Each day of the programme of asfaBBQ 2019 will be curated by a different Athens-based independent initiative / collective, which will present their work and the work of artists they are interested in / in direct dialogue with.
The initiatives chosen are:
FAC Research is a space for learning, reflection, collaboration, support, exchange, knowledge production, political interventions, and trouble-making. Working across and against nation-state and continental borders, disciplinary boundaries, and institutional barriers, we return to the feminist roots of autonomous knowledge production, challenging what counts as legitimate knowledge and who is granted the right to produce and receive it. Our feminisms are queer, trans, intersectional, antiracist, anti-authoritarian, always in plural, reflexive, and internally contested.
Fytini is a greek DIY label, established in 2014 by conceptual duo FYTA and interested in the production of queer, performative, experimental and theatrical music alongside sound in hybrid media cultures. The five pillars of its modus operandi are: messthetics (spoken-word and poetry, experimental dadaism, abstract post-punk, anything related to meta/anti-art, neo-cabaret/burlesque, collage, avant-pop etc), queer (highlighting marginal subjectivities), free downloads, antiseriousness (familiar with the dangers and trappings of the spectacle) and a non-profit, grassroots operation.
photo by Dimitris Alexakis
Queer Ink is a publishing initiative aiming at producing, publishing and promoting printed and electronic material around feminist and queer politics and expression. Queer Ink has published six books, and hosted more than 15 poetry slams in Athens, introducing a new generation of queer poets and bringing together a diverse group of performers, academics and writers. In 2019, Queer Ink hosted the international conference ‘what is queer writing?’ initiating an international discussion around experimental queer writing.
photo by Sophia Zahariadi
MEME exists as a site of cultural reproduction, a space for complex bodies of meaning to birth, grow, develop, and manifest in various forms. Established in 2017 in Athens, Greece as the gallery arm of the community-run sociocultural center Communitism, MEME operates as a platform to support artists in their creative pursuits. We organize and host events - art shows, concerts, experiments, happenings, screenings, traditional exhibitions, workshops - throughout the year in collaboration with our resident artists.
Faster than Light
Faster than Light is a project invested in the authenticity of representation, identity, consciousness, and the excavation & resulting healing from trauma. Initiated by Kentaro Kumanomido and tt owen, Faster Than Light was a platform to experiment with collaborative forms of media making & togetherness, reaching towards a more authentic form of media presentation. The collective was intentionally chosen by tt & kentaro to intersect different groups of LGBTQIA+ persons to co-exist & collaborate within one project. The ethos of the making were inspired by activist organizing models, such as Emergent Strategies by adrienne maree brown & critical discourses on representation, intersectional feminisms & surveillance. Today, Faster Than Light is a group together in transition finding creative pathways towards togetherness & new culture making.
photo by Stavros Habakis
Athens Festival of Queer Performance
AFoQP aims at presenting different strands of the booming Athens scene of queer performance, as well as making contact with an international array of performers, artists and academics working on live and media performance art. The festival aims to bring together anything from drag to experimental music and from devised theatre to political manifestos and conceptual art and is ran by performers, theoreticians and activists of the Athens queer scene. The Athens Festival of Queer Performance is the only queer-themed self-funded independent festival in the country, supported solely by crowdfunding. The first installment of the festival will happen in October 2019.
photo by Alexandros Katsis
Sub Rosa Space
Sub Rosa Space is an independent platform for performance, active in central Athens since January 2018. Founded by Macklin Kowal, a multi-hyphenated artist-curator-writer-academic, the space functions as a laboratory for experimentation and as a forum for direct encounter between artists and audiences. As a curatorial platform, Sub Rosa Space prods the aesthetic contours of power and authority—whether those thematics are figured in terms of state politics, structures of subjective representation, or historical traditions of art practice itself. In tandem with these critical questions is a fundamental openness as to what constitutes performance or a performatively minded intervention. Deliberately, Sub Rosa Space does not define performance or suppose to present a vision of what performance would mean in the context of a post-crisis Athens. It is rather a space that endeavours to keep this question open, resisting the lexicological mandates that often befall the artistic scenes of peripheral cities when they find themselves, as Athens does, an object of international fascination within the art world. Sub Rosa Space is, in other words, an experiment in dilated contemplation, rallied around questions of force, agency, ability, and resistance. Its program to date has consisted of residencies and performances, and in the near future will expand to include more discursive forums and a series of publications.
photo by Alexandra Masmanidi
The e-zine ΣΚΡΑ-punk, a cultural sub-product, authentic and well-argued, was born in 2013 in Athens. If you ask what ΣΚΡΑ-punk is and what it wants, ΣΚΡΑ-punk may answer that it wants to connect the dots between pop culture and politics, and that it does so from a leftist point of view, self-organized, horizontal. It may also answer that it does the aforementioned having published almost a thousand articles, the vast majority of which are original, and that it tries to balance critical, journalistic, academic, and activistic discourse; memes of dubious quality; parties and events that changed the face of the schizoid modern metropolis irrevocably. This is what ΣΚΡΑ-punk will have to tell you, and if one thinks the above an overstatement, one should let bygones be bygones.
The text of appearances
The text of appearances Οrganised by Dimitris Rentoumis and Maria Glyka with the participation of the 11th studio of ASFA students. The text of appearances is an ongoing project that was initiated in May 2019 in ASFA and is researching the use of text in visual arts in relation to coexistence in a group. It emphasizes the engagement of diverse elements in order to construct a continuous context where narratives interact with each other and eventually merge together. In that way, it is an attempt towards the formation of a wider collective narrative as a process of transliterating the dynamic cohabitation of different practices inside the common space of an art studio. By taking into consideration aspects of language in visual arts with open conversations, exercises and in situ presentations, we examine text and its variants (such as storytelling or poetic speech) either as parallel paths or as inherent elements to the artistic process.