Iepe Rubingh, Chessboxing, 2003–18. Performance view, Esperia Palace Hotel, Athens, October 2018. From the 6th Athens Biennale.

6th Athens Biennale

Various Venues

The goal of the Sixth Athens Biennale, titled “ANTI” and curated by Stefanie Hessler, Kostis Stafylakis, and Poka-Yio, was to provide a screenshot of the era of “post-truth” and fake news, in which mechanisms of resistance have been appropriated by reactionary movements operating in tandem with the rise of populism. Inasmuch as reality is at best fugitive and ambiguous, and at worst impossibly complex and subjective, the ambition of the endeavor necessitated its apparent failure. With the work of more than one hundred artists and collectives, the show as a whole resembled nothing so much as a psychedelic fun house that was discomfiting in its familiarity.

The curators kicked off the show from a boxing ring, the training platform for Iepe Rubingh’s Chessboxing, 2003–18, a hybrid sport invented by the artist. It was followed by Panos Sklavenitis’s Cargo, 2018, a fantastic procession of mostly

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