Every year Kunsthalle Athena is commissioning one artist to do a piece specifically for the opening page of its website.



For 2015, we are honoured to host a new piece by the internationally renowned artists Slavs and Tatars, titled Lektor. 

Lektor (Speculum Linguarum), 2014, is a multichannel audio work, featuring a selection from the eleventh-century Turkik mirror for princes Kutadgu Bilig (Wisdom of Royal Glory), in its original Uyghur with several voice-overs. The delivery of a near monotonous, matter-of-fact voice-over stems from a translation practice called ‘Gavrilov’s translation’ often used in Poland and Russia. The original language is kept audible, almost equally so, to the destination language. Specifically, the excerpts extracted from Kutadgu Bilig offer advice pertaining to speech and tongues – tongues that bring fortune and bad luck, profit and loss and what it means to loosen it, hold it or stick it out.

In each venue, the selection of translations for the voice-over or ‘dub’ traces the itinerary of the piece through the languages of its exhibition history. In addition to the original Uyghur: Turkish, Polish and German speak over one-another, respectively if not disrespectfully. The simultaneous playback of distinct audio tracks makes for an uncanny experience, touching on issues of legibility and authenticity – elsewhere in the world, voice-over translations are often used for news segments and documentaries – not to mention language as a form of hospitality.

Slavs and Tatars is a collective of artists started in 2006 and devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective’s work spans several media, disciplines, and a broad spectrum of cultural registers (high and low) focusing on an oft-forgotten sphere of influence between Slavs, Caucasians and Central Asians. In essence, the work of Slavs and Tatars is a dense comment on the counterpoint between Islam and the Western world as cultural entities, the possibilities and the impossibilities of this condition.




For 2014, we are honoured to host a new piece by Miltos Manetas, titled Internet Monastery.

In this period, of social political and economic crisis in Greece and the rest of South Europe, Manetas chooses to present a bare image of a lighted candle in a dark background. The visitors can play with the flame just through the simple gesture of putting it on and off. A visceral piece, the Internet Monastery refers -among others- to the solitude and the incapability of people to come up with a solid solution towards the overwhelming and fast-changing catastrophic events, as well as to the metaphysical hope that the current darkness bares. The popular gesture of lighting a candle contains an abstract yet strong faith that things might become good, better, even if the current moment is of total despair.

There is nothing hip nor trendy and above all, nothing digital attributed in this piece. One could say that the iconographical style has much more to do with the classical -even religious- painting of the 16th century (Caravaggio) in terms of light or with the same period’s Flemish painting, in terms of sharpness, to name just few references. This merge between past and present forms an interesting subversion according to which Manetas informs the so called “Post Internet Art” with classical aesthetics.  

Miltos Manetas is the Founder of the Art Movement NEEN, a pioneer of MACHINIMA and an instigator of Internet Art. In 2009 he initiated the INTERNET PAVILION for the VENICE BIENNIAL. The theme of the last current edition was THE UNCONNECTED, People who are NOT using the Internet. He is a Greek-born painter, conceptual artist and theorist whose work explores the representation and the aesthetics of the information society. Manetas is a multifaceted artist, whose work can be placed within a well-established tradition in modern painting, representing modern people in their particular modern settings.



For 2013, Kunsthalle Athena selected artist Sotiris Bakagiannis (Thepersonwhodidthis). Bakagiannis documents his life by building web-based monolithic compositions that employ real time data streams in a passively animated manner. The first in a series of domain works that explore event-driven, non-blocking JavaScript (thisislongform.com) opened in February 2011. It consists mainly of printing out random tweets on the Arab spring as they happen and in an ever-growing type, until any sense of content disappears and silent rhythms and tensions start to emerge.

Bakagiannis grew up next to a computer and has been consciously experimenting with code and digital media since the mid ’90s. He studied music production at the Gateway School of Recording (London) and further trained as a researcher at Keele University with Mark Tarrant and John Sloboda, learning statistics and reading on emotion, creativity and social identity theory. After seeing his thesis presented and published, he went on to pursue his long-term fascination with art and programming, working closely with live cinema group The Erasers. He bought his first domain in 2001 and has come to manage nearly seventy. Bakagiannis’s latest piece xn--kxaeb2avwu.com (βιτρίνα.com) serves up-to-the-minute screen grabs from his desktop, projected both online and through his retro-looking storefront in downtown Athens. He is currently working on dirtfoulandbooty.com, a generative audiovisual installation demonstrating monstrous code that drains machine and Internet resources. It will be on show at ARRRGH!
Monsters in Fashion at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris from February 13th to April 7th.



AIDS 3D were chosen for 2012.

They never delivered the project.



For 2011, artist Rafaël Rozendaal commented on the notions of modernism and aesthetic power and specifically of the “modernistic painting” and pop-art through the work BurningMyTime.com. The piece bared references to “constructivism” among other Modern movements, but at the same time it emphasized the randomness of today’s urban traffic. It seemed both a humoristic and melancholic note on life, as art should be.

Born in 1980 in Amsterdam Rafaël Rozendaal is a Dutch/Brazilian artist and an important figure in the world of Internet art. He lives and works in hotels around the world. Rozendaal is not a traditional artist who makes oil paintings but uses the internet as his canvas. He makes websites as art pieces. The pieces are sold with the domain name, the name of the collector appears in the title bar and the domain is transferred to the collector who becomes the owner of the website. However it remains open to the public. “With his websites as well as with his installations and projections, Rafaël Rozendaal translates physical objects into sounds and phenomena, creating a world where the viewer‘s perception of things is intensified. These environments are not only beautiful but also encourage the viewer to become curious about his surroundings.” Rafaël Rozendaal is the inventor of BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) exhibitions, a series of one-night-exhibitions hosting artists and their projectors. His most recent solo exhibitions include “Yes For Sure” at NIMk in Amsterdam, “Broken Self” at Spencer Brownstone gallery in New York, “I’m good” at TSCA in Tokyo. His work was presented at the 53rd Venice Biennial in “Padiglione Internet” (Internet Pavilion), at “Rhizome Commissions 2008” in New Museum, New York.



For 2010, artist Angelo Plessas commented on the notions of power and hierarchy through the work TowersAndPowers.com.

Angelo Plessas lives and works in Athens, Greece. His main body of work consists of websites that bring together an animated “object” with a domain name that functions as the title and location of the piece. These web objects often resemble sculptural portraits of imaginary characters, alternating between funny and poignant, strange and romantic. In his work, Plessas fuses iconography of ancient civilizations, surrealist abstractions and modernist references together with the social networking habit of imagined identities. Although immaterial, these pieces have a strong handcrafted quality and a distinct graphic style, always animated and interactive. Sometimes focusing on the theme of identity, these pieces become characters and portraits, while some other times they become experiments of colour and form, always conveying abstract emotions to the viewer in contrast to our “reality” driven online situation. His most recent solo exhibitions include "Angelo Plessas Works" at the Berkeley Art Museum, “Headquarters” at Rebecca Camhi gallery, "The Angelo Foundation Headquarters" at Jeu De Paume (with Andreas Angelidakis). His work was presented at the 2nd Athens Biennale in the exhibition "Splendid Isolation, Athens", and has been featured in Artforum, Art in America and other publications.


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Kunsthalle Athena


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