Never Cross the Same River Twice (Chapter 2: Transhistorical Investigations) embraces expansive videographies that aim to foster new forms of transnational and collective assembly. Curated by French-Togolese independent curator Kisito Assangni and Greek-British curator Ariana Kalliga, the exhibition forms a time-shifting survey of performances converging between video, film and installation. Initiated as a travelling research project in 2020, the exhibition connects two borders that unfold in tandem, tracing the recent video practices of 11 international artists selected by Assangni and six contemporary Greek video artists invited into dialogue by space52, Athens.
The selected video works act as sites of visual contestation; cinematic aesthetics with narratives that re-remember; they reclaim histories and ancestries; decolonize both the mind and the imagination. Referencing Heraclitus’ river, which conceived identity as an ever-evolving and fluctuating entity, the title of the exhibition is a call to invent new grounds in place of entrenched environmental, political, and regulatory systems.
The participating artists tackle subjects that challenge us to reflect on the changing world in which we live, reclaiming lived realities and public domains. Exploring the limits of film as activism, several of the works reflect what Argentinian scholar Walter D. Mignolo termed the “epistemic disobedience and decolonial freedom” needed to rebuild just and non-colonial futures.
From a “coming community” to a planetary escape, the exhibition opens up uncanny spectral exits to new geopolitical imaginaries. Accompanied by a parallel series of bi-weekly screenings and talks, including a night organized by the Athens School of Fine Arts (LAB12), Never Cross the Same River Twice aims to expand and densify the interconnected motifs weaved through the exhibition program; history, ancestry, ethnography, spirituality, memory, colonization, Afrofuturism, feminism, diaspora, identity, globalization, consumerism, myth.
Curators: Ariana Kalliga and Kisito Assangni
Project Advisor: space52 Founder, Dionisis Christofilogiannis
Communications Coordinator: Dimitra Michail
Design: Pantelis Vitaliotis-Magneto & Virginia Russolo
Public Program Guest Curators: Argyro Nicolaou, Samantha Ozer,
Evi Roumani (LAB12, Athens School of Fine Arts), Menelaos Karamaghiolis