Reaching Re-Birth, 2013
Five channel video installation
DASHnDEM in collaboration with Aura Seikkula
Supported by the International Coaching Federation (ICF)

4th Athens Biennale AGORA

29 September – 1 December 2013 | Preview 28 September 2013

Former Athens Stock Exchange, 8-10 Sofokleous st.

At a time when the financial crisis in Greece and elsewhere is reaching a highpoint, the 4th Athens Biennale cannot but respond to this bleak situation through a pertinent question: Now what? Using the empty building of the former Athens Stock Exchange as its main venue, AB4 proposes AGORA not only as a place of exchange and interaction, but also as an ideal setting for critique.

A new commission for the AB4 AGORA a five channel video installation Reaching Re-birth is a collaboration between DASHNDEM and Aura Seikkula.

As a cultural technology in its own right, self-help is now considered integral to post-welfare societies and aims to produce self-governing citizens. Accordingly, self-help books and intervention based reality TV shows disseminate technical strategies of such management, which have become more relevant to practices of citizenship as we are increasingly expected to take responsibility for our own welfare.

On Reality TV shows professional motivators and lifestyle experts employ an array of self-shaping tools to transform people into successful “managers” of their lives. Individuals participate with the promise of learning to ‘adopt the right attitude’, ‘make good decisions’ and be ‘accountable for their lives’.

By exploring the reality TV boom, Reaching Re-Birth examines management and care of the self as a way of overcoming hardship and explores how techniques of the self can aid citizens of recession hit Greece; where a half broken state and systems which only makes things worse have made the ability to fend-for-oneself imperative.

2013 has been hailed as the year of ‘Greece’s re-birth’ in the ongoing political discourse about recovery. To address how life coaching has become increasingly relevant to practices of citizenship and individual survival in changing societies, ICF coaches from around the world were invited to employ their guidelines and strategies to aid citizens in approaching re-birth. The resulting self-filmed, instructional videos offering diverse self management techniques are presented as a five channel video installation in the former Athens Stock Exchange.