Walking the lines of documenta 14
Walking the lines of documenta 14
Sofia Grigoriadou & Yorgos Samantas
Introducing the Lines of d14
The jagged white line of documenta14, one of the central elements of the exhibition’s visual identity, is the departure point of this contribution. In our understanding, it is a polysemous brand-line which visually incorporates and communicates several concepts that traverse this exhibition’s edition. We regard it as a consolidation of various intertwined, multimodal threads emerging from a range of domains upon which the exhibition unraveled – namely, the discursive, institutional, geographic and artistic – bundling together narratives, strategies, locations and materialities. Appearing as traces on maps and walls, mirrorings, routes, and traps, these threads contribute to the conceptualization and framing of the city of Athens from the d14 perspective.
In the course of our analysis we intend to drag threads out of d14’s bundle of lines into our own intertwined inquiries between art and anthropology, which are concerned with walking and mapping as learning devices. Through this process we reflect on our practices as anthropologists and artists based in Athens and the practices and discourses performed by d14 (or different actors within the exhibition), as we interrogate the power asymmetries engendered in the exhibition’s partial relocation, the curatorial narratives regarding movement and dislocation, geographical imagination and urban space politics. In the last part of this text we draw different lines together in a presentation of the “Mapping and Walking” workshop we organized in the context of the Learning from documenta (henceforth, lfd) closing event (10/4-8/2017).
Through this article, we also wish to expose and re-examine our own ways of “thinking through making”. The visual material included is a product of our on-foot research, found or made along the way of our wanderings in the various spaces of d14 and on the border between anthropological ethnography and art. The apposition of text and image as a knowledge production strategy aims at a dynamic interaction between and a discussion on the potential convergences or divergences of the two fields. We hope that this act of composition and juxtaposition allows for unexpected stories to evolve and associations to occur, as the images comment in an open-ended way on the text and vice versa. We are looking into the creative aspects of orchestrating the fieldwork material into an academic paper, possibly parallel to the intellectual work of an art exhibition, both as knowledge-production devices.
Personal Accounts and Methodological Positionings between Art and Anthropology
Our ethnographic fieldwork was conducted over a period starting one year before the exhibition until some months after it. In the framework of both her work as an artist and her PhD research in social anthropology, Sofia Grigoriadou focused on cultural tourism in Athens and the city’s entrance into the spotlight of global attention after the emergence of the proverbial “Greek crisis” in 2010. By observing and interrogating existing cartographies, images and discourses about the city, Grigoriadou produces artworks, often employing strategies such as appropriation and subversive affirmation. During d14 she examined the exhibition’s discourses and design imagery, as they played their part in urban experience(s) in Athens. Apart from participant observation, she also conducted interviews with d14 visitors, chorus members, and designers. Yorgos Samantas assumed a working position in d14 as a member of the “Chorus,” namely the group of employees assigned with the art mediation services of the exhibition. During this period of working in two domains – ethnographic observation and art-mediation –, he was double-bound between the critical approach of the lfd research framework towards the exhibition, and his immersion in the process of becoming a member of the d14 staff (literally learning as training in the art-mediation devices of the exhibition). Notably, on his part, the day-to-day work experience in d14 required the embodiment and acting-out of the exhibition’s tropes and curatorial concepts, as well as the on-foot mediation of the artistic content and institutional context in negotiation with visitors’ perspectives mainly in Athens. In this regard, the corporeal and performative aspects of work in the Chorus have been in line with the discursive or dialectic dimension of the exhibition as a spatial arrangement.
Βoth our ethnographic positionings oscillate between methodological strategies of “identification” and the occupational hazards of “going native” versus “home ethnography” or “auto-anthropology,” each with its potencies but also limitations. Both positions can be understood as responses to d14’s invocation of the “indigenous,” and as processes of either subjectification or distancing, derived also from our own participation in several social and cultural scene(s) – social circles, academic or art groups with their different perspectives and affiliations – and the job market in Athens. In this sense, documenta’s advent compelled us to also move along its line in question, in order to re-inhabit our roles, as reshuffled by the mega-exhibition.
In our personal and joined engagement with art and anthropology, we have also been working on, and with, appropriation, walking, and mapping. We are interested in appropriation’s subversive potential as an artistic strategy, while also aware of its employment by established institutions, or even within reactionary politics. Following Schneider’s hermeneutic approach to appropriation, we regard it as a reciprocal exchange process that provides the appropriator with the possibility to “understand,” “learn” and “change.” Seeing appropriation as a practice that governs every cultural exchange, Schneider brings the issue of communication and power relations to the forefront.
Further, we practice walking not only as a means of research as artists and anthropologists, but also as an expressive form. We particularly engage with the phenomenological approaches of anthropologists Christopher Tilley and Tim Ingold. While Tilley adopts walking as a research method that allows the immersion in the materiality of a place, the temporalities embedded in it, along with the power relations inscribed upon it, Ingold stresses the development of all human activity along lines that form knots, and proposes a way of thinking through making – an anthropology not of art but with art.
Lastly, we regard maps as logical models for the representation and codification of the world, as well as images that incorporate and generate value(s). Inclusions, exclusions, as well as symbols, colors, fonts and sizes that comprise maps are not only informative about the territory represented, but also about the cartographer’s intentions. Maps have been linked to power and control, but can also become subversive tools for challenging authority, a controversy we find highly intriguing.
Part A: A Line on the Map? On Place, Movement and Geographical Imagination
What do walking, weaving, observing, singing, storytelling, drawing and writing have in common? The answer is that they all proceed along lines of one kind or another.
Tim Ingold, “Lines: A Brief History”
Adam Szymczyk has presented the d14 line as an itinerary between Kassel and Athens. As such, the line conforms to the two-dimensional intrinsic parameters of modern Western cartography, having an “up” and a “down,” a “left” and a “right” that indicate the conventional (Western) global arrangement of “North” and “South,” “East” and “West.” Those indicators were evoked consistently within the d14 rhetoric, consolidating the understanding of documenta as a global exhibition. If for Szymczyk the d14 line stood as an itinerary, for German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, (then Minister of Foreign Affairs), it was “an artistic bridge between Germany and Greece,” in an attempt to register d14 within the framework of cultural, or “soft” diplomacy that would mend German-Greek relations. In response, the artistic director negated any national ownership or appropriation of the exhibition’s scope and aims. Instead, he expressed the intention to contribute to the building of “a political [bridge] over which the refugees who need to find a safe home in Europe might be able to walk.”
For art historian Kathryn M. Floyd, who has analyzed the design features of documenta’s institutional identity throughout the years, the jagged line was understood as a “crack, coastline, border or boundary,” pointing to both its split locality, and its focus on aspects of displacement. Participating artist and then rector of the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), Panos Charalambous saw the project as “a schism in the core of the exhibition,” “a nuclear fission,” highlighting d14’s attempt to challenge the institutional establishment from within. From this perspective, which mostly looks into the institutional aspects of the exhibition, the line can be regarded as a “line of flight” through which the curatorial team proposed a perspectival shift on world politics, economies, geographies, and identities, which emphasizes the mobilizing role of art in this process.
If we draw on the curatorial conceptualization of the exhibition as an Artaudian “theatre and its double,” the poetics of the d14 line can be further sought in the line’s (distorted) geographical and artistic mirrorings. The mirror apparatus that celebrated artist Hiwa K balanced on his forehead in order to orientate himself as he revisited the path from Turkey through Athens and then Italy as he fled from Iraqi Kurdistan to Europe exemplifies mirroring as a trope that shuffles curatorial concepts, narratives, biographies, materialities, itineraries, and locations, entangling them in artworks-as-knots.
The d14 line may also recall displacement, which, along with locality and trauma, was one of d14’s major themes. In a public appearance, Szymczyk suggested that contemporary artists are placeless, acting from a position similar to that of the “violently displaced” or “dispossessed.” Furthermore, on its official page, the exhibition is described, along with the involuntarily nomadic National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), as functioning under “conditions of displacement.” Of course, d14 also had the capacity to restore, invite itself to, and animate the empty EMST building, together with other monumental and significant sites in Athens, as well as to provide work for a significant number of employees. Thus it occupied a continuum between two positions related to global mobility: at the one end, the exhibition assumed a position of vulnerability rhetorically, by proxy or metonymically, as displaced, in transition, as an “Apatride.” At the other end, it performed its capacity to act upon another city, and to contribute to international diplomatic relations, affirming its dominant role as one of the most influential art exhibitions worldwide.
d14 was inspired by an understanding of Greece – with Athens as its symbolic and administrative center – as a locus of condensed manifestations of global turbulence. It was “a consequence of the feeling of necessity of acting in real time and in the real world” that documenta was held for the first time in 2017 between “its geographic and ideological center,” Kassel, and the crisis-stricken Athens.
The Greek debt crisis, followed by the accumulation on its borders of significant numbers of displaced populations fleeing war or financial deprivation, not only drew worldwide media attention, but also rendered the country a compelling destination for a range of stakeholders. For a number of our Athenian interlocutors as well as according to public personas’ statements at the time, d14 was indeed understood as a form of “crisis tourism,” with a “colonial” nuance. Other commentators as well as artistic projects drew links between the newly fueled global interest in Greece and the 16th-19th century Grand Tour.Next to the artists, curators, cultural workers, and tourists who were motivated by d14, anthropologist Evthymios Papataxiarchis – based on the island of Lesvos and largely involved in the refugee and migrant movement – refers to parallel lines of solidarity that inspire the movement to Greece, performed by activists, aid workers, and social scientists. He argues that this humanitarian mobilization in a sense laid the ground upon which the exhibition performed its own movement to the South. In this context, he sees the visit to Greece as a pilgrimage that, destined for a “geographical location with a strong (quasi “religious”) symbolic gravity, it is required to be performed and experienced on-site and in person.”
Another parallel pilgrimage was performed in the summer of 2017 by an international art-savvy audience, which moved between the world-class contemporary art exhibitions in Athens, Kassel, Venice, Basel and Munster, that coincided that year. According to a catchphrase that circulated among the Kassel Chorus, Szymczyk suggested that “seeing documenta only in one city is like experiencing it with only one eye open.” Considering the European imagery of Athens as a homeland one returns to, an Ithaka so to speak, and the analogy of d14 in Athens to a contemporary Grand Tour, those unable to follow the line from Athens to Kassel to get the whole picture must have felt uncomfortable with the attribution to them of a Cyclops-like, non-stereoscopic vision.
North and South, as in Up and Down
By bringing forth “learning from Athens” in its working title, documenta’s 14th edition attempted to knit bonds between geographies and the “politics of learning.” Szymczyk pointed out that Greece has usually been “the country to receive lessons from other places and other ways of thinking.” If learning is usually understood and performed as a top-down procedure, d14’s intention was, according to its artistic director, to “reverse this order” – or the direction of the educational process – and to “learn from Athens.” But in what terms did d14 organize those political asymmetries of learning and teaching in spatial metaphors?
“Learning from Athens” was a very eloquent way of d14 to assume the role of a student, stereotypically positioned in the South, and subjected to the teacher’s Northern authority. Within this programmatic proclamation, the curatorial intention to challenge the institutional rootedness in the North reflected also upon its educational program, entitled “aneducation,” which proposed a shift in the domain of artistic education and art mediation. The idiom of power arrangements in “up” and “down” is of course a systematic, persistent metaphor from which the body itself cannot escape.
Tim Ingold has noted that the evolutionary paradigm, in terms of pedestal locomotion, consists of the (re-)conceptualization of the human body: “With the onward march of civilisation, the foot has been progressively withdrawn from the sphere of operation of the intellect.” “Marching head over heels – half in nature, half out – the human biped figures as a constitutionally divided creature,” with a dividing line separating “the upper and lower parts of the body.” Despite the fact that d14 did not adapt the evolutionary paradigm, a reaffirmation of global asymmetries that permeate the contemporary Occidental geographic imagination was highlighted and the ideas of the “North” and “South” were reproduced and grounded even deeper in a wide range of domains of human experience, on more than one occasion.
The mirroring between Annemarie and Lucius Burkhard’s library exhibited in Kassel, and Lucius Burkhardt’s “Landscape-theory Aquarelles” counterpart in Athens is a prime example that follows d14’s strategy of exhibiting at least two works of each artist, one in Kassel and a different one in Athens. The library up North, as accumulated knowledge, featured a number of titles that informed Lucius’ field of expertise in Socio-economics in Urban Systems at Kassel University, as well as his “Spaziergangswissenschaft” (“promenadology,” “strollology”), namely his approach of “learning on foot.” In contrast, Lucius’ work exhibited in Athens was a series of watercolor drawings depicting the making of the landscape.
Both in Kassel and in Athens, the Burkhards’ exhibits were located in the symbolic centers of the educational department of the exhibition in each city, while “strollology,” as “learning on foot,” was the departure point of the educational and art-mediation agenda. The physical proximity in Athens of Burkhard’s “Landschaftstheoretische Aquarelle” with Dimitris Pikionis’ landscaping work archives evokes the mirroring of the two cities, as well as the relation of the exhibition, as a curated space within its urban surroundings.
Thinking in terms of symmetry, one could argue that, in comparison to the watercolors in the South, Burkhardts’ library subtly reflects the d14 educational agenda towards “learning on foot” and the corporeal (versus the textual) aspects of knowledge. Whatever the intentions were, the juxtaposition of the exhibited works reaffirms the position of the North as the industrious bearer of knowledge, and the Athenian South as an informal, artsy experiment, which, through Pikionis, dwells on its own (revisited) past.
On another occasion, in his article “Let your South walk, dance, listen and decide,” published in d14’s semimonthly journal “Public Paper,” the director of the exhibition’s Public Program, Paul B. Preciado, interprets the “dislocation from Kassel to Athens […] as a move towards the South of Europe or even the Global South,” not only reaffirming but expanding the antipodist distinction. Preciado’s Athens is a metonymy for the subaltern world-wide. In the same article, he shifts from geopolitics to cultural- and bio-politics and claims that everything and every-body “has a South,” which, according to “Western hegemonic epistemology” as an agent of “modern coloniality,” might be “animal, female, childish, queer, black, […] sick, weak, disable [sic], idle, foolish, lazy, poor,” and calls on the reader to embrace it.
The essentialism that permeates the article can hardly be understood as not being preposterous or naïve, without considering Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s approach to the strategic use of essentialism. In fact, Preciado’s previous positions in the same spirit provoked vivid reactions from a rather visible part of cultural and art theorists in Greece, mainly on the grounds of its resonance to the (essentialist) Greek national imagination.
Even if it is part of a strategy, what kind of critique to this (western) hegemonic epistemology does Preciado propose, if it does not include a reflexive observation on the institutions that carry it, including the artistic ones? If, as he concludes in the same text, “the South does not exist [and neither does] the North,” where can the span between strategy and essentialism, and thus his discursive position, be located?
It seems that, although d14’s attempt was to expose and deconstruct the power arrangements underlying these conventions through particular approaches, statements and artistic content, one can argue that its global magnitude and these opaque or overly intellectualized strategies inescapably reaffirmed them.
The city walls hosted a large part of the discussion around d14 and its concepts, becoming a field of reciprocal appropriations between d14 and mostly anonymous players. By late March 2017, a few weeks before the official opening of d14 to the public in Athens, posters by Athenian art photography collective Depression Era appeared right next to the entrance of d14’s exhibition space at the ASFA. The posters series, entitled Make Yourselves at Home, proposed as a “subversive tourism campaign” critically commented upon the notions of South and North, and the refugee crisis as an “emerging economy,” among others. In particular, the poster reading “South is the New North” reversed the direction of the line, by appropriating the persistent catchphrase “Athens is the New Berlin,” that circulated in private discussions and on the media at the time.
Depression Era’s posters were taken down some days prior to the d14 opening, making clear that the authorship of the space and the conceptualization of the exact same politics would belong solely to documenta for the next 100 days. Other graffiti on the spot – perhaps deemed unthreatening to the exhibition – was left intact (for example, one commenting on the Greek debt crisis and the “burden of Euro”). It is unknown whether the initiative for “clearing out” the space was a decision of d14 venue coordinators or the ASFA. Either way, it seems that d14 had the agency, intentional or not, to intervene in the celebrated “Athenian palimpsest.”
In another case, d14 capitalized on an Athenian stencil, seeking to establish connections to the city and its imagery. Prior to the exhibition’s arrival, the intermittent lines of a stencil reading, “Dear documenta, I refuse to exoticize myself to increase your cultural capital, sincerely, oi i8ageneis,” appeared on Athenian walls. Vier5, one of the designer groups who undertook the visual design of the exhibition, incorporated the stencil’s font in the exhibition’s design, while the notion of “oi i8ageneis,” meaning “the indigenous,” was thematized within the Public Programs. This example raises questions in regards to appropriation as strategy. In an attempt to “communicate” with the Athenian public, d14 fell into a trap generated by its own “cultural capital.” What kinds of power relations did it enact, given the position of the appropriator and the appropriated? And what kind of ethics does appropriation entail within the different contexts in which it is performed?
Perplexed Lines as Nets, and Maps as Traps
Anthropologist Alfred Gell considers artworks as traps – or nets – that captivate and enchant their audiences. At this point, we find it appropriate to focus on our resistance on this enchantment as well, driven by our own critical approach to d14 that led us to other entrapments and realizations. In particular, we are referring to d14’s artist Gordon Hookey’s mural, “Solidarity” (2017), at the ASFA. Until very recently, we perceived the lines of dripping paint over a pre-existing graffiti piece on the base of Hookey’s intervention as a discreet superimposition upon it. It was only after comparing our own image archive that we realized that the subtle paint traces had been induced prior to Hookey’s mural by another wall inscription that was later erased. This micro-incident led to further realization of the complexity of our engagement with the Athenian public space and the exhibition’s mediation on it. The subtle lines formed a trap that challenged our gaze as critical researchers.
d14 blatantly addressed and negotiated with the genealogy and form of Athenian geographic morphology and urban planning. Next to the grid that the 19th century planners imagined, measured, sketched and built, Athens is also characterized by small streets and dead ends. To navigate through it means to draw fragmented lines; to recede; to follow jagged, dried river banks; or to fall into traps. Many of our interlocutors fell into such traps that lurked in d14’s conceptualization and construction of Athens through the printed maps it produced for its audience. Interviews with foreign visitors revealed frustration and disappointment over the “effectiveness” of those maps, which were meant to indicate the various d14 venues in Athens. Their broken, intermittent or missing lines, as well as the Greek alphabet (familiar, yet unreadable lines for most) on the exhibition’s website map, left space for users to lose the geographical and conceptual threads d14 set up and to get lost in the vast and dense city of Athens. Commenting on the maps’ effectiveness, a non-Greek Chorus member asserted that getting lost, being late or failing to see the whole exhibition “is more important in a city like Athens. […] Maybe it’s better if people did not have this super-effective experience, as is the case in Kassel.” In a similar mood, d14 communication manager Henriette Gallus pointed out that d14 design features reflect that “the infrastructure and turmoil of the city itself [is] a challenge for the visitor in that it’s not simply navigable, which was to some degree our intention.” Both statements reaffirm the connotations of North and South as “efficient” versus “chaotic” once more, and additionally organize them in the form of map navigation as a social experience.
Part B: “Mapping and Walking”
During the “Mapping and Walking” workshop within the closing event of the lfd project, both practices were deployed as methodological devices for the production of knowledge through the convergence of art and anthropology. Texts and images were brought out of our research archive; spaces were walked, maps were drawn, and traces were left behind, in a mutual engagement and a hands-on critical examination of d14’s imprint upon the city.
We invited and worked with a group of thirteen participants that included artists, cultural workers and anthropologists. Some of them worked as members of the d14 Chorus, while their fields and methodologies corresponded to our inquiry. Participants were invited by Sofia to make short interventions (presentations, performances, interactive actions, screenings etc.) with reference to d14’s presence in Athens, starting from their own experiences, interests, art practice, and theoretical input. Through this process we aimed at drawing out multiple links to key issues raised by d14’s presence in Athens, like learning through walking and mapping; cultural and crisis tourism; hospitality; the categories of “South” and “North,” among others. We imagined the workshop as a knot that would allow us to bring together art and anthropology and to think through walking, mapping, and appropriating.
Among the workshop activities, Yorgos guided two walking expeditions that simulated the form of Chorus walks in former d14 exhibition spaces. He presented the absent artworks in situ, triggering memories and conversations, while traces of the exhibition were sought on trees, graffiti, stencils, and posters, but also on cracks and things left behind after the exhibition’s departure. In the absence of documenta’s exhibits, the Chorus walk highlighted Yorgos’ double-bound position as a researcher and an art-mediator, in regards to the distinction of walking as a vehicle for inquiry, or as a practice under investigation per se. To show d14 to visitors was one kind of job, to exhibit its ways of showing was another.
The sitting part of the workshop took place around a long table, covered with disposable paper tablecloths. Typically used in tavernas across Greece, such tablecloths come with printed maps and motifs inspired by the area or the offered cuisine. The tablecloths were employed to address some of our concerns in regards to power relations stemming from food, tourism, and the ideas of Greekness and indigeneity, as raised in the framework of d14’s Public Programs. Participants were invited to present their work, and to use the tablecloths for keeping notes, making comments, sketching, doodling, or drawing links between ideas and/or locations throughout the workshop. They were also invited to move around the table and to intervene on the notes and drawings of others. We conceived the tablecloth as a knot in a wider configuration of lines, itself composed of other lines along which the participants’ thoughts and traces developed, met, collided and got entangled with one another and with the printed motifs. The dynamics of the group brought out tensions between those who had been to Kassel and those who hadn’t, as well as between distinct categories of knowledge and practice. Interestingly, those categories were mostly reaffirmed while sitting, and overlapped when on foot.
On the last day, the tablecloths were folded and stitched together in the form of an atlas, which arranged our multi-linear meshwork into a randomly linear archival artifact that contained our thoughts, fragmented and bound. With this choice, we sought to tackle our own ambiguous feelings about cartography, while negotiating with d14’s ambiguity regarding Western cartographic values.
The strategy that positioned the above processes as knowledge production devices brought together various insights into the methodological tradition of participant observation, typically followed by ethnographers, and more recently by artists. The meeting of the “ethnographic surrealist” ethos with the “artist as ethnographer” allowed collages and assemblages of (found) concepts, texts, methods, forms and materialities to pose as arguments for understanding the social domain. The big question mark in the “beyond text” project in anthropology may reside in the ambiguities that these practices might entail, in contrast to other knowledge production domains, and the conclusive nature of their assemblages. Resisting such conclusive assertions is also a strategy for addressing the ambiguities that govern art production today.
Epilogue – From Fixed Positions
Throughout this text, we have focused on the lines of d14, in their formation through movement, their participation in the shaping of maps, and the call to “learn from Athens.” In doing so, we have also exposed our own research and creative methodologies deployed to “learn from documenta.” Walking, mapping and appropriating emerged as shared learning and expressive tools. Although both endeavors sought to “learn” and to respond to similar issues, their starting points differ in terms of power positions, financial capacity, epistemological genealogies, institutional affinities and artistic visibility.
Within this spectrum of domains, there are many kinds of lines and paths to follow. As suggested before, d14’s line can be understood as a physical enactment of a conceptual “line of flight” from its own privileged premises in Kassel, in order to act “in real time and in the real world” from the crisis-struck periphery. This flight, of course, follows a tendency of art institutions towards decentralization that has been performed in the previous decades mainly through the systematic inclusion of more “non-Western” artists and the incorporation of postcolonial discourse. In its radical physicality, d14’s line consolidates the flight and lays the ground for further lines to be drawn. In d14’s logo-line, toponyms and geographic indicators might be implied but are missing, thus rendering the itinerary between Kassel and Athens a model of movement for the art world’s potential next steps.
Ironically enough, the writing of this text three years after the exhibition is over finds us stranded at different places on the d14 line due to the measures taken on the occasion of the COVID-19 pandemic. All national borders along the now broken line between Kassel and Athens are currently closed. In this realm, the title of the 58th Venice Biennial (2019), “May you Live in Interesting Times,” seems to resonate unsettlingly. What is certain is that the art world – however obscuring this unification of institutions and artists might be – will find new urgencies to respond to and negotiate with, by incorporating or challenging the new dystopias.
Sofia Grigoriadou (Athens, Skopje) is Ph.D. candidate in Social Anthropology (Panteion University, Athens) on “Contemporary artistic production and/in changing cities. The examples of Athens and Skopje”. She holds an MFA degree from the Athens School of Fine Arts (2015). She is a graduate of the ASFA (2013) and the Philosophical, Pedagogical and Psychological Department of the University of Athens (2006). She has participated in exhibitions, conferences, research and artistic projects in Athens, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Skopje, and Beirut. She has co-curated and co-organised artistic projects, exhibitions and workshops for children and grownups. She has worked for a semester as a tutor in the ASFA (A´painting workshop).
Yorgos Samantas (BA Social anthropology and History, University of the Aegean, 2008; MA Visual Anthropology – Ethnographic Documentary with Sensory Media, University of Manchester, 2010) is an anthropologist concerned with sound and hearing, urban studies, and the environment. Together, he is involved in ethnographically informed artistic making, using sound, field recording, walking, photography, film, text and new media for artistic production. He has participated in conferences, workshops, and exhibitions in Greece, the UK, Belgium, Scotland, Slovenia, Albania and Bulgaria. Among others, he has worked in filmography, radio production, art education and mediation, and urban research.
Both Sofia and Yorgos are members of collaborative projects such as TWIXTlab, a laboratory situated between contemporary art, anthropology and the everyday in Athens, and Akoo-o, an interdisciplinary group engaged with sound, walking, and technological mediation as artistic and research media.
 The line in question appears furtively upon each visit to the exhibition’s website (www.documenta14.de accessed March 20, 2020), and also illustrates a variety of memorabilia and artifacts.
 Tim Ingold, Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture (London ; New York: Routledge, 2013).
 We actively abstain from directly depicting d14 content for reasons related to copyright infringement, thematized more thoroughly by Giannakopoulou & Kondylatou, and Gougousis’ contributions in the same FIELD issue. (http://field-journal.com/issue-18/cartographies/undocumented-documentations-_on-lessons-narratives-and-copyrights; (http://field-journal.com/issue-18/cartographies/on-politics-of-visibility-documentation-and-the-claim-of-commoning-the-artwork-critical-notes-on-shamiyaana-food-for-thought-thought-for-change)
 For appropriation see: Hal Foster et al., ed., Art since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2004); Νίκος Δασκαλοθανάσης [Nikos Daskalothanasēs], Ο καλλιτέχνης ως ιστορικό υποκείμενο από τον 19ο στον 21ο αιώνα [The artist as history subject from the 19th to the 21rst century] (Аthens: Agra, 2004); Arnd Schneider, Appropriation as Practice: Art and Identity in Argentina, 1st ed, Studies of the Americas (New York, N.Y: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). For subversive affirmation and relevant strategies: Galia Kollectiv, Art in the Age of Its Dissolution: Beyond The Democratic Paradox, 2013. https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00008723; Kostis Stafylakis “Fragile Overidentifications: Emerging Alternatives in Greece’s Cultural Activist Scenes,” Left Curve # 37 (Oakland: Left curve publications, 2013).
 In a nutshell, the “Chorus” represented d14’s proposal for revisioning the practices of tour-guiding and art education altogether, following recent trends within art institutions. As opposed to a guided tour, the process of “art mediation” refers to the facilitation of the visitors’ engagement with a museum or exhibition space (and vice versa) by stimulating discussion and suggesting participatory activities (also see the statement for art mediation in Manifesta’s previous edition: http://m10.manifesta.org/en/education/index.html, accessed May 24, 2021). Appropriating the title from the namesake Classical Greek drama narrative mechanism, the “Chorus” was a direct evocation of the Classic Athenian theatre and its relation to democracy, also methodologically updated by key concepts that ran through the exhibition, such as the thematization of walking, scores, multivocality, and performativity. For the programmatic statements regarding the “Chorus,” see the open call for the work position, and the web page promoting the Chorus walks [https://www.biennialfoundation.org/2016/11/open-call-chorus-documenta-14/; https://www.documenta14.de/en/walks (both accessed February 28, 2020)].
 Marilyn Strathern, “The limits of auto-anthropology,” in Anthropology at Home, edited by Anthony Jackson (ASA Monographs 25. London; New York: Tavistock Publications, 1987), pp.16-37; David Chandler and Julian Reid, “Becoming Indigenous: The ‘Speculative Turn’ in Anthropology and the (Re)Colonisation of Indigeneity,” in Postcolonial Studies, March 20, 2020, pp.1–20, https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2020.1745993.
 Before and after the official opening of d14, we organized and/or participated in art events, such as the the participatory walking performance “the future ahead of us,” by Samantas, Yasmin Al-Hadithi and Dana Papachristou (as akoo-o art group) in the Performance Biennial – Episode 1 : No Future, in Athens and Kythera, June 24 – July 04, 2016, https://performancebiennial.wordpress.com/a-self-organised-biennial-on-performance-art-and-politics/ (video-documentation of the work: https://vimeo.com/359274770); Samantas also exhibited the participatory walking artwork “What ruins? What remains?” in the framework of Terrains Vagues, May 4-14, 2017, at TAF: the art foundation (http://theartfoundation.metamatic.gr/EN/Event/3987/Terrains_Vagues/); Αs a member of “documena”, Grigoriadou co-organized and participated in “Documena Resurrection Extravaganza,” April 15, 2017, in the framework of the Athens Biennale: Waiting for the Barbarians (http://documena.weebly.com/); Grigoriadou together with artist Vivien Emmanouilidou co-organized the “Athens is the new Berlin/ Berlin is the new Athens” workshop in the framework of the ASFA BBQ 2018, Garden of Dystopian Pleasures, September 17, 2018, at the ASFA (https://fytafytafyta.wixsite.com/dystopianpleasures), and in parallel to the Berlin Biennale 2018, at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art (https://bb10.berlinbiennale.de/calendar/spaces-of-reflection)], in the framework of the experimental art mediation project “Spaces of Reflection” (https://bb10.berlinbiennale.de/calendar/spaces-of-reflection, https://anti.athensbiennale.org/en/program-week/week-5.html) (all accessed February 30, 2020). As members of the latter, we both participated in the 10th Berlin Biennale, We don’t need another hero (2018) and the 6th Athens Biennale, ANTI (2018). Working between Germany and Greece and on thematics posed by d14, of course reveals that we ourselves became actors upon (or agents of?) the lines in question.
 Appropriation in its various forms has been used by artistic avant-gardes since the beginning of the 20th century, but more extensively from the 1980s onwards, in the context of postmodernism and the critical re-examination of tools, ideas and practices it proposed. See also endnote no.4.
 Stefanie Hessler, Poka-Yio, Kostis Stafylakis, “ANTI-, ” In Anti-: The 6th Athens Biennale 2018, edited by Stefanie Hessler, Poka-Yio, Kostis Stafylakis, Augustine Zenakos (Athens: The 6th Athens Biennale, 2018), pp.22-29.
 Schneider (2006), ibid..
 Tilley (1994), ibid.; Christopher Y. Tilley and Wayne Bennett, The Materiality of Stone, series: Explorations in Landscape Phenomenology 1 (Oxford ; New York: Berg, 2004).
 Tim Ingold, Lines: A Brief History. London; New York: Routledge, 2007, p.1; Tim Ingold and Jo Lee Vergunst, eds., Ways of Walking: Ethnography and Practice on Foot, series: Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception (Aldershot, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008).
 Ingold (2013), ibid..
 Harley, John B., “Maps, knowledge and power.” in The Iconography of Landscape, edited by Denis Cosgrove, and Stephen Daniels. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, pp.277-312 (1988); Alfred Gell, “How to Read a Map: Remarks on the Practical Logic of Navigation,” Man, New Series, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jun., 1985), published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, pp.271-286. DOI: 10.2307/2802385.
 Tim Ingold (2007), ibid..
 Lfd opening event [https://www.mixcloud.com/AthensArtsObservatory/adam-szymczyk-on-documenta-14-learning-from-athens-working-title-panteion-020616/ (accessed February 28, 2020)].
 John B. Harley, “Deconstructing the Map,” in Classics in Cartography, edited by Martin Dodge (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2011), pp.271–94. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470669488.ch16; John B. Harley (1988), ibid., pp.277-312; Barbara Bender, “Subverting the Western Gaze: mapping alternative worlds,” in The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape, edited by Peter J. Ucko and Robert Layton (London & New York: Routledge, 1999).
 Ελένη Παπαγαρουφάλη [Eleni Papagaroufali], Ήπια διπλωματία: διεθνικές αδελφοποιήσεις και ειρηνιστικές στη σύγχρονη Ελλάδα [Soft diplomacy: Transnational twinings and pacifist practices in contemporary Greece] (Athens: Alexandreia, 2013).
 Konstantinos Kalantzis, “‘Fak Germani:’ Materialities of Nationhood and Transgression in the Greek Crisis,” in Comparative Studies in Society and History 57, no. 4 (October 2015), pp.1037–69. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0010417515000432; Dimitris Plantzos, “We Owe Ourselves to Debt: Classical Greece, Athens in Crisis, and the Body as Battlefield,” in Social Science Information 58, no. 3 (September 2019), pp.469–92. https://doi.org/10.1177/0539018419857062; https://www.politico.eu/article/documenta-14-athens-frankwalter-steinmeier-tourism-crisis-when-german-art-meets-greek-austerity/?fbclid=IwAR1lb436Oe8tCIKuCwh4S-rYiDLIzmnmHN17AtMIZbK5t_73PjpriEf07Vc (accessed March 7, 2020).
 https://www.documenta14.de/en/news/1610/documenta-14-is-not-an-ambassador-of-any-one-nation-or-interest-group (accessed March 20, 2020). However, d14 was largely seen as a “German” exhibition by specific political agents [see, for example: https://www.facebook.com/zoe.konstantopoulou.official/photos/a.1490041597978639.1073741828.1489639131352219/1773417096307753/?type=3&theater (accessed March 7, 2020)] and in wide popular understanding as encountered in our fieldwork.
 Kathryn Floyd, “d is for documenta: institutional identity for a periodic exhibition,” On curating 33, June 17, 2017, p.18, footnote xxxviii.
 The reference to the coastline, in particular, points to the sites and the imagery accompanying the reports from the eastern Greek islands, where the coast was the central setting for the refugees’ landing, reception, rescue, or often tragedy.
 Personal communication (2017).
 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, translated by Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987).
 As quoted by Szymczyk in Adam Szymczyk, “14: Iterability and Otherness – Learning and Working from Athens,” documenta14 Reader, edited by Quinn Latimer and Adam Szymczyk (Μunich, London, New York: Prestel Verlag, 2017), p.26.
 Hiwa K., Pre-Image (Blind as the Mother Tongue), 2017. For the respective entry in the documenta14 catalogue, see: Adam Szymczyk, “Hiwa K,” in Documenta 14 – Daybook: Athens, 8. April – Kassel, 17. September 2017, edited by Quinn Latimer, Adam Szymczyk, and Documenta (Ausstellung documenta 14, München: Prestel, 2017), entry June 2; https://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/13528/hiwa-k (accessed April 23, 2020).
 Tim Ingold (2007) ibid..
 Trauma in fact has been a constitutional theme of documenta since its first opening in 1955. The exhibition was born among the ruins that were left behind by the WWII bombardment of Kassel [https://www.documenta.de/en/retrospective/documenta# (accessed March 20, 2020)].
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOOmFbbyTDc, 28.00’ (accessed April 20, 2020).
 Our emphasis [http://www.documenta14.de/gr/news/13738/h-documenta-14- (accessed April 27, 2020)]. The EMST has been hosted for a long time at the building of the Conservatory of Athens. It hosted part of d14 at its own premises only to close again a few months after the exhibition was finished.
 The notion of the “Continuum” was employed as a pivotal concept or framework to signify the exhibition as an “aesthetic, economic, political and social experimentation” [Szymczyk (2017) ibid., p.14], as well as to highlight the exhibition’s performative aspect. See also: http://www.dasta.asfa.gr/frontend/new.php?aid=1333&cid=82; https://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/16174/jani-christou; https://www.documenta14.de/en/news/16741/inauguration-week-program; https://www.documenta14.de/en/calendar/17356/epicycle-and-project-21 (all accessed March 28, 2020).
 https://www.documenta14.de/en/public-programs/1036/the-apatride-society-of-the-political-others (accessed March 27, 2020).
 Szymczyk (2017), ibid., pp.26-27.
 Ευθύμης Παπαταξιάρχης [Evthymis Papataxiarhis], Δημιουργικές συγχύσεις, παραγωγικές αυταπάτες: ανισοτιμία και αμοιβαιότητα στην αθηναϊκή documenta14 [Creative confusions, productive delusions: inequality and reciprocity in the Athenian documenta14], Σύγχρονα Θέματα [Sygxrona Themata] #145-146, 2019, pp.54-71; Eleana Yalouri, “Afterword. Hellenomanias Past, Present, and Future,” in Hellenomanias, edited by Nicoletta Momigliano and Katherine Harloe (London: Routledge and BSA, 2018), pp.311-324.
 See also: http://www.spikeartmagazine.com/articles/doing-documenta-athens-rich-americans-taking-tour-poor-african-country, https://www.flash.gr/culture/1455296/den-einai-apoikiokratiki-i-paternalistiki-i-documenta, https://eretikos.gr/fragilemag/documenta-14-art-noise/, https://www.lifo.gr/articles/arts_articles/167748 (all accessed April 29, 2020).
 See for example: Yalouri (2018), ibid.; https://www.goethe.de/ins/gr/el/kul/sup/act/20982747.html; https://neoskosmos.com/en/41997/is-athens-the-new-berlin/; https://www.in.gr/2018/06/22/apopsi/ta-matia-ton-allon/ (all accessed April 23, 2020).
 Παπαταξιάρχης [Papataxiarhis] (2019), ibid, p.56. Our translation.
 Artemis Leontis, Topographies of Hellenism: Mapping the Homeland, Myth and Poetics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995).
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOOmFbbyTDc, 09.50’’ (accessed April 20, 2020).
 In particular, the “aneducation” agenda aimed at the reassessment of “traditional” art-mediation modalities and educational curricula through challenging the prioritization of academic approaches and grand narratives (considered primarily Occidental by the curatorial approaches), encouraging personal and corporeal engagement within the processual aspect of learning, towards collective, or polyphonic, generation of meaning between audiences, mediators and artworks. [https://www.documenta14.de/en/public-education/ (accessed April 20, 2020)].
 George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003).
 Tim Ingold, “Culture on the Ground: The World Perceived Through the Feet,” in Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description (London: Routledge, 2011), pp.35, 37.
 https://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/16162/lucius-burckhardt (accessed 20 February, 2020).
 Jesko Fezer and Martin Schmitz, eds., Lucius Burckhardt Writings: Rethinking Man-Made Environments: Politics, Landscapes & Design (New York: Springer, 2012).
 Both exhibits, as well as “strollology” as a framework, resonate largely within the anthropological theory that is engaged with the cultural making of the landscape, art, cognition and learning [e.g., Barbara Bender, ed., Landscape: Politics and Perspectives, Explorations in Anthropology (Providence: Berg, 1993); Christopher Tilley, A Phenomenology of Landscape: Places, Paths, and Monuments, Explorations in Anthropology (Oxford, UK ; Providence, R.I: Berg, 1994); Ingold (2007), ibid.; Ingold, (2013) ibid.].
 https://www.documenta14.de/en/venues/1401/peppermint; https://www.documenta14.de/en/venues/15226/athens-school-of-fine-arts-asfa-pireos-street-nikos-kessanlis-exhibition-hall- (both accessed March 20, 2020).
 Adam Szymczyk (personal communication); also reported in Maximilian Gallo, “Working. Structure. Ideology. A Chorist’s perspective on working structures,” in Dating the Chorus #2 (Kassel: Independent collective publication, 2017), p.35, https://issuu.com/datingthechorus/docs/dating_the_chorus_2 (accessed 20 February, 2020).
 https://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/16225/dimitris-pikionis (accessed 20 February, 2020).
 https://www.documenta14.de/files/PUBLICPAPER_N%C2%B02.pdf (accessed March 20, 2020).
 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography,” in The Spivak Reader, edited by Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean, (New York: Routledge, 1996), pp.197–221; Sara Danius, and Stefan Jonsson, “An Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak,” Boundary 2,Vol. 20, No. 2 (Summer, 1993), Duke University Press, pp.24-50.
 A discussion between Despina Zefkili, Kostis Stafylakis and Makis Malafekas, for “All Collected Voices” series by Radio Athenes in 2017 is quite lively [http://www.all-collected-voices.org/open-recording-3-despina-zefkili-kostis-stafylakis-makis-malafekas (accessed March 20, 2020)].
 For cultural appropriation as communication in anthropological theory, see: Arnd Schneider (2006) ibid..
 depressionera.gr/about (accessed April 23, 2020).
 https://www.behance.net/gallery/57788543/Tourists (accessed April 23, 2020).
 https://video.vice.com/gr/video/is-athens-the-new-berlin/59b113e0298c89292c1a16cd; https://theculturetrip.com/europe/greece/articles/heres-why-athens-is-not-the-new-berlin/ (both accessed 26 February, 2020).
 Preciado, Paul, “Qui la dette grecque réchauffe-t-elle?,” Liberation, December 18, 2015, http://www.liberation.fr/debats/2015/12/18/qui-la-dette-grecque-rechauffe-t-elle_1421791 (accessed March 27, 2020).
 Vier5, personal communication (2017).
 https://www.documenta14.de/en/calendar/4392/introduction-to-the-society-of-the-indigenous (accessed March 20, 2020).
 For power relations engendered in appropriation practices, see Schneider (2006), ibid., pp.26-27.
 Alfred Gell, “Vogel’s Net: Traps as Artworks and Artworks as Traps,” Journal of Material Culture 1, no. 1 (March 1996), pp.15–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/135918359600100102.
 Adam Szymczyk suggested that visitors should follow itineraries “according to geography, [and avoid] run[ning] to the big venues first. This [would give them] some insight into how we worked on the projects” [https://news.artnet.com/art-world/adam-szymczyk-press-conference-documenta-14-916991, (accessed April 20, 2020)]. Rainer Oldendorf’s and Andreas Angelidakis’ contributions looked more closely into the historical formation of the Athenian urban grid [https://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/13701/rainer-oldendorf; https://www.documenta14.de/en/venues/15296/polytechniou-8 (all accessed April 20, 2020)].
 Eleni Bastéa, The Creation of Modern Athens: Planning the Myth (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Εμμανουήλ Β. Μαρμαράς [Emmanouēl V. Marmaras], Για την Αρχιτεκτονική και την Πολεοδομία της Αθήνας: Δεκατέσσερα Κείμενα και ένα Αρχείο [On the architectural and urban planning of Athens: Fourteen Texts and аn Archive] (Athens: Ekdoseis Papazēsē, 2012).
 http://minusplato.com/2017/08/sites-of-electracy-vier5-at-aristotles-lyceum.html (assessed March 20, 2020).
 We were honored by the presence, discussions with, and contributions of Alexine Chanel, visual artist; Nikos Doulos, visual artist, Capacete, Dutch Art Institute; Vivian Emmanouilidou, visual artist; Lucas Itacarambi, poet, musician, art mediator; Iraklis Kopitas, visual artist; Dana Papachristou, musician, musicologist, PhD candidate, Paris VIII & Ionian University; Herbert Ploegman, anthropologist, curator; Janna-Mirl Redmann, art historian, Arab studies, PhD candidate, University of Geneva; Elli Vassalou, visual artist, Kask & Conservatorium School of Arts Ghent; Kathrin Wildner, anthropologist, HafenCity University Hamburg; Christopher Wright, anthropologist; Goldsmiths University. We are grateful for our interlocutors’ contributions; it is needless to say that the burden of any inaccuracies is held by the authors alone.
 Sokol Bequiri’s, Adonis (2017) [https://www.facebook.com/documenta14/posts/on-tuesday-the-artist-sokol-beqiri-grafted-an-oak-in-the-athens-polytechnion-wit/797057763794323/ (accessed April 29, 2020]); for a brief account of Adonis, see also Christopher Wright, “Uncertain Realities: Art, Anthropology, and Activism,” in FIELD, issue 11, Fall 2018 [ http://field-journal.com/issue-11/uncertain-realities-art-anthropology-and-activism (accessed March 29, 2020)].
 Rasheed Araeen’s Shamiyaana—Food for Thought: Thought for Change (2017) [https://www.documenta14.de/en/calendar/16507/shamiyaana-food-for-thought-thought-for-change (accessed April 20, 2020)], and Marta Minujín’s Payment of Greek Debt to Germany with Olives and Art (2017) [https://www.documenta14.de/en/calendar/16514/payment-of-greek-debt-to-germany-with-olives-and-art (accessed April 20, 2020)] were useful in this conversation.
 Tim Ingold (2007), ibid..
 James Clifford, “On Ethnographic Surrealism,” in Comparative Studies in Society and History 23, no. 4 (October 1981), pp.539–64, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0010417500013554.
 Hal Foster, “The Artist as Ethnographer?,” in The Traffic in Culture – Refiguring Art and Anthropology, edited by George E. Marcus and Fred R. Myers (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).
 Rupert Cox, Andrew Irving and Christopher Wright, “Introduction,” in Beyond Text? Critical practice and sensory anthropology, edited by Rupert Cox, Andrew Irving and Christopher Wright (Manchester University Press, 2016).
 Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, (Verso: London 2012), pp.194.