The Domestic Godless

Galleries: Recent Projects

6th Athens Biennale 2017 – 2018


Waiting for the Barbarians


Curatorial Statement:


Will there ever be any "Learning from Athens"? What do words such as "education", "freedom", "queer", "north", "south", "indigenous" signify in contemporary cultural debates? Are we witnessing the coming of the Barbarians, or the taming of the Barbarian? The 6th Athens Biennale Waiting for the Barbarians reflects on such questions.


Those Barbarians keep on coming, again and again. Recent biennials addressed the question of the Barbarian. The 2013 Istanbul Biennial entitled Mom, am I a Barbarian? investigated the Barbarian as a counter-image of civic identity, while Ireland’s Biennial 2016 EVA International entitled Still (the) Barbarians discussed Ireland as the primary test ground for modern European colonialism.


Since the start of the new century the Barbarians are ante portas. In the intellectual realm and the art field, though, the Barbarians are often depicted in positive and messianic terms: a new nomadic/rootless/hybrid/global subjectivity. This hypothesis seems to outline how the (im)possibility of resistance and insurrection is understood today and is a premise for our collective failure to foresee today’s escalation of regression.


We let go of assumptions and beliefs. The Barbarian is neither the ominous Other, the refugee, the migrant, the Muslim, nor the exoticizing and eroticizing orientalist, the "menace" of the "northern colonialist". Yet, the Barbarian is closer than ever. We are no hosts, but we invite the Barbarians in.


On the 5th of April 2017 we declare a year of Active Waiting.


For the 6th Athens Biennale 2017-2018 "Waiting for the Barbarians", The Domestic Godless consider the idea of the Barbarians coming from the North. With them, they bring foods that present the potential to cause both environmental and unsalvageable cultural damage, including their own invasive pests. They will build a multi-sensory installation, where they will pair ingredients, alien to the Mediterranean, with local produce to create bastardized offspring, and present dishes prepared from plants and creatures that have wrought havoc at home.