Athens

Robert Kuśmirowski, D.O.M, 2004, mixed media, dimensions variable. From “Hotel Paradies,” Esplanade Building, Faliro Olympic Complex, Athens.

Robert Kuśmirowski, D.O.M, 2004, mixed media, dimensions variable. From “Hotel Paradies,” Esplanade Building, Faliro Olympic Complex, Athens.

the 2nd Athens Biennale

Various Locations

Robert Kuśmirowski, D.O.M, 2004, mixed media, dimensions variable. From “Hotel Paradies,” Esplanade Building, Faliro Olympic Complex, Athens.

THE ORGANIZERS OF THE Second Athens Biennale, “Heaven,” were perhaps hoping for divine intervention when they proposed transforming a hulking onetime parking garage, with salmon pink walls, into a paradise. Part of the disused Faliro Olympic Complex, the meandering space, more evocative of the underworld, imposed its own aesthetic on the biennial. Nevertheless, whether through administrative acumen or the will of the gods, artistic directors XYZ (Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, Poka-Yio, and Augustine Zenakos) managed to pull together an edgy and distinctive exhibition on a minuscule budget.

The garage’s entropic warren was filled with a refreshingly unconventional selection of nearly 150 international and Greek artists divided into six individually curated sections. Although the different, and disparate, parts did not cohere as a whole, they sounded common notes that often enough resonated

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