Three Athenians in Kassel, Episode Three: The Day Off

I dreamt too, an extraordinary dream. But tell yours first.

– Sosias in Aristophanes’ Wasps

Our three Athenians work six days a week in Kassel, from Tuesday to Sunday, studying, preparing and performing for documenta 14, while also enduring their tedious day jobs to make ends meet. Their only day off each week is Monday. You would think that they would relish the break from their arduous routine, but they are simply too exhausted to do anything fun. So, what do they do? They sleep – all day long. Even if it is a special occasion (e.g. a birthday) or if they have guests visiting, they simply can’t manage anything else. As you know their house is too tiny to be comfortable, so on Mondays they leave it in search of suitable places to take their well-deserved rest. There are many contemporary artworks at documenta 14 that double as places to sleep, but their favorite is Angelo Plessas’ installation Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood 6, at Gottschalk-Halle in the University of Kassel. Here they can each lie on a couch under the psychedelic canopy and rest their bodies and their minds. They are rarely disturbed by visitors, as not many of them deviate this far from the main sites of the exhibition.

Even though they spend all of their day off asleep, during that time our three Athenians have some extraordinary dreams (perhaps it is because of Plessas’ inspiring work?). More often than not, they dream of each other, of themselves in their former lives, rejoicing and free back in Athens. Let us peer into Nina’s dream to see what is happening.

Like most dreams, Nina’s begins with some mundane event associated with her every day life in Kassel. Here we see her crawling on the floor of Alexis’ bedroom/living room/kitchen after spilling some wine.

But then, before we know it, we are transported to some fabulous otherworldly space. (Well, it seems other worldly to us, but this is in fact the expansive garden and lake of her mansion back in Athens).

We see tables being set up, ready for a lavish party (perhaps this is Alexis’ birthday party?).

Nina dreams of Bia reading her favorite novel, waiting for the others to arrive.

As an artist, Nina dreams about her own art, here making a sketch of Bia.

The guests arrive and the party begins.

Everyone is happy; everyone is free. The Athens of Nina’s dream is so idyllic and so far way from the destitution, struggle and poverty of Kassel.

As the dream ends, our three Athenians wake in Plessas’ installation. Returning to reality, their daily routine continues for the next six days of work and performing. But before then, let us remember them in the party of Nina’s dream. Enjoy your day off and happy birthday Alexis!

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