Interplays of art criticism, cultural journalism, and public discourse: A review of the Greek coverage of documenta 14

Interplays of art criticism, cultural journalism, and public discourse: A review of the Greek coverage of documenta 14

Katerina Konstantinou

Documenta’s partial movement to Athens was one of the most discussed decisions made by the institution since its first edition in Kassel in 1955. The large number of writings published in international art magazines, as well as a great many references to the Athenian part of documenta 14 in the Greek press, illustrate the multitude of opinions about the fourteenth edition of this art event and the outburst of controversy it caused. Over an approximately two-year course of preparations in Athens, which lasted for some two years, numerous art professionals were invited to contribute their thoughts on this edition of documenta, held from April to September 2017. This text intends to look into the great variety of responses to documenta 14 that were published in Greek media.

As a member of the multidisciplinary team of the research project Learning from documenta, I had been collecting and cataloguing the online and offline material on documenta 14 since the beginning of my participation in 2016. I also made an effort to gather writings on the subject that preceded my involvement in the research. Although, on my part, this archive was informed mainly by writings in Greek and English, other members of the team contributed additional references to texts in other languages (mostly German and French, but also Spanish and others). In February 2017, I started working in documenta 14 as a venue coordinator at several locations in Athens. This arrangement allowed for access to the official archive of documenta. The institution was meticulously archiving publications from a wide range of resources from Greece and abroad.

Reviewing the archive of material I collected for the Learning from documenta research program seemed to me a meaningful contribution to an understanding of the interaction between art criticism, cultural journalism, and public discourse on documenta 14 in Greece. In addition, the archiving of relevant resources aimed at helping other members of the team in researching their own topics of interest. While doing so, I came to be all the more interested in what seemed to be an extraordinary and lasting attention by the Greek media towards a contemporary art show. To give a few hints about how the media, both online and offline, has treated the contemporary art sector in Greece for the last decades, it is worth noting that most contemporary artistic production has been going largely unnoticed by newspapers and magazines. Apart from the National Contemporary Art Museum (hereafter EMST), which had been regularly attracting the newspapers’ attention even before its establishment in the late 1990s, one could rarely find references to contemporary art shows or projects in daily newspapers and other mainstream press. Additionally, private institutions and their mega-projects, such as the Marina Abramović’s exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens by the NEON Organization in 2016, have been monopolizing the already limited space that the media devotes to contemporary art in Greece.

Documenta’s presence in Greece received considerable attention and produced a large amount of different opinions, comments, and other forms of written accounts, which were published in Greek media of all sorts. Due to lack of Greek art critics and art magazines at the time, such opinions, reviews, and commentaries—mainly by news reporters and cultural journalists—were widely circulated through daily newspapers, free press publications, and lifestyle magazines. Yet, some experts also published interesting texts that highlighted many aspects of the presence of documenta in Athens; such was the case of the prolific art critic Despina Zefkili, who interviewed most of the members of documenta’s curatorial team and continued to write and publish texts in various media, both in Greek and in English. All these official and unofficial reviews of documenta 14 affected the public perception of the exhibition and provide a rich source of information regarding the ways in which public expectations of, and public discourse on, this large-scale exhibition of far-reaching impact were formed.

To consider how these discourses have been constructed, both in the literal sense and on an ideological level, I reviewed numerous daily newspapers of wide circulation in Greece, and several news websites. A considerable amount of more critical and theoretically informed accounts of documenta’s presence in Athens were published by Greek art writers in diverse publications, ranging from lifestyle magazines to free-press newspapers. Some serious attempts by Greek critics and scholars to reflect on documenta 14 in Athens, were written in English (which is, of course, the dominant art world language) and were published in international art magazines. [1] This fact not only highlights the absence of media or other relevant platforms, especially since the Athens-based journal South as a state of mind was adopted by documenta 14 as its official publication; it also suggests a lack of sufficient readership for such topics in Greece, and thus a need for Greek art professionals and commentators to address a wider international public. Nevertheless, more opinions expressed in social media by art professionals found their way in the press easily. Such articles and commentaries, written in a casual style, seem to reflect spoken conversations taking place among artists and intellectuals of the local art scene at the time of the event, but also echo some early writings on documenta 14 that preceded the opening of the large-scale exhibition in Athens.

Compared to the space that contemporary art normally occupies in Greek printed media, the body of literature on documenta 14 is voluminous. More specifically, writings in Greek concerning documenta 14 were produced prior to its opening and across the duration of the exhibition in Athens, while less so when the show moved to Kassel. Another outburst appeared on the occasion of “documenta’s bankruptcy,” when the exhibition was finally over, but only a few critical views and reviews were published in the following years. All these texts, articles, reviews, interviews, commentaries, and opinions were produced by a rather diverse group of authors, and were scattered in various media ranging from online to offline. It seems that documenta excited local interest in contemporary art or at least triggered curiosity. All relevant produced content was somehow responding to issues and events that were already on the agenda of the media, such as the refugee crisis and the austerity measures. In other words, regular reporting that juxtaposed issues concerning the local political and social context, on the one hand, and documenta’s activity in Greece, on the other, acted as a medium for the development of a relationship between the readers of newspapers and other printed news media, and documenta 14.

Art critics and critical platforms or relevant media are greatly lacking in Greece. The same goes for courses on art criticism in the curricula of arts education or for postgraduate programs in art criticism. On the whole, one could argue that there is no established tradition of art criticism in the country. Despite some notable exceptions, it is clear enough that the potential role of art criticism as a disciplinary field within the contemporary art scene remains under-recognized in Greece. Fostering critical thinking related to art production is therefore left in the hands of just a few willing art professionals and scholars, who write occasionally in various media about contemporary exhibitions, artists, and projects that are taking place in Greece.

At the same time, the press coverage of art production in mainstream newspapers and media is assigned to journalists. More often than not, this kind of journalism tends to focus on popular notions about the value of art. It focuses on the aesthetic domain of the art experience, thus reproducing the commonly held view that art is there to provide some kind of aesthetic pleasure. That was perhaps the reason why documenta 14 was often treated as a very disappointing and incomprehensible exhibition, with regard to its artistic merit. However, the main concern of most journalists reporting on documenta 14 while the show was on, was not the art presented in the exhibition. [2] Their primary focus was the institution itself and the implications of its arrival and stay in Greece.

The most frequent themes of discussion in the Greek written responses to documenta 14’s presence in Athens targeted both the overarching concept of the exhibition and the particularities of the local context of Athens; namely, the current “crisis” (primarily) but also Athens’ ancient past, its lived collective memories, its public space, its place within the West. These subjects seem to have preoccupied writers from across the entire spectrum; mostly those from the intellectual ranks—that is, art professionals, scholars, and critics—and, to a lesser extent, those operating in the public discourse, as it was expressed in mainstream newspapers, lifestyle magazines, and other media. Drawing on the available body of commentary that can be classified into two broad generic categories, press coverage and art criticism, I will attempt to outline some issues that emerge repeatedly, despite the great variation among online and offline materials.

It doesn’t take more than a quick look through these written Greek sources to see that documenta 14 to a large extent disappointed its Greek commentators. According to Nora Sternfeld, disappointment expressed by journalists is a common reaction to most of the editions of this large-scale art event, especially in the art sections of German newspapers. [3] It seems that the same applies to Greece, but for different reasons. Starting with some initial doubts, and a general reluctance that culminated to complete rejection when the show was finally on, written responses were, in large part, posing questions about the ways in which Athens was “misread” by documenta and the impact that the large-scale exhibition would have on the local artistic scene, while at the same time they were stepping outside the art sphere to observe certain “particularities” of the public contexts, which rendered documenta 14 irrelevant to the Greek audience. Headline news at that time concentrated on major emergencies related to the so-called crisis, whereas documenta was portrayed as having failed to learn anything from Athens. Words and expressions such as “ruin porn,” “pornography,” and “misery,” or “crisis tourism” constantly appear in the press coverage of documenta 14. [4] With some exceptions, the implications that Greeks cannot but be indifferent to contemporary art due to the crisis, were generally accepted and repeated, tending to legitimize the narrative that places Greece in an inferior position at the geopolitical margin of Europe as well as the stereotypical view that art is a luxury.

Daily newspapers did manage to cover the presence of documenta in Greece, despite the fact that they did not have enough access to information before the opening of the event regarding the participating artists, the curatorial concept, or even the title, which had remained a “working title” for quite a long time. Greek journalists had to rely on some informative background reports published in foreign magazines, and on some leaked information that started spreading only a few months before the opening of the exhibition in Athens. The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports was one source of information on what documenta was planning for Athens, through the Transparency Program Initiative, Diavgia, where all government institutions are obliged to upload their acts and decisions on the Internet. A case in point was the day-to-day coverage of the permission procedure, which documenta went through for the use of archaeological sites, such as the Filopappou hill. [5]

On the other, brighter, side, documenta 14 in Athens was seen and represented by some commentators as a reward for the local art scene that survived the “crisis;” [6] as a long-awaited recognition for Greek artists who suffered the severe consequences of stringent cutbacks in the cultural sector, and, more often, as an opportunity for greater visibility of the hitherto under-represented contemporary Greek art. The relatively marginal place that Athens holds on the international contemporary-art map was an often-discussed issue in such comments, since Greece has long been considered to be in the periphery of the art world and Western art history. [7] Yet, on the occasion of documenta 14, some cultural journalists saw the city as a basis for significant art of any kind, and thus appropriate for documenta. In some cases, gratitude was expressed towards documenta for attracting international artistic interest. [8] For others, the collaboration with the EMST, which was announced a few months before the opening of documenta 14 in Athens, provided even better grounds for hope that Greek contemporary art could get international attention. [9] Among numerous articles celebrating the opening of the Museum and the arrival of documenta, a conservative daily newspaper recalls the Olympic games hosted in Greece in 2004: “Athens becomes an open visual-arts space that reminds us of the Olympic games.” [10] reads the title of one of these articles, cultivating expectations for a grandiose spectacle. The numerous positively-minded writings, from across the political spectrum, nevertheless failed to observe and comment on political, social, and cultural implications of the decision to move a part of documenta 14 to Athens.

Moving beyond such mainstream reviews and comments on the 14th edition of documenta (which were scattered around various media of wide circulation), a number of insightful texts by some of the most renowned art figures in Greece were also published in various textual forms and media, and adopted diverse viewpoints—from questioning to disapproval or irony. [11] This corpus of texts provides a rich collection of reflections on the ways in which the local art scene saw the arrival of documenta 14 in Athens. Moreover, they serve as starting points to initiate critical discussions and debates on the decolonization of the art world, from the perspective of the Greek experience of hosting such a powerful art institution; issues such as the dynamics of power and knowledge in the field of contemporary art, and many more. Writers reflect on the specificities of their own environment through their experiences and artistic and curatorial practices; in this way, their texts create a space for critical engagement and political criticism that exceeds the limits of just reviewing the art works or the curatorial decisions of documenta 14. On the whole, these in-depth assessments of documenta in Athens indirectly portrayed the large-scale exhibition as an opportunity to address and problematize a wide range of issues and themes, posed by the ways in which documenta 14 tried to intervene with the social and political frame of Athens in 2017; or, as an occasion for methodological and theoretical innovation, as was the case with the research project Learning from documenta. [12] In one of her early articles on documenta 14 which was published in English in the leading international journal Third Text, Despina Zefkili acknowledges the importance of—and thus the need for—a “serious institutional critique” concerning documenta’s impact upon the local art field and the implications of such an impact. [13] At the same time, she attributes some blame on the mainstream local press for having reacted in an almost deliberately exaggerated manner. This attitude by the local press made critical thinking and art criticism appear unnecessary or even unwanted. 

Since 2010, some years before documenta 14, the complex set of interactions between European Union institutions and the political system of Greece had already drawn international attention to Greece’s position among European societies. [14] Greek contemporary art, too, has been greatly discussed through the lens of the “crisis,” both within Greece and abroad. The result has been a stereotyped image of Greece, a point of challenge by many intellectuals. [15] Critique of media representations of the Greek social, political and artistic reality, along with a general distrust towards the social and political motivations and interventions of large-scale art events, form the background for the production of the aforementioned skeptical texts. [16]

Long feature articles containing in-depth analyses or experts’ opinions on contemporary art events do not often appear in Greek daily newspapers. Nevertheless, documenta 14 in Athens seems to have been considered as a newsworthy topic, and a few thought-provoking pieces by experts from different disciplinary fields and academic backgrounds were fortunately published in the culture sections or relevant insets of the daily press. One notable example was the inset Anagnoseis (“readings”) of the daily newspaper Avgi: newspaper of the Left, which published a series of articles on documenta 14 by invited scholars and art professionals.

Most of these analyses focused on the relation of the 2017 edition of documenta in Athens with the prevailing socio-political circumstances; they argued that the conceptual framework of the exhibition, the curatorial stances, as well as the art works and the events shown in Athens were “exoticising” the city, its history, and the collective memory of its people. Early writings on documenta 14’s presence in the Greek capital commented critically on the intentions of the curatorial team to relocate its 14th edition in the city that had been experiencing a long time of austerity and had become a symbol of the economic crisis. According to the critics, this curatorial decision meant to flatter the postcolonial sentiments or the de-colonial preoccupations of the art world. Furthermore, the sense of ambiguity and mystery created by the complicated structure of the exhibition, with numerous interconnecting parts all around Athens, was seen as an attempt to heighten the notion of the “unknown” ―a favorable characteristic of an exotic place. People complained that even the aesthetics of the exhibition’s printed informative material added to this impression of an “unknown” or “un-knowable” Athens. [17]

As it was mainly the context of the exhibition that attracted the attention of most Greek commentators, past relations between Greece and the powerful states of Europe, and the ways in which the country acquired its position in Western Europe, were often brought into discussion. The widespread interest that culminated with documenta 14 in Athens, was seen by some as an intellectual trend that shared some common qualities and features with the Philhellenism of the 18th and 19th centuries. References to Philhellenism [18] on the occasion of documenta 14 probably alluded to a fair amount of Greek and international scholarship, which has viewed Greece’s history in terms of colonialism. [19] Subject to heavy debate were also the North–South divide and the correlation between center and periphery, as they constituted key notions that were appropriated by documenta’s curatorial concept and choices of artists and artworks to be shown in Athens. Greek commentators argued that reproducing the discourse on North-South dichotomy signals that we cannot move outside this way of thinking, [20] the origins of which lie in colonialism. Yet, not all Greek scholars would agree that assessing, understanding, and analyzing documenta 14 through the lens of postcolonial studies could grasp the tensions, complexities, and implications of hosting an edition of the most influential contemporary art exhibition in Athens in 2017. For them, “crisis” as well as documenta 14 in Athens presents a set of issues that cannot be narrowed down to Europe’s colonial, crypto-colonial, or neocolonial encounters and oppression. [21]

The 2017 edition of documenta in Athens has opened a space for discussions around contemporary art and politics, both within and outside academia. Postcolonial theory, although frequently criticized and still strongly debated, seems to have offered a way of thinking for several non-academics too, who questioned documenta 14. [22] It is noteworthy that many skeptical accounts of documenta 14 in Athens were directly and profoundly informed by essays and commentaries of all sorts that had already been published in English in important art magazines and journals.

In addition to the rationale of documenta 14 and the ways in which it was applied in the specific social and political context of Athens, another recurring theme for reflection was the manifold ways in which documenta 14 treated—both in theoretical and practical terms― the ancient and modern Greek past. Over the last decades, the ancient Greek past and antiquities have been critically assessed with regard to their politics and poetics, uses and abuses, but also the ways in which modern Greeks relate to this heritage on a local and national level. [23] This scholarly interest has led to a considerable body of literature and an associated awareness of how the ancient past is being constructed, interpreted, represented, and narrated. The powerful, large-scale documenta exhibition, with its controversial title “Learning from Athens” and its almost by tradition provocative stance, was expected to move beyond the dominant perspectives of the Greek past, at least by drawing a new set of questions. Additionally, the long-disputed relationship between ancient and contemporary Greek art (the latter being largely neglected by the state’s cultural policies in favor of antiquities) raised expectations, but also some fear, about whether documenta would attempt a shift in focus. [24] To this end, a fair amount of comments were made and different opinions were expressed on the ways documenta 14 dealt with the ancient Greek past and its material remains. [25]

The more recent past was also the focus of interesting critical points, concerning specific works shown in the exhibition but also the use of certain sites and venues, such as the Municipality Art Center of Athens at Parko Eleftherias, or the headquarters of the former EAT/ESA, the military police during the Greek military junta (1967-1974), which was mostly remembered as a torture chamber. Mary Zygouri’s performance in Kokkinia was another such case. Her work dealt with the bloody events of August of 1944, when seventy-five members of the Greek resistance were executed by German soldiers. Negotiating this difficult history and heritage within the context of a large-scale exhibition organized by a German institution suggested an awkward entanglement between the past and the present, which led to many critical thoughts and reactions. [26]

Beyond the social and cultural particularities of Athens as the host city, which were on the forefront of many theoretically informed critical commentaries, another issue raised by these texts was the impact of documenta 14 on the field of art criticism in Greece in general. The high degree of reluctance, tension, anxiety, or even animosity towards documenta 14 in Athens was seen by several Greek art writers as producing a dominant discourse that gradually became commonplace through its wide circulation in mainstream newspapers and free-press magazines (such as LiFO and Propaganda) that address massive audiences. This discourse not only oversimplified the complex relationship between art and politics; it also suggested—uncritically and, perhaps, unconsciously—that there was no point in further critical efforts towards the exhibition. Although local art circles had expected a space for dialogue and critical thinking, “critical paroxysm,” (as it was named by Tramboulis and Tzitzilakis) [27] created an uneasy zone where a dialectic among different parties was arduous. Under these circumstances, the team of the Learning from documenta project had to deal with several conflicts and complexities, [28] as the project aimed at providing exactly such a space where dialogue could be fostered in a broader setting, within and outside the field of art.

In the aftermath

Most of the Greek reviews I examined responded to documenta 14 with an apologetic attitude, for having experienced the exhibition only in part, or for not having visited the second half of the show in Kassel. But, what does it really mean to have an overall picture of such a large-scale exhibition and a laudable amount of lengthy publication associated with it? Is it really a prerequisite for articulating an opinion? Art critic Andrew Stefan Weiner argues that “[t]here simply isn’t a stable position from which any one person could capably evaluate all this material and render a meaningful judgment of it.” [29] Other Greek commentators claimed that, for a “calm review” of documenta, one needs to observe and study the impact of the exhibition through time. According to them, a period of time was needed in order to put everything in perspective. [30] This statement was followed by various opinions, which rendered any kind of critical thinking wholly beside the point.

Most written responses represented, directly or indirectly, documenta 14 as a new form of colonialism; an idea that, to a great extent, set the tone for the public discourse on the exhibition. This way of thinking and interpreting documenta’s presence in Greece was further informed by the event’s international coverage, which comprises another very interesting and fairly large amount of material on documenta 14. It seems that, for a period of time, Greek journalists had been regularly reading international art magazines and forums, looking for means to understand what was happening in Athens. This becomes even more clear in cases where opinions, arguments, or even extracts from English texts were directly translated into the Greek press. Even though references to documenta 14 have been increasingly rare in Greek newspapers and other print or online textual media after the end of the exhibition (which only appear as part of the continuing debate about the Greek National Museum of Contemporary Art [EMST]), a significant amount of academic or art papers were published in international venues in the period that followed documenta 14. Despite the great efforts towards critical thinking by many art critics and scholars around the world, there exists no communication channel between the Greek mainstream media and the art world anymore. Yet, as long as it did exist, it produced a very interesting record of the many different ways in which Greeks see their position in the international art world, and vice versa.

It has already been three years since the famed exhibition took place in Athens. The controversial relationship between documenta 14 and the local art scene, which developed partly as a result of the various online and offline commentaries, has not been reconciled. Talking about a pre- and a post-documenta era for the local art scene became a mainstay in the ways in which the local art world refers to itself after 2017. This representation of the recent past of contemporary art in Greece treats documenta 14 as a catalytic event that played a significant part in altering the status of contemporary art within the local context. Yet, it remains to be studied in which ways the contemporary art field was impacted. Concerning popular media’s attention to contemporary art in Greece, it seems indeed, that in the post-documenta era there is a relatively growing interest in what is going on in this ivory tower. However, this attention is far less than that directed at documenta 14 some years ago. And although many online fora that appeared since 2017 created a space for representing and negotiating Greek contemporary art [31] beyond mainstream media discourses, media’s attention will probably never again reach this peak.

Katerina Konstantinou is an art historian, currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Social Anthropology of Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens. Her research interests focus on the diverse and advanced modes of public and community engagement in the interpretations and representations of the past. She has participated in several research programs run by various institutions. In her independent research she has been applying and combining methods and practices that draw from various disciplinary and other fields, using ethnographic fieldwork techniques, oral and public history practices, community archaeology methods, contemporary art means, museology media, cinematography, technology and multimedia. She has worked for museums and cultural organizations in Greece and abroad. She has received scholarships and grants from the University of Ioannina, the Research Center for the Humanities and the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports. She is currently a research associate at the Institute of Mediterranean Studies of the Foundation for Research and Technology (IMS-FORTH).

Notes

[1] For instance, see Stavros Stavrides, “What Is to Be Learned? On Athens and Documenta 14 So Far,” Afterall 43 (2017), https://www.afterall.org/journal/issue.43/what-is-to-be-learned-on-athens-and-documenta-14-so-far, Despina Zefkili, “‘Exercises of Freedom’: Documenta 14,” Third Text Online. Critical Perspectives on Art and Culture (2017),  http://www.thirdtext.org/exercises-freedom-documenta14 (accessed February 4, 2018), and Rikou, Elpida, and Eleana Yalouri, “Learning from Documenta: A Research Project Between Art and Anthropology,” ONCURATING, no. 33 (2017), https://www.on-curating.org/issue-33-reader/learning-from-documenta-a-research-project-between-art-and-anthropology.html#.Xq18WGQzY6U (accessed April 2, 2020)

[2] There have been, nevertheless, some notable exceptions that have attracted much attention, including Rick Lowe’s “Victoria Square Project” and Marta Minujín’s “Parthenon of Books.”

[3] Sternfeld, Nora, “Para-Museum of 100 Days: Documenta Between Event and Institution.” ONCURATING, no. 33, (2017), https://on-curating.org/issue-33-reader/para-museum-of-100-days-documenta-between-event-and-institution.html#.XnRnw2QzY6V (accessed April 2, 2020)

[4] For example, see Harris, William, “Obscurity of Purpose, Immediacy of Experience,” Online Only | n+1, https://nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/obscurity-of-purpose-immediacy-of-experience/ September 20, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020) and Court, Andrew, “Controversy and Politics (as Well as Some Art) at Documenta 14,” Quiet Lunch, http://quietlunch.com/controversy-politics-documenta-14/ June 14, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[5] See, for example, Vasiliki Tzevelekou, “H documenta 14 σε αρχαιολογικούς χώρους [Documenta 14 in Archaeological Sites],” Efimerida ton Syntakton, https://www.efsyn.gr/tehnes/art-nea/85091_h-documenta-14-se-arhaiologikoys-horoys October 6, 2016 (accessed April 2, 2020), and Tzevelekou, Vasiliki, “Η documenta ζητά αρχαιολογικούς χώρους [Documenta Ask for Archaeological Sites],” Efimerida ton Syntakton, http://www.efsyn.gr/arthro/i-documenta-zita-arhaiologikoys-horoys September 23, 2016 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[6] See, for example, Maria Katsounaki, “To δώρο της Documenta [The Gift of Documenta],” I Kathimerini, http://www.kathimerini.gr/918623/opinion/epikairothta/politikh/to-dwro-ths-documenta July 15, 2017, (accessed April 2, 2020)

[7] Areti Adamopoulou, “Born of the ‘Peripheral’ Modernism: Art History in Greece and Cyprus,” In Art History and Visual Studies in Europe: Transnational Discourses and National Frameworks, edited by Matthew Rampley, Thierry Lenain, Hubert Locher, Andrea Pinott, Charlotte Schoell-Glass, and Kitty Zijmans, (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2012), p. 379–91.

[8] See, for example, Maria Rigoutsou, “Η Documenta 14 έδωσε ελπίδα στην Αθήνα,” Deutsche Welle. https://www.dw.com/el/%CE%B7-documenta June 6, 2015, (accessed April 2, 2020)

[9] Katerina Anesti, “Documenta: Το ΕΜΣΤ γίνεται Γκασταρμπάιτερ,” Protagon.gr, http://www.protagon.gr/epikairotita/to-emst-ginetai-gkasterbainter-gia-na-leitourgise-44341364682.

March 7, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[10] M. Pournara was regularly reporting for documenta 14 in the traditionally conservative and more recently right-wing newspaper Kathimerini. On another piece of hers we read about the “The left-wing zombie in documenta” (2016), probably referring to Antonio Negri’s visit in Athens as a guest of documenta 14. This paradoxical reaction could perhaps be an individual turn.

For one of her more optimistic views, see Margarita Pournara, “Η Αθήνα γίνεται ένας ανοικτός εικαστικός χώρος, που θυμίζει Ολυμπιακούς [Athens becomes an open visual-arts space that reminds us of the Olympic Games],” I Kathimerini, http://www.kathimerini.gr/904295/article/politismos/eikastika/h-a8hna-ginetai-enas-anoiktos-eikastikos-xwros-poy-8ymizei-olympiakoys April 7, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[11] See, for instance, an article that attempts to explain “why everyone hated documenta 14,” posted in https://ipropaganda.gr/, a portal run by L. Charalampopoulos, A. Zenakos, G.O. Papadimitriou, Ch. Natsis, P. Rapti and K. Gyftodimos, “Γιατί όλοι μίσησαν την Documenta 14;” [Why everyone hated Documenta 14?], Propaganda.gr, https://ipropaganda.gr/ n.d (accessed April 2, 2020)

[12] Elpida Rikou and Eleana Yalouri, “Learning from Documenta: A Research Project Between Art and Anthropology,” ONCURATING, no. 33. (2017), https://www.on-curating.org/issue-33-reader/learning-from-documenta-a-research-project-between-art-and-anthropology.html#.Xq5442QzY6U (accessed April 2, 2020)

[13] Despina Zefkili, “Documenta 14 in Athens,” Ocula, June, 2017, http://u-in-u.com/en/documenta/2017/documenta-14-athens/ (accessed April 2, 2020)

[14] See also Penelope Papailias, “Beyond the ‘Greek Crisis’: Histories, Rhetorics, Politics.” Hot Spots Series, Fieldsights, October 10, 2011 https://culanth.org/fieldsights/series/beyond-the-greek-crisis-histories-rhetorics-politics (accessed April, 2, 2020), George Tzogopoulos, The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press. (London: Routledge, 2013), Ourania Hatzidaki and Dionysis Goutsos, eds. Greece in Crisis: Combining Critical Discourse and Corpus Linguistics Perspectives. (Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V., 2017), and Yiannis Mylonas, The Greek Crisis in Europe: Race, Class and Politics. (Leiden: BRILL, 2019)

[15] Dimitris Tziovas (ed.), Greece in Crisis: The Cultural Politics of Austerity. (London: I.B. Tauris, 2017)

[16] Angela Dimitrakaki, “Art, Globalisation and the Exhibition Form,” Third Text 26 (3), (2012), pp. 305-319, and Panos Kompatsiaris, The Politics of Contemporary Art Biennials: Spectacles of Critique, Theory and Art. (New York: Routledge, 2017)

[17] Christina Sgouromiti, “Ceci n’ est pas une exhibition,” Avgi, http://avgi-anagnoseis.blogspot.com/2017/07/ceci-n-est-pas-une-exhibition.html July 24, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[18] Such as those by Christoforos Marinos & Nikos Christopoulos, “Documenta 14: μια ανάγνωση/ προσωρινή αποτίμηση [Documenta 14: A Reading/ Temporary Assessment],” http://avgi-anagnoseis.blogspot.com/2017/07/documenta-14_72.html July 31, 2017 (accessed April, 2, 2020)

[19] To cite just one of the most seminal works, see Michael Herzfeld, Ours Once More: Folklore, Ideology and the Making of Modern Greece (Austin: University Texas Press, 1982)

[20] Among others, Panos Kouros, “Όταν η πολιτική γίνεται μορφή (Στο φόντο της πόλης της Αθήνας) [When Politics Turn into Form (against the Background of the City of Athens)],” Avgi, http://www.avgi.gr/article/10812/8314459/otan-e-politike-ginetai-morphe-sto-phonto-tes-poles-tes-athenas- July 24, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020), and Iris Lykourioti, “H «Ηττημένη» Αθήνα [Defeated Athens],” Ta Nea, April 14, 2017

[21] Elpida Rikou and Io Chaviara “ ‘Crisis’ as Art: Young Artists Envisage Mutating Greece.” Visual Anthropology Review 32 (1) (2016) pp. 47–60, and Theophilos Tramboulis, “Αθήνα ή Περί Αγωγής [Athens or On Education],” Avgi, http://avgi-anagnoseis.blogspot.com/2017/07/blog-post_96.html July 17, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[22] To give just one example, see Xenia Kounalaki, “Αθήνα… «νέο Βερολίνο» [Athens … ‘the New Berlin’],” I Kathimerini, http://www.kathimerini.gr/918241/opinion/epikairothta/politikh/a8hna–neo-verolino July 14, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[23] Notably, Eleana Yalouri. The Acropolis: Global Fame, Local Claim. (Oxford and New York: Berg Publishers, 2001), and Yannis Hamilakis, The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)

[24] Theophilos Tramboulis ibid. and Theophilos Tramboulis and Yorgos Tzitzilakis, “When Crisis Becomes Form: Athens as a Paradigm,” Stedelijk Studies, no. 6. https://stedelijkstudies.com/journal/when-crisis-becomes-form-athens-as-a-paradigm/, 2018 (accessed March 3, 2021)

[25] For instance, Despina Zefkili, “ ‘Exercises of Freedom’ Documenta 14,” Third Text, February 2017  http://thirdtext.org/domains/thirdtext.com/local/media/images/medium/Exercises_of_Freedom.pdf (accessed April, 2, 2020), and Eleana Yalouri, “Afterword: Hellenomanias Past, Present and Future,” Hellenomania, edited by Katherine Harloe, Nicoletta Monigliano, and Alexandre Farnoux, 311–24. (Abingdon: Routledge, British School at Athens, 2018)

[26] For instance, Giorgos Giannakopoulos, “Documenta και ιστορία στον δημόσιο χώρο εικόνες και συμφραζόμενα [Documenta and History in the Public Space Images and Context],” Avgi, http://www.avgi.gr/article/10812/8314447/documenta-kai-istoria-ston-demosio-choro-eikones-kai-symphrazomena July 24, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020) and Despina Zefkili, ibid.

[27] Theophilos Tramboulis and Giorgos Tzitzilakis, ibid.

[28] Eleana Yalouri and Elpida Rikou, “Documenta 14 Learning from Athens: The Response of the ‘Learning from Documenta’ Research Project,” Field: A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism, no. 11. http://field-journal.com/issue-11/documenta-14-learning-from-athens-the-response-of-the-learning-from-documenta-research-project 2018 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[29] Andrew Stefan Weiner, “The Art of the Possible: With and Against Documenta 14,” Biennial Foundation, http://www.biennialfoundation.org/2017/08/art-possible-documenta-14/ August 14, 2017 (accessed April 2, 2020)

[30] Thanasis Moutsopoulos, “Η Μεγάλη Σκιά της Documenta. Η Αθήνα λίγο μετά το τέλος της διοργάνωσης [The big shadow of Documenta. Athens little after the end of the event]”, Fragile mag, https://eretikos.gr/fragilemag/documenta-athens-moutsopoulos/ July 21, 2017 (accessed March 3, 2021), and Maria Katsounaki, ibid., and Denys Zacharopoulos, “documenta 14: Η έκθεση συνεχίζεται… [documenta 14: The exhibition is still on…]”, Kathimerini.gr https://www.kathimerini.gr/culture/arts/918875/documenta-14-i-ekthesi-synechizetai/ July 18, 2017 (accessed March 3, 2021)

[31] Such as und.Athens both online (http://und-athens.com/journal) and printed journal for “documenting alternative creativity” and Current Athens, “an online platform for the promotion of contemporary art” (https://www.currentathens.gr/)