Readiness: Civil War
A show by Kostis Stafylakis & Theo Triantafyllidis
About the exhibition
Stafylakis and Triantafyllidis present the works Readiness: Civil War (2022) and Mutants of Readiness: director’s cut (2021) alongside artifacts, props, and items that introduce the visitor to world of the Readiness SAGA. The work Readiness: Civil War is powered by Onassis Culture
Readiness: Civil War (2022) is the latest episode in the Readiness SAGA, a serialized simulation of social conflict in the US. Kostis Stafylakis and Theo Triantafyllidis -alongside a shifting synthesis of collaborators- tailor real and fictional identities and scenarios to a fantasy world made of colorful salvage. By fore-playing the pending scenarios of an American Civil War, the Readiness SAGA forecasted situations that awkwardly resemble the dramatic January 2021 incidents at the American Capitol. The Readiness SAGA narrates a conflict between the “Preppers” (doomsday enthusiasts who marshal for the “end of the world as we know it”), the “Boogaloo Bois” (Civil War accelerationists, flexing tactical gear and Hawaiian shirts), and the “Golden Horde” (the alleged criminal horde of the unprepared citizens featured in preppers’ jargon and literature).
In Readiness: Civil War, the machinic vision of an AI called Pascale processes filmed footage showing an unknown group roleplaying an epic battle between three clans: the Preppers, the Golden Horde, and the Boogaloo Bois. This footage was filmed during a chamber Live Action Role-Playing session (Readiness the LARP) that took place in Athens (October 2020), a few months prior to the attack on the American Capitol. According to the narrative reconstructed by the AI, the Preppers try to develop a fungus that can kill the villainous Golden Horde. The Preppers’ world is ruled by a mysterious Oracle who reigns alongside a sacred figure called Jeso. The Preppers have imprisoned Batu, the leader of the Golden Horde. The Golden Horde attacks to free Batu, loot weapons, steal tools. But the mischievous Boogaloo Bois have different plans…
Alongside Readiness: Civil War, Stafylakis and Triantafyllidis present Mutants of Readiness: Director’s Cut, a live-stream performance featuring two mutated Preppers, PIGGO and GUSTAVE, stuck inside their armored egg-shaped homestead, controlled by Pascale’s AI. They receive a transmission by JAUSH (impersonated by Joshua Citarella), an expert on security and prepping affairs, who evaluates their level of preparedness.
The video Premiere of Readiness: Civil War is accompanied by an installation that consists of a modified Prepper's Tent glowing in the center of the gallery, enhanced mutant pig snouts preserved in liquid chemicals, and a series of weapons, modeled after Cosplay and LARPing techniques.
As an extension of the exhibition at panke.gallery, Kostis & Theo will realize a number of AR works on our online platform openAR.art.
Readiness: Civil War was realized with the participation of Vasilis Bakalis, Stathis Chalkias, Alexis Fidetzis, Sotiris Fokeas, Christos Fousekis, Marilia Kaisar, Kosmas Kosmopoulos, Markella Ksilogiannopoulou, Anna Samara, Lia Smaragda, Kostis Stafylakis, Theo Triantafyllidis, Savvas Tsimouris, Vassilis Vlastaras, Poka-Yio. Edited by Chris Bourelias. 3D printing by Konstantinos Lianos. Readiness: Civil War is powered by Onassis Culture.
About the Artists
Kostis Stafylakis (b. 1977, Athens, GR) is a visual artist, art theorist and curator with a PhD in political science. Stafylakis produces art, theory, and curating that responds to social phenomena through the mimetic re-working of social reality. He experiments with how mimetic adaptation can accommodate ambivalence, impurity, and dissent. His recent solo show was ‘Chloroquine Juggalo’ at KEIV Athens (2021). His artistic activity, solo or in duet with artist Vana Kostayola, includes participations at Bless’ed Curse by soloshow.online (2021), Toxicfest at Tick Tack Antwerpen (2021), Enter: New Commissions by Onassis Foundation (2020), Kultursymposium Weimar (2019), the “Festival of Democracy” of Geneva (2017), Waiting for the Barbarians by Athens Biennale (2017), “Omonoia” 5th Athens Biennale (2016), 1st NSK Biennial of Folk Art (2014), Hell as Pavillion at Palais de Tokyo (2013), Truth is Concrete by Steirischer Herbst at Graz (2012), Monodrome 3rd Athens Biennale (2011), Media Impact at the 4th Moscow Biennial (2011). He was co-curator of the 6th Athens Biennale ANTI, the 4th Athens Biennale AGORA, Weasel Dance at Goethe-Institut Athen, and more. He has curated various shows, such as “Fuyuhiko Takata” at ViZ Laboratory for Visual Culture and “A politics of lies” at Circuits & Currents (2016). He has published various essays on the junction of contemporary art with the Political, in anthologies and journals. www.kostisstafylakis.com
Theo Triantafyllidis (b. 1988, Athens, GR) is an artist who builds virtual spaces and the interfaces for the human body to inhabit them. He creates expansive worlds and complex systems where the virtual and the physical merge in uncanny, absurd and poetic ways. These are often manifested as performances, virtual and augmented reality experiences, games and interactive installations. He uses awkward interactions and precarious physics, to invite the audience to embody, engage with and challenge these other realities. Through the lens of monster theory, he investigates themes of isolation, sexuality and violence in their visceral extremities. He offers computational humor and AI improvisation as a response to the tech industry’s agenda. He tries to give back to the online and gaming communities that he considers both the inspiration and context for his work by remaining an active participant and contributor. He holds an MFA from UCLA, Design Media Arts and a Diploma of Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens. He has shown work in museums, including House of electronic Arts in Basel, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and NRW Forum in Dusseldorf and galleries such as Meredith Rosen Gallery, the Breeder, Eduardo Secci and Transfer. He was part of the 2021 Athens Biennale: Eclipse, Sundance New Frontier 2020 and Hyper Pavilion in the 2017 Venice Biennale. Theo Triantafyllidis is based in Los Angeles. http://slimetech.org/