The artist Anna Laskari with her work “Left of the Parthenon” was chosen to represent Greece at the Biennale of the South that will host Caracas, Venezuela, under the title I Bienal del Sur: Pueblos en Resistencia (First Biennale of South: People in Resistance) in the period between November 1, 2015 and February 28, 2016. Greece is the only country of Southern Europe participating in the program, which features 100 artists from 40 countries.
The work of Laskari, is a 3D animation, produced exclusively for the Biennale of the South and symbolically depicts an image of the suffering and the harshness of living that the crisis casts upon Greece, a country served as a Guinea pig for the implementation of neo-liberal economic policies of austerity, as well as the resistance of the people.
According to the artist, “one could potentially add to the ‘labels,’ which always represented the image of Greece, some new ones. Thus, on the side of emblematic terms like the ‘Parthenon,’ the ‘Acropolis,’ or ‘cradle of Democracy,’ new predicates are added, such ‘insecurity,’ ‘fear,’ ‘anger,’ ‘social turmoil,’ communal and alternative practices of solidarity.”
In the two-minute clip, the 3D animation shows a panic stricken cat trapped on the balcony of a closed office somewhere in the commercial center of Athens. The cries of the cat — which initially reveal the animal’s despair — gradually escalate to a threatening roar, staring insistently at the spectator, who despite not participating in the drama, can’t help but to be moved by it. Finally, the cat disappears, leaving an encapsulating emptiness, a void.
The organization of the Biennale was an initiative of Venezuela’s Ministry of Popular Power and is materialized under the auspices of the Institute of Representational and Spatial Arts (IARTES). The objective of this ambitious international event is to bring together creative people from the South, but from a South transcending any notion of geographic border, with the scope of building a common space to communicate their desires, their dreams and their needs. According to Biennale’s curator Morella Jurado, IARTES’ general director, this common field could work as an artistic platform for a fruitful exchange of “political experiences and new aesthetic proposals in the view of building a common battlefront, outside the commercial rings and forging its own character.”