Indoeuropean Greeting, Collaboration with Athanasios Anagnostopoulos, Athens Biennale, 2017

INDOEUROPEAN GREETING

 

Indoeuropean Greeting was an opening Lecture Performance I did in collaboration with Athanasios Anagnostopoulos for Documena (http://documena.weebly.com/) at the Athens Biennale "Waiting for the Barbarians" at Bageion Main Hall, Omonoia Square, Athens. It took place in 2017, parallel to Documenta 14, which, for the first time, split its location between Kassel and Athens. The performance questioned the romanticization of the “South” and the Greek economic crisis in light of Documenta 14's visit of Athens. I gave a speech in the role of an „official representative“ of Germany, which was translated into Greek by Athanasios. The speech highlighted cultural exchanges between Greece and Germany (like Pluralism and Platonic love from Greece to Germany; and the architecture of the Greek parliament by Friedrich von Gärtner from Germany to Greece), and claimed a shared Indoeuropean cultural basis. Meanwhile, images were shown of myself as a volunteer in India, at the Acropolis etc., exposing the blurry line between humanism and colonialism/voyeurism. The speech culminated in a word play with the German word “das Gift” (eng.: poison), which used to mean gift (“die Gift”) but changed its meaning to poison in the course of time.

© Johanna Maj Schmidt 2020