Grossraum 21C

5 Apr 2017 – 30 Jun 2017

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Polytechic School of Athens (NTUA)

Athens, Greece

Event map

An anti - Documenta14 photographic action


Experiencing intangible fields of sovereignty, expansionism and imposition of state-of-emergency regimes. A site-specific photographic action in dialogue with the historic Gini building of the Polytechic School of Athens (NTUA)

Grounds of space, expansion and negation. Changing the paradigm in European continent towards the end of the 20th century

The fact that today there are Grossraums formed, thus there is a war incited, is no worse and no more frightening than other earthquakes of previous centuries. Why be afraid of Behemoth more than Leviathan? 

Carl Schmitt, 1939 

The writings of Carl Schmitt, the German jurist of the 20th century, denote and rationalize/legitimize the expansionist eagerness of the ruling class in Germany from a very early period. The strategy of spatial occupation and power politics/political aggression led to two world wars –and the formation of the Third Reich. Grossraum is the actual area of a state’s dominance, where its interests are expanded. It constitutes the network of influence, the practice of legislation, the possibility of imposing a state of emergency. Considering the current dominant situation, the European Union is a form of capitalist totalitarianism, totally conforming to the schmittian approach: crisis is no more than an unexpected state of emergency unfolding in neutral time, forced upon peoples by the dominant elites through financial institutions. 

It surely seems naïve and unhistorical to compare the expansionist policies of the Third Reich with today’s Bundestag and European bank policies. However, it is as much unhistorical –indeed, it is a dominant ideology- to conceal that both a war with bombs and a war with banks derive from the same doctrine, the great area; that the actual occupation of land and technological, legislative, financial enforcement are the outcome of the same economic model, the one that separates people in classes. 

We should have in mind, of course, that the networks of capitalistic and spectacle flux are more than ever global and, at a certain extent, intangible. A hundred years ago, it was Schmitt who cited the American Monroe Doctrine and its concept of “non-intervention” in the American Raum. He was the one who saw the Monroe Doctrine as the first implemented Grossraum. “This is the core of the original Monroe Doctrine, a genuine Grossraum principle, namely the union of politically awakened people, a political idea and, on the basis of this idea, a politically dominant Grossraum excluding foreign intervention.” New world order imposes itself through war, biotechnology, banks, nationalistic groups and politics, unemployment, dominant culture, prisons, concentration camps, control, states. 

Experiencing such a form of exploitation today, we strongly believe that symptoms reach the same depths with structures and we constitute negations throughout sociopolitical spectrum sharing as an objective the refutation of the very spectrum. Re-using and acting in a public space is crucially important; especially Gini building, historically opposed – symbolically and literally – to all forms of power during the last four decades in Greece. Reclaiming those public spaces is crucial for the strengthening of participatory, cooperative and collective action against each imposed Grossraum. 

Text by Yannis Karpouzis, Yorgos Karailias 

Action - Installation - pictures by Pavlos Fysakis, Yorgos Karailias, Yorgos Prinos, Yannis Karpouzis 

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