 2015
asfa BBQ 2015 Final Party
14 June, 2015
Athens School of Fine Arts / Theatre of ASFA / MOKEasfa
La Pocha Nostra Live Art Laboratory: ATHENS, GREECE
International Performance Intensive:
June 10th - 24th, 2013