Stefanos Tsivopoulos’s Work at the Venice Biennale
History Zero, 2013
History Zero was commissioned specially for the 55th Venie Biennale and comprises a film of three parts alongside an archive of text and images. Arriving at a critical moment in contemporary Greek and European history, the work raises questions surrounding major moments in history, such as the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 and the Cold War.
Based on the multi-layered contemporary crisis in Greece, Tsivopoulos’ exhibition envisions an alternative future. The film depicts three human experiences relating to notions of value systems and in doing so, explores the role of money within the foundation of human relationships and political and social elements relating to the ownership of money.
The accompanying selection of archival materials provides examples and evidence of alternative nonmonetary exchange systems, focusing on the ability of such models to erode or put in question the homogenizing political power of common currency, and the ways in which communities function in relation to the exchange of goods in difficult times. The combination of the archive and films brings together the diverse culture surrounding economic exchange whilst challenging the social, political and performative aspect of alternative currency models.
History Zero, video stills, 2013, courtesy of the artist, Kalfayan Galleries, Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani.