Marina Fokidis
Sunday 6 March 2016

Marina Fokidis is a curator and writer based in Athens, Greece. She is the founding and artistic director of Kunsthalle Athena, which started as an experimental platform and is now taking its permanent form, and the founding and editorial director of South As a State of Mind, a biannual art and culture publication. Fokidis is also the head of the artistic office of documenta 14 in Athens.

Kunsthalle Athena is intended as a critical intervention in the art scenes of Athens, Greece and Europe at large. Reflecting on the social role of art institutions in the 21st century, Kunsthalle Athena eschews an attachment to the mere display of contemporary art, prioritising instead the possibility of co-producing culture. Drawing on creative sources of varied origins and providing a vital core of social interaction and exchange, Kunsthalle Athena is constantly informed by the idiosyncrasy and distinctiveness of Athens and its public. With a desire to emphasise the constant transformation of ‘the polis’ (Athens) as a symbolic location for the production and dissemination of contemporary culture worldwide, Kunsthalle Athena does not aspire to authority and infallibility but fosters a spirit of optimism and shared responsibility. Yet Kunsthalle Athena has no illusions. Building on the traditions of auto-critique, it inevitably operates within the limits of the possible, in the firm belief that something is better than nothing.

South as a State of Mind is a biannual arts and culture journal published in Greece and distributed internationally. Possessed by a spirit of absurd authority, it tries to contaminate the prevailing culture with ideas that derive from southern mythologies such as the ‘perfect climate’, ‘easy living’, ‘chaos’, ‘corruption’, and the ‘dramatic temperament’, among others. Through a twisted – and ‘southern’ – attitude, expressed through critical essays, artists’ projects, interviews and features, it wishes to give form to the concept of the South as a ‘state of mind’ rather than a set of fixed places on the map. People from different – literal or metaphorical – ‘Souths’ renegotiate the southern attitude, partly to define it and partly to invent it, within the post-crisis world. Opening up an unexpected dialogue among neighbourhoods, cities, regions and approaches, South as a State of Mind is both a publication and a meeting point for shared intensities. From September 2015 and until June 2017, South as a State of Mind hosts documenta 14 and for the next four issues the magazine is reconfigured as the official journal of documenta 14 under the editorial directorship of Adam Szymczyk and Quinn Latimer.

The talk will be held in English.

Metod is an ongoing series of talks about working methods within the field of contemporary art and culture.