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The Venice Biennale 2013 - Greece
The Greek Pavillion , Venice
The Venice Biennale 2013


Stefanos Tsivopoulos represents Greece. Their pavilion is about the current currency crisis, a part of the wider global failure of Governments to supervise properly, banks and financial services companies. History Zero looks at the tectonic shift in the international distribution of wealth and power and the inequality that now exists between the rich and poor.The films are in 3 parts.

In History 1 (Film 1) an elderly art collector with Alzheimer’s disease is obsessed with making origami flowers made of thousands of euro bank notes, periodically she gets fed up with the old ones and discards them in the trash, she then replaces them with new ones. She is surrounded by works of modern art, but has no recollection of her every day buying of them.

History 2, A young immigrant worker is scavenging for scrap metal with a supermarket shopping trolley in which to collect his findings, scrap irons become gold until he finds the discarded euro-flowers from film 1. He then discards his trolley and scrap.

History 3, An artist wanders the city searching inspiration for his next work with his ipad as a camera, taking pictures of graffiti and random street scenes he comes across the abandoned trolley which he takes as his next artwork thus turning it to gold.The point of this is that the banknotes become worthless pieces of paper used for their colour, the scrap metal acquires the value of gold to the artist and art dealer.

History 0Is not a film but an archive of text and images from a study and anthropological survey of alternative exchange systems, it talks about barter exchange networks. Take the example of “Beer money” – how back in the late 80’s during civil war and economic sanctions and Angola’s economy was in tatters, beer became the local currency. Other systems of exchange such as Cattle, Bitcoin, emissions reduction currency, LETS and many others are included with diagrams, illustration and text for each artwork.

Paul Wynter

Tel 020 7738 3867