CULTURE

Avant-garde acts lined up for new season at Bios

Since Bios opened in 2002, the former paint shop has been host to a plethora of alternative cultural happenings, apart from its role as a hip bar and cafe frequented by the city’s artists and students. From video installations to devised theater to concerts, the Bios team’s main desire was to bring new forms of artistic expression – which were already flowering in other European capitals – to the consciousness of Athenians. Now, while retaining its industrial character, the building has been renovated and a third space added in order to accommodate its ambitious new program. Bios’s new direction has meant a streamlining of events, so that their 2009 «harvest» – as they dubbed it at a recent press conference – is more compact and more focused on the performing arts that blur the roles of the audience and the performer. The program includes some of the most intriguing experimental theater troupes active in Europe. The award-winning Rimini Protokoll, founders of the «Reality Trend» theater movement, will stage «Call Cutta in a Box» from February 4 to April 4. Bookings are imperative, as, for each unique performance, the audience totals exactly one person. The individual enters a room, a phone will ring, and for one hour the participant will have an interactive experience (in English) with a call operator from Calcutta, India, as well as with the room itself. Forced Entertainment’s six-hour «Quizoola!» will be at Bios for only one performance, on March 7. By choosing from a set of questions (in English), it is in the audience’s hands to direct the mood and direction taken by the disheveled clowns on stage. Conversely, in Rotozaza’s «Etiquette,» staged from mid-March to mid-May, it is the two-member audience, seated at a table in a public space and wearing headphones, who are given separate instructions on how to act. The goal is for two complete strangers to interact with each other and the environment in a way they otherwise would not have. Apart from these visitors, the well-loved Blitz troupe will return in May with their fourth devised performance at Bios, the site-specific «Katerini.» Also on the avant-garde menu are devised performances by Mkultra, Mag and Ioanna Mirka. First up, however, Nova Melancholia premieres its theatrical interpretation of Walter Benjamin’s «Thesis on the Philosophy of History» on February 4. Bios’s second OPA (On Performance Art) festival in May will last for two weeks this year, and its theme will be «Rethink, Reuse and Remake.» Bios, 84 Pireos, tel 210.342.5335, www.bios.gr.