Venice Biennale Artists Hang Defaced Flag in Protest of Austerity in Greece Crisis

The artists' banner was hung over the entrance to the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Photo via Hito Steyerl on Facebook.

The artists showing in the Venice Biennale’s German pavilion have come out with a strong statement against austerity measures that the German government is demanding from Greece in return for a debt bailout. They argue that austerity measures are really a way to channel money to the wealthy at the expense of the public good.

Artists Jasmina Metwaly, Olaf Nicolai, Philip Rizk, Hito Steyerl, and Tobias Zielony, along with a number of biennial employees, hung a Greek flag emblazoned with the word “Germoney” over the entrance to the German pavilion, where the name “Germania” appears. Steyerl posted an image of the banner to her Facebook page, along with a message:

Today, the artists of the German Pavilion and a number of the workers of the 56th Venice Biennial covered the Germania sign on the pavilion with a Greek flag and the word “Germoney.” We show our solidarity with the people in Greece and all other places suffering from austerity. As cultural workers and artists we demand an end to austerity for health, culture and education while public funding for banks and oligarchs seems unlimited. #AusterityKills, #CancelGreekdebt, #Germoney

In a comment, Steyerl added the signatures of Julia Akimova, Teresa Bauer, Tim Bitten, Matteo Binci, Anna Böckers, Marco Carrino, Jacopo David, Antonia Deckert, Alexander Deubl, Davide Giacometti, Franke Helbig, Kim Eun Jeong, Christian Kliem, Corinne Mazzoli, Anja Predeick, Luca Pili, Konstantin Landuris, Olaf Nicolai, and Michela Solinas.

The pavilion was organized by Florian Ebner, photography curator at the Museum Folkwang in Essen. Our critic Kevin McGarry picked Steyerl’s installation as one of the winners of the Bienniale.


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