Friday, October 22, 2010
The Marathon of the Marathon Project
The Marathon Marathon Project (hereinafter τουμαραθωνίουmarathonproject), will take place in Athens at the Acropolis Museum on October 31, 2010 under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The project takes as its point of departure the impressive international array of marathon-format events which are rooted in the concept of superhuman endeavor, in the seemingly impossible but historically real feat of the Battle of Marathon. A particular point of reference was the international event entitled "The Marathon Project," which has been held annually since 2005 as part of the Serpentine Gallery art program in London. Through a marathon series of talks and presentations this project generates an important, unprecedented archive made up of the intricate "path" of thought and expression taken by artists and intellectuals as they explore a central issue or topic (e.g. The Poetry Marathon, the Manifesto Marathon, the Marathon of Maps). In doing so the project has questioned the established ways of presenting art and re-negotiated the concepts of public dialogue and cultural goods.
The apparent tautology in the title of the Athens event comes from the fact that τουμαραθωνίουmarathonproject—the "Marathon of the Marathon"—is being held as part of the celebrations of the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon and the organization this year of the Golden Marathon.
The reason for putting this project together was the need for a different reading of the anniversary, through the artists' and intellectuals' point of view and , in terms of both the act of commemoration (why we celebrate the anniversary) and the content of what is being commemorated (what it means). This meta-Marathon—the discourse about the Marathon—provides an opportunity to creatively re-link the message of the Marathon not only to its place of origin but also to the numerous places around the world where this message was relayed and multiplied.
The project is being realized at a historical conjuncture which is proving to be decisive for re-shaping the broader features of Greek society and culture. The event explores such topics as the new understanding of humanism that has emerged within contemporary culture, the (re-) interpretation of innovation in a globalized world of hybrid realities, and the role of the arts in the memorization of the past, present and future. Other topics include the renegotiation of the idea of the Other (which comes to the fore in the Battle of Marathon itself and in Aeschylus's Persians) and the symbolic transformation of Pheidippides from soldier to warrior-runner.
Artists, writers and intellectuals from Greece and abroad will take part in τουμαραθωνίουmarathonproject, which is being curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and co-curated by Nadja Argyropoulou. The proceedings will be published in book form and distributed internationally.
The Marathon marathon participants so far are: Etel Adnan,Andreas Angelidakis,Athanasios Argianas (with the participation of Theodore Pistiolas),Nairy Baghramian,Daniel Birnbaum ,Anna Boghiguian,Vlassis Caniaris,Dimitris Dimitriadis,Simon Fujiwara,Fivi Giannisi,Nikolaus Hirsch,Julia Peyton Jones,Jeff Koons, Giorgos Koumendakis (with the participation of Thodoris Patsalidis),Panos Koutrouboussis,Armand Marie Leroi,Antonis Liakos (with the participation of Emilia Salvanou),Natalia Mela,Sarah Morris,Luigi Ontani,Christodoulos Panayiotou (with the participation of Nicolas Stylianos & Eleni Roumpani),Yiannis Papadakis,Angelos Papadimitriou,Maria Papadimitriou,Leda Papaconstantinou,Vassilis Papavassiliou,Huang Yong Ping,Angelo Plessas,Stelios Ramfos,Societe Realiste & Giorgos Papadopoulos,Yorgos Sapountzis,Christiana Soulou,Eva Stefani,Yorgos Tzirtzilakis,Nanos Valaoritis,Yiannis Varelas,Kostis Velonis,Vangelis Vlahos,Iannis Xenakis (recorded interview),Zyranna Zateli (with the participation of Nikos Bakounakis), Elias Zenghelis.
The Marathon Marathon or τουμαραθωνίουmarathonproject is being organized by the non-profit cultural initiative, Saprofyta. It is realized in cooperation with the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art and the Acropolis Museum.
Sunday, October 31st 2010, start 16:00, Acropolis Museum