April 14, 2017 - Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - George Drivas: Laboratory of Dilemmas
April 14, 2017

Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

George Drivas, Laboratory of Dilemmas, 2017.

George Drivas
Laboratory of Dilemmas
May 13–November 26, 2017

Inauguration: May 12, 4:45pm

Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
30122 Venice
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

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Commissioner: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), Director: Katerina Koskina
Curator: Orestis Andreadakis

The artist George Drivas will represent Greece at the 57th Venice Biennale with the video installation titled Laboratory of Dilemmas, curated by Orestis Andreadakis. The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) has been appointed commissioner of Greece's national participation. The work has been selected by an advisory committee, appointed by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, among a total of 30 proposals.

Laboratory of Dilemmas is a narrative video installation based on Aeschylus’ theatre play Iketides (Suppliant Women), which poses a dilemma between saving the Foreigner and maintaining the safety of the Native. Addressing current global sociopolitical issues, the work deals with the anguish, puzzlement, and confusion of individuals and social groups when called upon to address similar dilemmas.

Aeschylus’ Iketides (Suppliant Women) is the first literary text in history that raises the issue of a persecuted group of people seeking for asylum.

The Suppliants have left Egypt to avoid having to marry their first cousins and arrive at Argos seeking asylum from the King of the city. The King is then faced with a dilemma. If he helps the foreign women, he risks causing turmoil among his people and going to war with the Egyptians, who are after the Suppliants. But if he doesn’t help them, he will break the sacred laws of Hospitality and violate the principles of Law and Humanism, leaving the Suppliants to the mercy of their pursuers.

Laboratory of Dilemmas focuses on the play’s dilemma through the excerpts of an unfinished documentary in the form of found footage about a scientific experiment.

This experiment was never completed for unknown reasons, however the found excerpts of the unfinished documentary reveal today, after so many years, details of the experiment, as well as the hopes of the professor who envisioned it and the disagreements with his co-researchers.

The story is presented piecemeal through multiple video and sound sources inside a Labyrinth.

The acclaimed actress Charlotte Rampling has a leading role in the videos of Laboratory of Dilemmas, along with other well-known Greek actors such as Yorgos Kotanidis, Lazaros Georgakopoulos, Kora Karvouni, Polydoros Vogiatzis, Rena Kyprioti, Panis Kalofolias.

Laboratory of Dilemmas is an immersive video installation that addresses contemporary sociopolitical issues and offers a peripatetic audiovisual experience that may create various different dilemmas to every visitor.

The project is funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. 


Producer: Fenia Cossovitsa
Production Design: Elias Ledakis
Director of Photography: Claudio Bolivar
Editing: Christos Gakis
Costume Designer: Eva Nathena
Production: Blonde Audiovisual Productions, Athens

Sponsors & supporters:
Grand Sponsor: Onassis Cultural Center
Principal partner: Efa Ventures
Sponsor: Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative
Supported by: NEON Organization for Culture and Development, Aegean Airlines, Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), Agricultural University of Athens, St. George Lycabettus Hotel and Skinos Mastiha Spirit 
Communication sponsor: ERT S.A. (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation)

Information for the press:
Kassiani Benou, Despoina Barabouti

Communication Office, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST)
pressoffice [​at​] emst.gr / kassiani.benou [​at​] emst.gr  / despoina.barabouti [​at​] emst.gr

Elena Davidson, SUTTON, London
ellie [​at​] suttonpr.com

Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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Laboratory of Dilemmas
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