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The idea of MedioSud was born in 2012 when curator Marina Fokidis invited me to write a text for her new-born magazine South as a State of Mind. At that point, having spend already three decades in the North of the West -NY/LA/London/Paris/Milan, I had moved back in the South of Europe. I was living now in Rome where my daughter Alpha had just been delivered. There was a lot of Social struggle in 2012, especially in Greece. That made me look -for the first time- further than art..

After all this time -32 years from when I left Greece, what had this place become? The Mediterranean basin- after-the-Internet.. What is happening now to my family, my friends and friendenemies, all of them now crying for help as if the sky has just fallen on their heads- The Crisis! The Crisis!

I knew they all had a lot of problems in the South. From when I left the US where things -were for the moment, for us who were privileged at least- a bit softer, I start having problems myself. Still, having recently spend a bit of time in Colombia where Crisis is permanent, I couldn't really believe that the reasons for this massive despair is just the Economy. Also, having just visited Greece, I found the country and the people there more interesting and alive than ever! Marina's newly founded magazine was proof of that as it was also Greece's newborn Political Party which bears the great, evocative name SYRIZA. In 2015, SYRIZA made it to Government. Looking now carefully the south of Europe from Rome, I realized that I could see a kind of Middle South rising! Middle as in in "Middle East": a "South-no-more" territory, still not yet not North. The way I see it, the old South wouldn't fully agree becoming a perfectly functioning part of the upcoming "Total North".

With such stuff in my mind, I wrote for Fokidis' magazine a text titled "My Family in Middle South". A few months later, Salvatore Lacagnina, Rome's Swiss Institute Director, asked me to write something about Art in Rome for Institute's contribution to the Berlin Biennial. I took the opportunity to write a little manifesto about how I imagined art in Middle South. The Art of MedioSud.

Feb 28, 2013

On 28 February 2013 at 20:00 CET, the same day and hour that Pope Ratzinger resigned, myself and a few friends introduced MedioSud at MACRO, one of the two Museums of Contemporary Art in Rome. In Greece, two years later, in 2015, the SYRIZA Government decide to put forward a kind of global Social Performance by asking the Greeks if they agreed to continue and be exploited by Europe the way EU does it - obliging the country to get more and more debt. The answer of the Greek People (61.31%) was a sound NO! EU ignored it and went on exploiting Greece, this time in collaboration with SYRIZA whose chief Alexis Tsipras preferred to secure his political career than following the advice of his revolutionary-thinking Minister of Economy Yanis Varoufakis and get into a creative frontal struggle with European Union's mobsters.

At that point, Athens was already the new "hot" place to be. Adam Szymczyk, a Polish Art-curator and friend, now the director of DOCUMENTA 14, had announced Athens to be one of the two cities that will be hosting his exhibition. I was one of the first artists he invited. During that amazing summer, the Greek Summer of NO, I decide to use Documenta and to start building-up MedioSud in Greece. While I was into that, Yanis Varoufakis and his friends launched DiEM25, a Pan-European Political Movement that's also trying to use EU's existing institutions to "create a "full-fledged democracy with a sovereign Parliament respecting national self-determination and sharing power with national Parliaments, regional assemblies and municipal councils".

Miltos Manetas, Bogota, 2017


DOCUMENTA is from "documentum" : teaching the World "the way to be intellectual" . "Docere" stays for teach, "mens" for intellect. When in 2014 Adam Szymczyk announced Athens as one of the two cities that will be hosting DOCUMENTA 14, I was one of the first artists to e invited. Together-separated, we went on using the exhibition for the creation of MedioSud. Observing the show, its organization and its documentation, can reveal the patterns of the Total North. Thanks to the collaboration of Marina Fokidis, Adam Szymczyk and his team, we have been able to see how North "flattens" everything significant and turns it into construction material for a "Wall". A Culture- Wall that's risen (for centuries already) to separate North from South until the last bits of South are also turned to North. A Total North, where everything everywhere has been either regularized or obliterated. From the MedioSud Manifesto: "In the NORTH, the deal between society and government has always been clear. During fascism, society is asked to obey, during democracy, society is asked to debate. In both cases - in the NORTH - "art" is supposed to be the authorized voice of society. Therefore, during democracy, art HAS to debate". The spectacle of Documenta 14 will be a predictable Spectacle of Debate. Once this edition is over, another one, very similar, will began in some other place of the planet. Those spectacles will go on forever, unless "WE" -the artists of MedioSud- use our Privilege and our Power, step in, take the spectacles in our hands and our computers, start turning them around and manipulating them, start deconstructing them..

Let's start looking




“In Rome, Italy

MedioSud is born

On the day Pope resigned, we introduced MedioSud at MACRO (Rome's Contemporary Art Civic Museum). We picked that day, because although Mr. Ratzinger- the ex Pope- is a German, his decision was typically "MedioSud"! This Pope was leaving this job, because it was impossible for him to follow up. Too many trips, too many people, too much visibility- he said... We also did it because on that day, God's Authority over our World was loosen. Philosopher Antonio Rainone wrote on a message: "For Christianity, Time isn't a human affair. It belongs to God. Its exactly the Pope- God's representative, the one who governs Time. Ratzinger dropped out of Christianity at 20:00. We waited twenty minutes and launched MedioSud at 20:20. It was the first FourFortyFour moment in the indefinite -nobody knew how long will take to Vatican to elect a new God's representative- "god-free' period.

Ossi di seppia

Non domandarci la formula che mondi possa aprirti
sì qualche storta sillaba e secca come un ramo.
Codesto solo oggi possiamo dirti,
ciò che non siamo, ciò che non vogliamo.

"Non chiederci la parola", Eugenio Montale, 1925

Cuttlefish bones

Don’t ask me for formulas to open worlds for you
all I have are gnarled syllables, branch-dry.
All I can tell you now is this:
what we are not, what we do not want.

"Don’t Ask Me for Words", Eugenio Montale, 1925

Κόκαλα σουπιάς

Μην μου ζητάς την φόρμουλα
που κόσμους θα σου ανοίξει,
Ίσως μια κάποια συλλαβή στρεβλή
σαν το ξερό κλαδί
Δεν έχουμε άλλο τίποτα σήμερα να σου πούμε
Μονο το τι δεν είμαστε, τι δεν επιθυμούμε.

"Μη μας ζητάς τη λέξη", Εουτζένιο Μοντάλε, 1925

»today, all that we can tell you«

»is what we are not«

»what we don't want«

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

Mediosud launching at MACRO

»This is definitely a new south«
»populated by MAC (man-after-computers/man-after-contemporary art)«

"South as a State of Mind", Issue #1: My Family in Middle South

“In Rome, Italy

My family at “Middle South”

I am born and grown up in Greece: that definitely makes me a Southerner. Those days, phones were analogue and while my mother was working at the central phone station connecting phone calls as a phone operator, my father was repairing the electric circuits at the same building.

Outside that building and all over Greece, old ladies in black were everywhere, orbiting like human satellites around our life from its beginning until its end. Apart from a few politicians, no Greek would bother if he is a European and had no need to prove it either. There was a single book on the History of Modern Art, but you could go find Tsarouchis at his garden in Marousi and look at him while he was painting. Google cars would not take pictures for their maps: it was a totally PC universe (PreComputers and PreContemporary art) and I remember myself in it, excited, bored and happy


SOUTH'S unlucky history”

SOUTH was published by Marina Fokidis, a lady trapped between North and South. Charismatic but not-determined, courageous but not always, dedicated still losing most of her time doing "jobs", Marina would always throw her diamonds to the dogs: after 5 amazingly "South" issues, she gave the magazine to the Northerners of DOCUMENTA with the illusion that once they are done with it, she"ll bring back somehow its originality.

Find here "South" before and after

"P/ACT FOR ART", 7 Berlin Biennale

Rome, Italy

»P/Act for Art published«
»by Rome's Swiss Institute«
»in the ambit«
»of the 7 Berlin Biennale«

ART in MedioSud

Our lifestyle is now updated in real time. At the same time, all kinds of distances are cancelled.
Everywhere in the world, South and North become just one: NORTH.
In the Western territories of the Northern World and mostly Europe, a new Middle South is born.

In the NORTH, the deal between society and government was always clear.
During fascism, society is asked to obey, during democracy, society is asked to debate.
In both cases - in the NORTH - art is the authorized voice of society.
Therefore, during democracy, art HAS to debate.

In the old South the deal between society and government has never been clear
and its not clear at the new Middle South either .
This new MIDDLE SOUTH is already visible in the self-transforming territories such as Greece and Italy below Rome.
People there aren't perfectly comfortable, even if they accept the ultra-modern NORTHERN lifestyle,
they are searching for an art that's somehow different from the very successful industry of isolation our contemporary art has become.

In the NORTH, most public money are spend to protect.
When fascism reigns, culture is protected by regulation.
But even when there is democracy and culture seams free, still it's controlled in elaborate, quite religious ways,
art institutions are the new temples and their directors the new high priests.
The artworks have to make it to the collections of the Museums as sacrifice: artefacts of propitiation and worship.

The people of the new MIDDLE SOUTH aren't perfectly happy with this Church of Art. They are already looking for alternatives.
Art forms in websites, videogames and software pass from one computer to another,
from one network to another, they belong to collections and at the same time to everyone: they are digital graffiti.
In cities such as Rome, where real graffiti are either immediately erased or blackened out,
such Digital Graffiti are absolutely necessary. Speaking about Rome, I believe that this city is our new MIDDLE SOUTH's Capital.

Rome is an important city, the way Berlin was once important, (when it had a Wall).
In Rome there's still an emblematic wall: the Wall of Vatican.
On that ancient wall, the new wave of Middle South crashes. The Vatican Wall is the first obstacle that our new MIDDLE SOUTH
We need to throw down.
In the process, all kinds of signed graffiti-such as Sistine Chapel-will be liberated and that will bring good luck to the art of our new MIDDLE SOUTH



"SUMMER OF NO", the summer of our discontent


Yes Michel...

-Is there something wrong with this page? Asks Michel Reijns, the press-person of EU Council's General Secretary of the on July 27, 2015, a few days before the Referendum launched by the Greek Government.
-Yes Michel.. something IS wrong.."The Eurogroup has been open until the very last moment to further support the Greek people through a continued growth-oriented program" - writes Michel at the Eurogroup's website - "Regrettably, despite efforts at al levels and full support of the Eurogroup, this proposal has been rejected by the Greek authorities who broke off the program negotiations late on the 26 June unilaterally. The Eurogroup recalls the significant financial transfers and support provided to Greece over the last years"
"The Eurogroup takes note of the decision of the Greek government to put forward a proposal to cal for a referendum".

Like a patient parent, “Europe” tries to educate Greece and give it a second and a third chance to become full Europe, full North. But Greece is ruining those efforts. The (poor) country wants a REFERENDUM now, that’s too much for the EU and its Council.. Greece governors want to ask the multitude if it agrees honoring “Europe's” demands and ultimatum, only that Democracy is a fine concept for Europe only as far as its worked out by professionals (economists, political parties etc.), definitely NOT depending on the multitude. I don’t trust “the people” either, they just mess up everything that’s cool and great. Consumerism/nationalism/religion/spectacle/leisure tourism seams to be what “the people” care for. Or that has changed? Maybe the multitude upgraded lately, after all now it has internet. So why not ask “the people” stuff? Europe's aversion towards Experimental Democracy is suspicious. Continents a lot more important (because of their link to nature) such as Latin America and Africa- are looking now to Europe for a paradigm (US and ASIA enslaved in their monetary interests, seam to just following their miserable destiny dictated by consumerism/nationalism/religion/spectacle/leisure tourism).

» Discontent with "Europe" «
» Discontent with «
» "Democracy" «

ART'S HALLOWEEN: North plays South