Anastasia Douka, Queen Makita_electric tools 2004
The Soft
Power Lectures
Where will
go from here?


The Temporary Academy of Arts (PAT) for professional and amateur education is a mobile academy of arts and at the same time an art project in experimental education which offers higher art studies in areas where there is an interest in alternative, experimental and self-organised education in applied and fine arts. According to need PAT works on different models of artistic education which will sometimes compete with each other, testing different educational structures and artistic and social models. For Actopolis, PAT, will organise a series of Performative Lectures that will attempt to produce a control material around the discourse on the regulation, gentrification and branding of cities, located at the centre or on the peripheries of European restructuring. The lectures will take place in institutional and extra-institutional spaces, with a mixed public including distinguished and younger guests and will culminate in a pluralistic show on a basketball court. How can a country, a city, an academy exercise soft power in order to hegemonise the discourse around itself and everything surrounding it? Lectures, talks, discussions, projects, apparatuses and various other material will attempt to gather and organise the discourse that is produced around the exotic Athens of the crisis and creativity, an Athens that is currently receiving thousands of immigrants and that is set to host the next Documenta.

Photo: Anastasia Douka, Queen Makita_electric tools, 2004


Take a look behind the scenes: in the LAB, the artists are developing their projects online. Your contributions and comments to the work in progress are welcome!

  • Actopolis Ausstellung Athen

    9 November 2017 22:24 by ACTOPOLIS

    Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis PatsialosFotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis PatsialosFotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos Fotos © Vangelis Patsialos
    Einige Eindrücke von der Actopolis Wanderausstellung in der Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Athen (ASFA).

  • Actopolis Exhibition at Athens School of Fine Arts

    5 October 2017 15:21 by ACTOPOLIS

    Actopolis Athens Exhibition November 2017
    From 4-16 November 2017 the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) will be hosting the Actopolis travel exhibition. The exhibition opening is planned for November 3rd, 7pm.

  • The Soft Power Lectures (6/6): The Final Show

    12 October 2016 10:09 by ACTOPOLIS

    Vassiliki Grammatikogianni visited the final event of Actopolis Athens for us. Her text is written along pictures taken by Michael Pappas.

    Elpida Karaba, Copyright: Michael Pappas

    An old cinema, which has since been transformed into the basketball hall of Panteion University, was chosen by the Temporary Academy of Arts (PΑΤ) for the final event of the project “The Soft Power Lectures” – a project supported and organised by the Goethe-Institut as part of a larger programme entitled ACTOPOLIS. It was also no coincidence that the PAT had chosen precisely this space. Since its foundation, but also during the parallel events, which the trainer Christos organises from time to time today, the sensitive eyes of the PAT artists have recognised the elective affinities between this sports hall and their own narrative art. In the following photo reportage we aim to lead you through this artistic event and to transport you into the atmosphere that prevails there – and, last but not least – to infect you too with the “germ” of the creativity of the artists of the PAT.

  • PRESSE: „Eine neue Positionierung des Südens“ (German article)

    7 October 2016 15:30 by ACTOPOLIS

    „Die Temporäre Akademie der Künste (PAT) hat sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, ausgewählte Aspekte griechischer Kunst und Geschichte gegen den Strich dominierender Meinungshoheit darzustellen. Das alternative Narrativ will auch umformen, was als Stereotyp von der „Kreativität in der Krise“ derzeit allzu leicht über die Lippen geht. Mit Hilfe von Soft Power Lectures rekonstruiert die PAT Segmente einer Kultur- und Kunstentwicklung, die gerne übersehen werden.“

    Lesen Sie hier den Artikel in voller Länge.

  • #MICRORESIDENCY_ATHENS#4: Özge Çelikaslan and Alper Şen

    12 August 2016 10:51 by ACTOPOLIS

    For the forth microresidency in Athens, media scientist and activist, Özge Çelikaslan, and Alper Şen, an artist and activist of Turkish art collective Artikisler came to Greece to work on and present their project The Residual. Local Observer Vassiliki Grammatikogianni wrote about their presentation. Photos by Vangelis Patsialos.

    MICRORESIDENCY_ATHENS#4: Özge Çelikaslan and Alper Şen. Photo: Vangelis Patsialos

    During the past two years persecution and poverty have driven over one million people to leave their homes and seek asylum in Europe. Europe, however, was not prepared to receive them. The stream of refugees has shaken Europe’s very foundations. Now people are accusing each other and are placing the blame on the shoulders of the others; they are closing borders and speaking about perpetrators and victims. And yet, at the heart of all these aspects are people. Because it is people who are behind all the statistics. People whose lives have been destroyed by war. Within the framework of the ACTOPOLIS programme a new light has been shed on the subject of refugees.


    12 July 2016 12:17 by ACTOPOLIS

    The Temporary Academy of Arts invited four ACTOPOLIS participants to the Final Show of the Soft Power Lectures. During the event in the basketball hall of Panteion Univerisity, Vassiliki Grammatikogianni had the chance to speak to all of them. Photos by Michael Pappas

    Vassiliki Grammatikogianni speaking with WE ARE VISUAL. Photos by Michael Pappas

  • Press: Despina Zefkili about Athens in Global Art Discourse

    28 June 2016 18:28 by ACTOPOLIS

    Fanis Kafantaris, Speleo, installation view. Bageion, Athens Biennale OMONOIA_SchoolAthens-1

    In her dossier "The School of Athens" for ART PAPERS, Despina Zefkili is tracing two stereotypical images of contemporary Athens found in global art discourse: While one builds on the image of a frozen city ("where ancient ruins meet the ruins of neoliberalism"), the other one, painting the city "as a 'workshop' of creative energy in the wake of its debt crisis" is one the Temporary Academy of Arts (PAT) was problematizing throughout the series of "Soft Power Lectures"! Worth a read!

    www.artpapers.org_School Of Athens

  • PRESSE: Despina Zefkili über die zwei Bilder Athens im Kunstdiskurs

    28 June 2016 18:28 by ACTOPOLIS

    Fanis Kafantaris, Speleo, installation view. Bageion, Athens Biennale OMONOIA_SchoolAthens-1

    In ihrem Dossier für ART PAPERS identifiziert Despina Zefkili zwei stereotypische Bilder, die ihm globalen Kunstdiskurs über Athen verbreitet sind. Während das eine Bild eine „gefrorene Stadt“ zeichnet, in der „antike Ruinen auf die Ruinen des Neoliberalismus treffen“, beschwört das zweite Bild eine Stadt, die sich „in Folge der Finanzkrise in ein Labor kreativer Energien“ gewandelt hat. Da dies genau die Dichotomie ist, der sich auch das Programm von Actopolis Athen mit der Reihe „The Soft Power Lectures“ widmet, ist der Artikel nur zu empfehlen.

    www.artpapers.org_School Of Athens

  • The Soft Power Lectures (5/6): Thoughts on the European Geography of “Above” and “Below”

    4 June 2016 17:26 by ACTOPOLIS

    The Soft Power Lectures (5/6). Photo Michael Pappas

    The fifth performative lecture of the Soft Power Lecture series took place at Panteion University and was introduced with the sentence: "Maps as we read them put the North at the top and the South at the bottom. Let's think about what that might mean." We sent "local observer" Vassiliki Grammatikogianni and photographer Michael Pappas to report back to us from room G3 at the Institute of Anthropology. Here's what we received back:

  • #MICRORESIDENCY_ATHENS#2: Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley

    13 May 2016 14:32 by ACTOPOLIS

    #‎INTERVIEW‬: Listen to what artist duo Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley have to say about tourism, archaeology and infrastructures:


    As part of the ACTOPOLIS microresidencies the two artists spent a few days in the Greek capital to explore the city's archaeological museums and meet their collegues of the Temporary Academy of Arts (PAT) at Constantinos Hadzinikolaou’s performance lecture "From Sunset to Sunrise".

  • The Soft Power Lectures (4/6): Constantinos Hadzinikolaou on Sunsets, Acharnes, and Greek Cinema

    11 May 2016 18:31 by ACTOPOLIS

    Copyright: Michael Pappas Kaspar Wimberley of ACTOPOLIS Oberhausen, Copyright: Michael Pappas Elpida Karaba and Despoina Zefkili in the train to Acharnes , Copyright: Michael Pappas  Historical and Folklore Museum of Acharnes, Copyright: Michael PappasDark Room, Copyright: Michael Pappas Red curtain, Copyright: Michael Pappas  Constantinos Hadzinikolaou's lecture performance, Copyright: Michael Pappas
    Constantinos Hadzinikolaou reflecting on his lecture performance that traced the relevance of Acharnes for the history of Greek cinema by linking a number of cinematic classics to the local museum’s collection of historical artefacts.

  • The Soft Power Lectures (3/6) at the Athens School of Fine Arts

    11 May 2016 17:56 by ACTOPOLIS

    Copyright: Michael Pappas Copyright: Michael PappasCopyright: Michael Pappas Copyright: Michael PappasCopyright: Michael Pappas

    On March 31st 2016, The Soft Power Lectures (3/6) took place at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA). The lecture and discussion «Where will you go after this?» addressed the exotic view of Athens as “a southern experiment of creative sustainability in times of crisis, and as a body of resistance that can educate, suggest strategies of survival and, through alternative economies and communitarian practices, a novel way to make art without money.”

  • #Microresidency_Athens#1: Ana Dana Beroš, Yelta Köm, Mirjana Utvić and Danijela Dugandžić

    20 April 2016 16:41 by ACTOPOLIS

    The first few visits to Athens as part of the Actopolis Microresidencies were Ana Dana Beroš (ACTOPOLIS ZAGREB), Danijela Dugandžić (ACTOPOLIS SARAJEVO), Yelta Köm (ACTOPOLIS ANKARA/ MARDIN) and Mirjana Utvić (ACTOPOLIS BELGRADE). Follow the links underneath the names to watch the interviews recorded by journalist Thembi Wolf.

    Microresidency Athens 2016

  • #Mikroresidenz_Athen#1: Ana Dana Beroš, Yelta Köm, Mirjana Utvić und Danijela Dugandžić

    20 April 2016 16:41 by ACTOPOLIS

    Für die ersten Mikroresidenzen in Athen wurden Ana Dana Beroš (Zagreb), Yelta Köm (Ankara/Mardin), Mirjana Utvić (Belgrad) und Danijela Dugandžić Živanović (Sarajevo) eingeladen. Die Journalistin Thembi Wolf führte für uns Interviews mit den vier Residenten:

    Microresidency Athens 2016

  • The Soft Power Lectures (2/6): “Interviews”

    8 April 2016 15:32 by ACTOPOLIS

    The Venue: Καφέ-Μπάρ // Coffee-Bar at 42 Socratous Street, Photographer: Michael Pappas Interview with filmmaker Konstantinos Giannaris, Photographer: Michael PappasPerformative interviewer Panos Sklavenitis and Xenia Kalpaksoglou of Athens Biennale (right), Photographer: Michael Pappas ACTOPOLIS Athens curator Elpida Karaba, Photographer: Michael PappasOmonoia Square at night, Photographer: Michael Pappas

    For part 2 of The Soft Power Lectures the Temporary Academy of Arts (PAT) hosted a series of performative interviews in a coffeehouse at Omonoia Square in Athens. PAT invited artists and activist groups that occupy the city and its active or inactive joints, participate in the Biennale, work for the Documenta, do not participate at the Biennale and do not work at the Documenta as well as particpants of the ACTOPOLIS project.

  • Interview mit Elpida Karaba – Gute Kunst ist immer politisch

    23 March 2016 15:11 by ACTOPOLIS

    Elpida Karamba, Copyright: Michael Pappas
    Die ACTOPOLIS-Kuratorin Elpida Karaba über die Energie ihrer Heimatstadt Athen, Kunst in Zeiten der Krise und ihre Veranstaltungsreihe "The Soft Power Lectures" (German only).

  • THE SOFT POWER LECTURES (1/6): “Athens-Oberhausen. The Energy of Two Cities”

    25 February 2016 16:51 by

    ACTOPOLIS ATHENS (1/6): “Athens-Oberhausen. The energy of two cities” is the first in a series of six performative lectures, organized by the Temporary Academy of Arts (PAT) / ΠΡΟΣΩΡΙΝΗ ΑΚΑΔΗΜΙΑ ΤΕΧΝΩΝ.

    Co-curator of this mobile academy, Elpida Karaba will begin with a self-reflexive and critical exploration of the conditions in which art, culture and discourse take place as well as the journey of PAT to the Actopolis Production Lab in Oberhausen, Germany.


Constantinos Hadzinikolaou

Constantinos Hadzinikolaou

Actopolis-City: Athens

Hadzinikolaou was born in 1974 in Athens, where he lives and works. He is a cinematographer and writer. His filmography is comprised mainly of short documentary films shot on Super 8, while his writings can be found in various newspapers and magazines: poetry, prose and criticism. His pamphlet Notes from the mountains was published in 2009. In 2012 he received the writer’s scholarship from the National Book Centres of France and Greece. He participated in the 4th Athens Biennale (2013).
As time goes by
I can speak less and less about my work
‒ or about the “non-work”, as Duras says ‒
and perhaps this is because
even more intensely now
the work (or non-work)
emerges from a generality
of the kind “I like literature, cinema”
which is
through the most direct and harsh manner
into something tangible
so tangible in fact
that someone can touch it (as he would touch a glass)
without having much to say.
At least not me.
© Dimitris Tsitsos
Despina Zefkili

Despina Zefkili

© Dimitris Tsitsos
Actopolis-City: Athens

Despina Zefkili is an art critic and senior editor in athinorama, the leading cultural guide of Athens. She is interested in a critical understanding of art in a wider sociopolitical context as well as its performative and educational aspects.
She has published articles on the Athens art scene in international books and magazines including “On one side of the same water” (Hatje Cantz), “The way between Belgrade and Prishtina” (Stacion Center), “Third Text”, and has reviewed shows for Frieze Magazine, artnet, Flash Art,, South Magazine.
Currently she is a member of the Temporary Art Academy PAT curating the “Soft Power Lectures” at Actopolis Project. She was a member of the production team of the 4th Athens Biennale AGORA. She has curated a series of events on lecture performance in the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens. Together with Vangelis Vlahos she has co-curated the exhibition “Archaeology of Today?” at Els Hanappe Underground and co-edited, from 2004 to 2008, Local Folk, a free press publication, focusing on a critical view on the local art production and a dialogue with other art scenes.
© Nikos Alexopoulos
Elpida Karaba

Elpida Karaba

© Nikos Alexopoulos
Actopolis-City: Athens

Independent curator and art theorist. Lives and works in Athens

Elpida Karaba has worked since 2000 in education, teaching art theory and art history. She has curated various exhibitions and independent art projects. In 2012 she published ArchivePublic: Performing Archives in Public Art: Topical Interventions (co editor P. Kouros). She is the curator of the series ArchiveRights in ISET (Institute of Contemporary Greek Art). In 2014 the first performance of her in-process curatorial-educational programme, PAT, took place in Peristeri, Athens, as part of the Community Projects of NEON Organisation. A book on PAT-Peristeri is due in summer 2015. As a member of the Reading Group she was also the co-author of the book Exercises of Idiosyncrasy. She has also published the book 9+1 Unrealised Projects. Issues on Curating.and was the co-editor in chief of the annual review of AICA Hellas, Techne & Kritiki for two anthologies, one dedicated to art theory and its methods and the second to art and its institutions. Her research interests and publication record focus on art and political theory, public art and documentary, activist and performative art practices.
© Glykeria Stathopoulou
Glykeria Stathopoulou

Glykeria Stathopoulou

© Glykeria Stathopoulou
Actopolis-City: Athens

Glykeria Stathopoulou studied Fine Art and History and Theory of Art in the UK and the US. She received the First Award in Academic Excellence for her MA Thesis (San Francisco Art Institute).

Glykeria Stathopoulou is currently a PhD student writing on delegated performance and current ethnographic methodologies and re-enactment practices in art. In 2007 she participated in a research team for the implementation of a pilot art school project in San Francisco (collaborative institutions Stanford University, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and California College of the Arts) and has participated at the Temporary Academy of Art project curated by Elpida Karaba (P.A.T, 2014). She was a member of the curatorial team of the Fourth Athens Biennale AGORA in 2013, has edited and authored texts in exhibition catalogues and online journals and has contributed to a publication on failure as an artistic strategy: Shaving the mammoth (SFAI University Press, 2008).
© Loukas Bartatilas
Sofia Dona

Sofia Dona

© Loukas Bartatilas
Actopolis-City: Athens

Sofia Dona studied Architecture and received her Masters in Fine Arts from the Bauhaus University of Weimar in "Public Art and New Artistic Strategies". She was awarded the DAAD Prize for the Best Foreign Student at the Bauhaus University of Weimar (2010), and was a winner at the SADAS Architectural Awards 2010.

Sofia Dona has been realising projects in the field between architecture and art in various cities around the world, including Leipzig, Detroit, Chicago and Pisa. As a member of the "Errands" group, she has participated in exhibitions such as the 2nd Athens Biennial, the 7th São Paulo Biennial of Architecture, and the 1st Istanbul Design Biennial. In 2014 she co-curated the project "Enjoy your state of emergency: Art and activist strategies in times of crisis" in NGBK Berlin and the project "New Babylon Revisited" in Athens. In 2012 she curated the project "Austausch/Exchange" at the Broadway Passage and Cinema Theatre in Athens and curated and organised the project "On Board-Charter 2013" between Marseille and Athens, both under the auspices of the Goethe-Institut Athen. She is a Ph.D. student working on and researching the symbolic twinning of distant cities, such as Leipzig and Detroit. Recently she has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Artists in order to realise a research project with the professor and artist Suzanne Lacy and at The Otis College for Art and Design in Los Angeles.
© Athina Kaltsika
Panos Sklavenitis

Panos Sklavenitis

© Athina Kaltsika
Actopolis-City: Athens

Panos Sklavenitis was born and brought up on Ulysses’ island, Ithaka. That is why he has an attachment to the Greek sun and the Greek sea. When he was young he attended PIKPA school, an institution offering education to children with special needs. Until very recently Sklavenitis did not know that PIKPA was such an establishment.

Like the artists of the Russian avant-garde, Sklavenitis worked for many years in applied arts as a graphic designer, until he also discovered an interest in the fine arts. In his work he focuses on masquerade, satire, over-identification and performative methods. He collaborates closely with anthropologists and archaeologists in order to study subjects in the culture industry and other subjects relating to our civilisation. Sklavenitis is an experienced teacher, since for many years he has made his living as a drawing teacher. He frequently uses his students in his projects.
Anastasia Douka

Anastasia Douka

Actopolis-City: Athen

Anastasia Douka creates host spaces for systems of objects that she wants to operate as metaphors for the given location. She believes that everything constructed can break, be reconstructed and then break once again (or at least that it has the potential to do so). She has been a resident artist at the Yaddo Colony, NY, the Salzburg International Summer Academy and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME. Recent group shows and projects include: Mediation Code, Athens Biennale 5to6; Reverb: New Art from Greece, SMFA, Boston, MA; Contra-rotations, Ran TeaHouse, NY; The Four Horsemen, Chicago, IL; Near Dwellers, Russell Industrial Center, Detroit, MI; and Pierrot Le Fou, Alte Saline, Hallein, Austria. Her last solo show Dog _ I think of them driving was presented in an office building at the foot of the Acropolis. Douka is a graduate of the MFA sculpture programme at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of the SAIC 2011-2013 New Artist Society Merit Scholarship Award; the Edes Semi-Finalist Fellowship Award; the Alexander S. Onassis Scholarship; the Mihelis Foundation Award; and the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship. In 2011 she was awarded the Deste Prize.