Recovering Lost Voices: A Situated Perspective on documenta 14

Recovering Lost Voices: A Situated Perspective on documenta 14

Elpida Rikou

1. Voices Lost

“Voices” (Fonés) was the title of a collective project between art and anthropology which began in 2011, in the midst of the so called “Greek” crisis, and was completed with the publication of a book in 2016.[1] This was a time when the coming together of friends, colleagues and students, usually around a table full of homemade treats, generated long discussions over how and why anthropology might be combined with art. These lengthy debates resulted in the organization of events, talks, performances and more complex research projects, focused on the human voice, and its aesthetic, technological and social parameters. Fonés permitted each one of us to find or strengthen our own voices, thereby claiming a place at the then nascent and effervescent Greek contemporary art scene.

During that period, many others were making similar moves, coming together, organizing, protesting, networking, opening or occupying spaces, creating something new and contemporary for and with art. The occupation of the Embros theatre and the organization of the “Agora” Athens Biennial, amongst other initiatives, such as the TWIXTlab (centered on art and anthropology), successfully captured and enhanced the spirit of those years. Artists and theorists were coming to Athens from different parts of the world to partake in this movement of art, becoming grounded in politics, in collective, participatory undertakings that addressed specific issues present locally as the result of global capitalism in crisis. Along with them came representatives of documenta 14 (from now on d14) and as early as 2013 they started preparing for the exhibition, partly moving to Athens. From then on, the dynamics in the city gradually changed.

I still remember a day in 2016 when most of the “Voices” members gathered at a restaurant in the neighborhood of Koukaki near the Acropolis, by then famous for its Airbnbs hosting many artists among the tourists, to celebrate the publishing of the book. It so happened that one of us, an artist and academic at the Athens School of Fine Arts, where documenta had already found its main host, recognized two documenta 14 curators known to him at a nearby table. He brandished the finely designed, white-covered volume in the air and called them to our table to share the good news. An interesting, interdisciplinary project was just published and it seemed so very close to the whole d14 spirit! The response was polite but elusive, to say the least. How would the d14 choose to engage with, and relate to, what was actually going on in the city, I wondered.

I couldn’t have imagined, then, that most of us Fonés’ members would grow so quickly apart due to our different trajectories, shaped mainly by d14’s presence in Athens. I consider the split of this spontaneous collectivity as rather indicative of d14’s influence on the local art scene and academic milieu: some became protagonists of the installation of d14 in Athens, others collaborated happily or with a certain reserve with the exhibition, a few were critical of d14 coming to Athens, while one or two refused any relationship whatsoever. Later on that same year (2016), we also heard that “Omonoia”, “concord” in Greek, and the title of the then-upcoming Athens Biennale, which was to run from 2015 to 2017 in collaboration with d14 in Athens, had encountered many obstacles. Rumors had it that there was a clash amongst these institutions. Diverse manifestations of queer criticism by ex-Biennale members followed, particularly concerning Paul Preciado’s Parliament of Bodies (which had substituted for the Biennale’s role at the public programming of d14).

Meanwhile, the Learning from documenta initiative (from now on Lfd) was begun and established its own itinerary as a difficult and demanding project. Its aims and subsequent actions are stated elsewhere.[2] Focusing on d14 in Athens, the project’s members were trying to understand what was happening in the city by participating in different events, while also observing, proposing different art initiatives and reflecting critically on the research material thus gathered. Along with this aspect of the program, the Athens Arts Observatory was organized as one more means to experiment with research practices while also responding to a more public and activist agenda. The Athens Arts Observatory proposed a platform where conflicting but important issues coming up while d14 was in Athens could be discussed, with the help of specialists and the participation of a larger public. A series of round tables were planned and a fanzine was published.

In one of these round tables entitled “Politics of Curating”, in January 2017, an unexpected clash with d14 occurred (I’ll come back to this event later in this text). From that day onward, Lfd’s relations to d14 became problematic, while at the same time, the relations inside our own team also became tense, due to the divergent positions of its members as to how to respond to this new situation. We continued our research and organized several events until the closing one, in October 2017. Our output has been prolific but today, three years after, we are presenting only part of it, in this special issue, while important material remains on our hard disks without being processed. In my view, the clash with d14 became an inner trauma which drained our team’s energy in the long run and didn’t permit us to fully complete our endeavor. In that sense, I would consider that the project’s voice, so to speak, while discernable and, hopefully, of some importance as to its theoretical contribution, isn’t as loud and clear today as it could have been. Also, paradoxically, as a coordinator of the Lfd project, I felt I lost my own voice during the effort to go through with the whole project’s aims because this meant not following what I personally understood as the appropriate, more public and activist, response to the aforementioned clash and to the others that followed. Although Lfd’s story has its own specific characteristics, I believe it is also linked to what happened in the Athenian art scene more generally, after d14’s arrival, when, for different reasons, discord ensued and the important potential for something new, and artistically and politically effective, disintegrated.

At the same time, though, new voices were heard and others strengthened, due to d14. In fact, some consider d14’s most important long-term contribution to Greece the professional experience acquired by the younger generation and the career boost it provided for everyone who participated in the exhibition.[3] However small in number, these people were, the networks created internationally via their activities indirectly promote contemporary art locally and change, somewhat, the terms of art education, production and exhibition. In tandem, d14’s presence for several years in the city reinforced the now vibrant independent art scene in Athens, with many non-Greek incomers investing cultural and economic capital. It is true that not many things have changed in the State’s cultural policy, but this is a complex issue and it wasn’t d14’s role to improve this policy, however important symbolically was the decision of d14’s Artistic Director to back the public rather than the private domain. This private domain, though, is now flourishing, being the main, if not the only, funding source for contemporary art in Greece, a fact also indirectly encouraged due to networks established by d14. Finally, although indifference was largely the response of the so called “larger public” to the presence of d14 in Athens and eventually mostly cultural tourism made some impact, status and legitimacy were added to an art production that had depreciated locally (especially compared to that of Greek ancient heritage), since d14 was widely acknowledged as a powerful European art institution.

The question is how does one understand and evaluate the contribution of d14 today? The perspective I shall develop in what follows, by considering certain aspects of the relations between the Lfd and d14, is situated [4] in that it strives to bringing to the fore embodied power relations where “I” is implicated, questioning its own positioning. I briefly mention the relations between anthropology, art and institutional criticism, on the occasion of an incident during fieldwork (the aforementioned round table), and after considering certain paradoxes of contemporary art institutions, I conclude with an evaluation of Lfd’s contribution.

2. Anthropology and Art. And Institutional Critique

As I already mentioned, I consider the turning point of our project to be the round table on “The Politics of Curating,” which, retrospectively, was the most difficult but also the most revelatory moment in our research. In January 2017, the day of the event, I remember the presence of many people in the audience (where I also was), Greek and non-Greek curators and artists as well as academics and students. That evening, the representation of d14 was important and by chance almost “complete,” in the sense that there was a party from Kassel visiting Athens, people who came along with others: artists from d14 and from the Athens School of Fine Arts, several Greek and non-Greek curators of the exhibition, along with Adam Szymczyk amongst the audience. Paul Preciado (philosopher and curator, director of d14’s public program) and Katerina Tselou (curator, also of the Agora Biennale, and at the time, the assistant to d14’s Artistic Director) were invited participants on the round table. Thus, a significant and representative body of d14 was present at the event. At the same time, the invitations to the round table extended to people well informed on the international art world and documenta in particular, while also very active in the Greek context or/and knowledgeable on issues of anthropology and art, with different perspectives on d14: the art critic Despina Zefkili, the anthropologist and curator Evangelia Ledaki, and Costis Stafylakis, queer artist and theorist, among the Athens Biennale “Omonoia” organizing team, along with Apostolos Lampropoulos, an expert in literary and cultural theory, from Lfd. This was a well-conceived panel, from my perspective, particularly in reference to the issues concerning documenta 14 in Athens. The questions, previously circulated to the participants by the two coordinators (Eleana Yalouri from the Lfd project and Panteion University, where the event was hosted, and Despina Zefkili), were aimed at gaining a better understanding of d14’s curatorial choices, mainly as far as the public programming was concerned and the Athens part of the exhibition, but also having to do with the whole concept of d14 and more generally, current issues of curating and its politics (as the title of the meeting indicated).

Paul Preciado became the protagonist of the whole event, so to speak, in the sense that he was the main d14 representative on the panel, the curator of the public program and his intervention brought to the fore certain controversial issues, concerning, for instance, d14’s response to the local and international audience’s expectations, but also, the role of anthropology in matters of contemporary art and others.[5] Costis Stafylakis intervened by criticizing the public program’s outlook as Orientalizing in its approach to Athens and the South; Despina Zefkili brought up certain interesting points concerning curatorial choices, as did Apostolos Lampropoulos, mainly concerning curating and theory; Eleftheria Ledaki and Katerina Tselou described their respective positioning to the matter and the discussion opened up to the audience, who eagerly responded . Many questions and comments were put forward, gradually focusing entirely on what everyone in the city or rather in the Athenian art scene wanted until then to openly discuss with d14 and wasn’t able to, because of the secretive atmosphere mainly imposed by the presence of this powerful institution. Every issue that came up concerned, one way or another, curatorial choices about Athens and d14’s actual institutional functioning locally. Why was d14 in Athens, after all? How were the choices of the participating Greek artists made? And many more. At this kind of live debate, no readymade curatorial agenda could serve as an adequate response. There were highly emotional reactions on the part of d14 members in the audience, expressing mostly indignation regarding the questions that came up, as if they shouldn’t be openly discussed, and from the panel, the main response coming from Paul Preciado, in a similar mood, while the two coordinators did their best to fulfill their roles, which had, by now, become very difficult indeed. The event ended in that heated atmosphere and it was characterized as a “people’s trial” by Adam Szymczyk, when he and the other members of d14 left in a hurry, along with other Greek academics, accusing the bearer of bad news, the host (Lfd), of “not behaving properly” as one should (probably in reference to what one is supposed to do in art institutions and in the academy?). The meal that we, the Lfd members as hosts, shared with Preciado afterwards, to thank him for his participation, was not enough to change the bitter aftertaste of this roundtable, neither for him nor for us, for that matter.

Obviously, we had crossed the line by permitting first-hand “raw” institutional criticism to happen. Afterwards, when we tried, as a team, to decide how to react to this unexpected situation, the issue was again formulated in terms of manners, of “how to behave,” when a potent institution (whose presence in Athens was also the main focus of our research) was challenging us. Discretion prevailed in an effort to fix things with d14. Rendering the content of the discussion public as we were planning to do anyway with all round tables, and stating our case clearly—at a moment when gossip was rampant about us being “just one more local group attacking d14 because they are excluded”—was considered by certain members of our team as being too “aggressive”. The controversy stopped us from revisiting our documentation material of this event and other ones and harmed our research, while emotional tension pervaded our team.

“The contemporary practices of art and culture are part of a very powerful institution of art (…) decisions depend on money, power – ‘translated’ into affectivity, sexuality–and, also, (on the capability) (…) to be up to the level of the task, to refrain from radical criticality, to understand what the border of intervention is without being explicitly told, to be respectful and to allow patronizing, etc.–in short, to use the language properly and to behave, use language and bodily manners that fit within the institution”. This extract from Marina Gržiniċ’s contribution to a volume with the eloquent title How Institutions Think [6] did shed light, for me, on what exactly was at stake with the whole issue of “manners”. Embodied institutional power, simply put, exercised against us to bring us back into line and “radiating” inside our own team, since we were partly (but not totally) participants of the academy in art and culture (with a differentiated impact, of course, according to the positions of diverse team members vis-à-vis Lfd and d14).

Following the contentious roundtable, the incidents piled up with d14, especially with its public program and with artworks that were open to the participation of the public. While certain Lfd members continued documenting their own relations to the exhibition, they were faced with accusations of perpetrating “violence” or “trespassing” on what was revealed to be, by all the prohibitions that arose, the invisible “enclosure” separating the powerful institution from the city and its public. This was a paradox equally revelatory for what was problematic with an exhibition whose curatorial agenda claimed that it was owned “collectively and by no one in particular”. [7] [8]

Unfortunately, we weren’t capable, at that time, of coping with these incidents as matters of research. The tension was building up amongst us and the issue of “manners,” referring originally mostly to academia, conflated gradually with reference to the ethics of research in anthropology, which demands us to respect our interlocutors (d14) and not to use means at our disposal (such as cameras) in non-ethical ways. The issue of “discipline” was suddenly of central concern to us–because it was actually introduced and used by d14 against us–in both meanings of the term. From the point of view of the artists, the academy and anthropology became synonymous (and there was reason for that, anthropology being primarily an academic discipline). On the other hand, the claim for artistic freedom, one of the arguments against this type of “disciplinary” reference, is by default beholden to ethical considerations (totally respected by Lfd artists in their practice, anyway) but also has a disciplinary character of its own, differently expressed, less officially imposed, conveyed via more informal codes of conduct and the personal relationships of affective character (as implied in Grzinic’s citation mentioned above) and therefore more pervasive because less debatable. This implicit code of conduct was differentiated depending on the person’s position in the network of relations in the arts in Greece, which already had an international span and was more or less directly related to that of d14.

All the above were aspects of our personal relationships within the team that could not and were not supposed to be discussed openly, exactly as with d14’s institutional issues (it was this kind of pact of silence we broke with the open discussion at the Politics of Curating), as is always the case with academia and any other institution for that matter. Mary Douglas’ classic anthropological study, How Institutions Think [9], which inspired Gržiniċ and other curators (as mentioned above), might have been rather helpful if only we had considered using the reference, when it was most needed, along with Michel Foucault and others. The American cultural critique of anthropology in the 1980s-1990s, which brought art into the picture as one more weapon against the colonial legacy of the West, has been a more pervasive reference, in my mind at least. But, from that source, albeit, originally, certain contributions on institutional critique in the arts [10] the whole “turn” to art, thirty years later, seemed more fruitful in epistemological and methodological issues than as a critique of what was happening to the domain of contemporary art globally, particularly from the point of view of its institutions, which would have also implicated anthropology, for that matter. In fact, today, it seems to me that art is frequently represented as an ally of anthropologists who wish to open up their field of experimentation and break away from academic restrictions in which anthropology is seemingly more entangled than art, but without any significant consideration of the institutional aspect of both fields of practice. Anyway, theoretical references are not particularly useful without self-reflexivity, which is the sine qua non of anthropology.

From this perspective, as far as I am concerned, I admit I only gradually realized the central importance that institutional critique should have had and actually did have, implicitly, in our own research, not as a pre-established agenda but as a response to what was important in the situation developing with documenta in Athens. Undoubtedly, there is ample material from the domain of the arts concerning institutional critique which needs more in-depth consideration in the future. Nevertheless, although this aspect imposed itself on our research, what was and remains the main interest for me is art as such (which was actually my main motive for becoming involved in the Lfd project), and it is in its name that institutional critique seems important.

3. In Art’s Name…

When we consider the published and non-published critiques that documenta 14 received from art critics, theorists and journalists, as well as artists, academics, activists, and people in art and culture in Athens more specifically, we note that most of these reviews focused less on art and more on the curatorial and institutional aspects of the exhibition. This has been what Ι was forced to do, also, in a way, due to my firsthand experience (as an Lfd member) of the functioning of the institution in our city. But what is the role of art in such mega-exhibitions anyway? In my opinion, in exhibitions of this nature individual artworks, which each require its own contextualization, are often submerged within the vast quantity of works on display, and subordinated to an overarching curatorial agenda. This type of exhibition, whatever its specific aims and its innovations regarding specific issues of (un)learning and (an)education, evokes the blatantly colonialist “Expositions Universelles” of a century ago and renders it necessary to criticize the biennalization of the art world. [11]

In d14’s case, one of the most persistent critiques, coming mostly from activists based locally, brought to the fore the paradox of the most fervently anticolonial exhibition ever, nonetheless having deeply colonial overtones. Of course, this paradox doesn’t take into account any of the intentions, the discourse and the works produced by all the people involved in d14. In fact, it is based on arguments almost identical to the ones used by d14, which are turned against it, giving a perspective on the exhibition exclusively as a powerful, neoliberal cultural institution coming uninvited to Greece to serve global capitalism. This critique, in my opinion, does reveal a major issue of d14 that has to do with fundamental contradictions concerning the functioning of art institutions today and the agenda of d14 in particular, while at the same time, by erasing the main actors’ contribution to the construction of what d14 has been, in its specificity, tends to obfuscate the complexity of the issue. In fact, by demonstrating a complete disregard for the individual person’s contribution in specific place and time, it actually underlines—by contast—their important, complicated role in embodying the institution as such and eventually in changing its dynamics.

As a hint of certain issues that one needs to tackle in this direction, based on d14’s example, one might indicate two of its aspects: the obvious paradox of a powerful institution claiming the most radical agenda “from below,” with an Artistic Director implicated in a form of institutional critique of his own institution, plus the ambivalent, to say the least, relation of this institution to Athens, where when the time came to effectively disclose what it had “learned from” the city, the answer came by the use of the negative (un-learning, aneducation, etc.) and the metonymic (Athens is any other comparable city in the world). In a sense, d14 displayed in an extreme form what is otherwise well-known and possibly accepted as a necessary evil in today’s contemporary art world, that is, institutionalized anti-institutionalism. [12]

It is important, however, to underline that this phenomenon is happening in today’s art institutions in the name of art, so to speak. Tracing the paradox in d14’s main curatorial agenda as published in d14’s Reader, this is possible by an idealization of art’s subversive power—so stressed by d14 that it is as if art becomes secondary to subversion—and by a characteristic split, between “good,” “pure” art and its “bad” other, i.e. the institution considered in its most evident managerial, bureaucratic and economic aspects (in this case, the documenta gGmbH). This split is accompanied by a second one, between documenta as an institution with a history of its own and its Artistic Director who assumes responsibility for a certain period of time. Thus, two important parameters are obfuscated, the first being that economy, in documenta’s case, is art itself (the ways in which the market value of specific artworks and artists is enhanced by participating in d14 is not included in the exhibitions “critical” discourse) and the second is that whoever is elected as Artistic Director of documenta represents or rather embodies in the here and now, for as long as she plays the role, this “phantom” which is documenta as an historical venture. This split brings us back, again, to the important role of persons in institutions, in general, but more so in art, given the importance of “signature” as a brand for artists and curators, the informality of many procedures that conflate professional and personal relations, and other factors which cannot be dealt with here.

What is produced, however, by this kind of discourse (in the general sense of the term, including artworks and all other aspects of an exhibition), with its rhetorical slips in which diverse gaps of the arguments are hidden or obfuscated, is actually ideology as such, based on a certain idealization of art. In the case of d14, for instance, “Learning from Athens” was proposed in the name of art, being “not an abstract demonstration of conditions that can be deployed in any context” but “a physical as much as (. . .) a mental experience”. Therefore, through the power of art, and “contrary to the illusions of global accessibility and undistinguishable sameness of being that we are induced to believe in by the marketing strategies of global capital and optimistic narrations of failing mainstream politics, the place and time matter.”[13] But did Athens really matter, after all? And do these seductive discursive constructions really leave a place for art as a subversive process in our lives? Or is it all undistinguishable sameness due to the marketing strategies of global capital?

4. “Fail Better”

 The title of our project, “Learning from documenta,” was a reflection and reversion of the “Learning from Athens” venture, thus opening up different potentials, from parody [14] and resistance to the very straightforward claim of learning, along with eventual epistemic and institutional violence. Through this labyrinth of reflections, self-reflexivity can show the way out, I believe, and possibly help recover voices lost. In that, I personally value the role of anthropology in art. Nevertheless, art remains my main concern and I am not ready to deconstruct my own idealization of it. In fact, engaging in institutional critique might be a way to preserve it. It might also lead us to reconsider art as possessing a contemporary power of change in its many everyday aspects (independently of its evident implication in institutional power as such) producing an important form of antagonism within the accrued professionalization of this field, and the current conditions of global capitalism and neoliberalism. In my opinion, now strengthened by Lfd’s research experience, Beuys’ slogan of everyone being an artist might need further consideration, today—not only in the sense of participatory professional artists’ projects or of inventing new institutions—and contemporary anthropology could also help in this direction.

Based on my understanding of art and anthropology today, I would evaluate as the most important and innovative methodological-cum-artistic accomplishment of the Lfd the way in which we managed to work collectively, trying to link individual agendas with the team’s program, at different levels of organization and with different types of relationships, formal and informal, public and private, academic and affective. I would identify this complex process as art, as it produces forms of relations as well as a (more conventionally considered) artistic output in the form of documentation and other projects. This is not exactly what we originally conceived as art in our “tool-kit” workshop, where we intended to experiment with more “art-like” means, but in my perspective it is equally, and even more effectively, an art process. We also proposed public discussions as one way of doing research, thereby renewing the link of research with activism. Finally, we engaged in working on a documentary in a self-reflexive, autoethnographic and collective way and even if this didn’t develop as originally planned, due to barriers imposed by d14, it was completed with a very interesting outcome, which also commented upon its own conditions of making. [15]

From my perspective, the fact that a few artists along with a few anthropologists and theorists from other fields went far enough, guided by their practice, to face and question d14’s institutional power without succumbing to a priori ideological constructs, actually gives us a clue as to how art can and should collaborate with anthropology, if both are able to stand up against power and question the status quo in which they participate and the commonplace ideas and ideals that protect it. Art is not only playful experimentation; it also possesses the power of subversion, of all rules, even the ones of its own institutions.

Elpida Rikou has studied sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and visual arts in Athens and Paris. She has taught at several different universities since 1998. She has also taught Anthropology and Contemporary Art in the Athens School of Fine Arts from 2007 to the present day. She is the editor of Anthropology and Contemporary Art (Alexandria, 2013) and of the translation into Greek of Marc Augé’s Pour une anthropologie des mondes contemporains (Alexandria, 1999). She has co-edited two volumes combining works by artists and contributions from social scientists on value (Αξία/Value, Nissos, 2018) and on voice (Φωνές/Fones, Nissos, 2016), as well as the translation into Greek of Alfred Gell’s book Art and Agency (M.I.E.T., forthcoming). She has published articles in scholarly journals, edited collections, art catalogues, and newspapers. She is the co-founder of TWIXTlab (2014 to the present day), a laboratory between (twixt) art, anthropology and the everyday, and the coordinator of several art projects with a transdisciplinary character in which she is also a participant as an anthropologist and visual artist.


[1] Fonés, edited by Panagiotis Panopoulos and Elpida Rikou (Athens: Nissos, 2016).

[2] Elpida Rikou & Eleana Yalouri, “Learning from documenta: A research project between Art and Anthropology,” On Curating, (2017), [is there a vol. or other issue number for this?] p.132-138. Also see Eleana Yalouri & Elpida Rikou, “Documenta 14 Learning from Athens: The response of the ‘Learning from documenta’ research project,” FIELD, issue 11 (Fall 2018).

[3] See, for example, Sozita Goudouna on the Athenian Art Scene. Interview by Maik Novtny for Falstaff das Design Magazin. Goudouna, a Greek curator who collaborated with Preciado at the Parliament of Bodies, states that d14’s after-effect is that “the Athenian scene can now be more self-confident as a member of the global network of art, even if it is called the ‘global south’.” For a more in-depth perspective, see also Zefkili, this issue.

[4] Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” Feminist Studies, vol. 14, no. 3, (1988), pp. 575–599. JSTOR, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

[5] See also Eleana Yalouri, Introduction, this issue.

[6] Marina Gržiniċ, Marina, “How institutions think? Institutions Do Not Think, They Simply Act!,” How Institutions Think: Between Contemporary Art and Curatorial Discourse, edited by Paul O’Neill, Lucy Steeds and Mick Wilson (Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 2017), p. 154.

[7] Adam Szymczyk, “14: Iterability and Otherness-Learning and Working from Athens,” The documenta 14 Reader (Munich, London, New York: Prestel Verlag, 2017), p.41.

[8] See also Giannakopoulou and Kondylatou, and Gougousis, this issue.

[9] Mary Douglas, How Institutions Think (New York: Syracuse University Press, 1986).

[10] See, for instance, The Traffic in Art and Culture, edited by George Marcus and Fred Myers (Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1995). In their introduction and also in George Marcus’ text on “The Power of Contemporary Work in an American Art Tradition to Illuminate Its Own Power Relations,” included in this same volume, there are indications on what could be an institutional critique of contemporary art institutions coming from anthropology.

[11] See, for instance, Caroline Jones, The Global Work of Art: World’s Fairs, Biennials and the Aesthetic of Experience, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017). See also Panos Kompatsiaris, The Politics of Contemporary Art Biennials. Spectacles of Critic, Theory and Art (New York: Routledge, 2017). Kompatsiaris also stresses the exercise in ambiguity of this kind of spectacle, an issue that comes up in my text concerning d14’s curatorial agenda.

[12] “In recent decades, we have seen much debate over institutional critique, new institutionalism, instituent practices and self-organization. Most often these issues of institution have been apprehended through the categories of power, hegemony, hierarchy, control, value, and discipline. Typically in these debates, we seem to reach an impasse in contemporary art’s dialectic of Institutionalized anti-institutionalism.” Paul O’Neill, Lucy Steeds and Mick Wilson, “Introduction,” How Institutions Think: Between Contemporary Art and Curatorial Discourse, p.2.

[13] Adam Szymczyk, op.cit., p.29.

[14] The Learning from documenta project was characterized as a parody of Learning from Athens in an article in Hyperallergic, whereas in another it was more fully represented .

[15] See Giannakopoulou & Kondylatou, this issue.