The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens is presenting for the first time in Greece the national participation in the 55th Venice Biennale - Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ film History Zero - through September 2014.
The piece is structured in three parts, each with a duration of 11 minutes; it's accompanied by an archive of 32 texts and images. The themes include the concept of money, the value of material goods today and the idea of alternative, non-monetary exchange systems.
History Zero depicts the experiences of three people, with very different conceptions of the value of money. Its narrative explores the effect that monetary exchange can have in human relations, as well as the political and social implications.
Scene from "History Zero" — Photo courtesy of Despina Spyrou / Stefanos Tsivopoulos
The film follows a young immigrant from Africa who is wandering around the streets of Athens, pushing a super market trolley and collecting scrap metal; a foreign artist who visits Athens seeking inspiration for his new art piece in the confusing landscape of the city; and an elderly art collector who suffers from dementia due to Alzheimer's disease and lives all alone in her museum- like house, surrounded by artworks of contemporary art. The initial unrelated stories of these three heroes connect through small, random events.
The film is presented exactly as it was in the Greek Pavilion, with some necessary changes to the scale of the exhibits. Also, there is a set of seven new archives of alternative currencies, which examine the history of currency in Greece - from the Obol to the Euro. These new archives were specially designed for the Museum of Cycladic Art.
Stefanos Tsivopoulos, born in Prague in 1973, lives and works in Amsterdam and New York. His work refers mainly to the past, collective and individual memory, the genius loci and the types of reasoning that have developed. The technology of imagery, television aesthetics and historic authenticity of the cinematographic work are parallel areas of research and interest for this artist. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Athens, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam.