We decided that if noone else was going to do something about it, we would. We did not respond to the heart-wrenching email and never confirmed our participation at the show. We let them decide for themselves (which they did). Soon after, they requested photos for press etc, so it seems that since they “have met understanding” from other artists, they presumed we would be ok with the deal too.
After a number of requests, we sent them this retro-glitched jpg photo to be used for press purposes.
We were told the photo was inappropriate.
Then we sent an email stating that we were “busy”.
Meanwhile, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and awareness for the exhibition. The text of the call to action that was submitted to the crowdfunding Generosity platform follows.
So much did FYTA want to help the cause, that they even offered their own bodies.
We invited our precious musician friends and created a cover version of charity tune “We are the world” by Quincy Jones. That was so much fun to make!
// for the anti-art geeks amongst you, see how many of the visual references you can spot on the vid! //
We were happy the facebook group W.A.G.E. shared our crowdfunding and song. The W.A.G.E. group has flagged iffy labour/working condition practices by New Museum before.
By that stage, the curators got the message that perhaps we weren’t going to be one of the 33 artists. Or that maybe the 33rd artwork would be our non-participation. It was too late for press corrections, sadly, as FYTA appeared in various local far-right newspapers as participants.
It was apparently also too late for FYTA to be excluded from internal emails. We were invited to a VIP private view of the exhibition organised for the exceptional, foreign guests of DESTE and Dakis himself (career opportunities!).
"Dear all, I hope you are well. We are in the final stages of preparation for the exhibition, and we’d like to inform you that the press conference at Benaki Museum will take place on Wednesday 15 of June at 12.30. The opening will take place on June 16 at 20:00. Also, for those of you in Athens, in June 19 at 18:00 there will be a private viewing for the foreign guests of mr. Joannou at the Museum."
We decided to send them a farewell in our own special cuddly way. We were lucky the sender had not used a bcc, so we had access to all email addresses of organisers and participants. We sent the following email to everyone.
We were guilty. Guilty of too much honesty, guilty of not enough post modernism, guilty of internalised homophobia, guilty of class remorse.
The final list of artists / artists groups (32) was announced.
Dear organisers and participating Equilibrists,
Thank you for the invitation to participate in this incredible showcase for which three giants of international art (New Museum, DESTE, mr. Benakis) came together. It’s incredible to see such effort in crisis-ridden Greece. Greek art is at the forefront of the international avant-garde and this exhibition is a great example of political creativity of high quality made by artists and curators who work on a voluntary basis, showing altruism in the face of collective adversity.
We hope you are not affected by the unfair accusations of nepotism (implying that some artists were invited due to ‘connections’) and the unfounded rumours of differentiated fees among artists. This type of bitterness is common in a country like Greece. We personally found the whole organisation super transparent (like high-quality crystals) and we’d like to highlight the moving work of (REDACTED), who not only organised this incredible showcase without a budget, but she even contributed from her own resources. Also, whatever she lacked in financial support, she more than made up in academic rigour.
Sadly, we could not take part in the exhibition and join you at the fabulous viewing party, as one of us is in Berlin for a BDSM convention and the other one has to attend his brother’s wedding in Serres (northern Greece). Unfortunately, these prior commitments prohibited us from meeting the foreign guests of mr. Dakis. However, we hope to get in touch through Gaydar / Rent Boy, as we live in treacherous times and we all need a patron or at least a sugar daddy for the summer (the British pound has collapsed). We will be there in spirit and we dedicate the following video to all of you!
With deep admiration, FYTA
None of the curators or other artists responded to the email :(