Pawnshop

Pawnshop Board Game / Days of mistrust, 2014, (Installation)

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The Pawnshop is a financial board game, inspired by contemporary everyday reality in Greece. When the game starts, each player has a pack of cards that correspond to his belongings, among which are an apartment, a car, a piece of land, jewellery etc. As the players throw the dice and keep moving on the board, they draw cards that demand of them to make decisions regarding their financial status and their estate. This means that as time passes they are obliged to sell their belongings at the pawnshop in order to pay off all sorts of debts.

Many of the cards function as suggestions to the players to commit illegal acts which will either bring them profit or land them in jail. When a player draws one of these cards, he or she must decide to take or not to take the corresponding risk.
The only business that exists is the neighborhood pawnshop where all transactions take place. The players’ belongings sold at the pawnshop effectively disappear down the “black hole” of the underground economy. All the while, the state and banks count among the institutions which have lost all credibility.
All situations described in the cards are based on facts. The stories are versions of reports that have appeared in the press and stories I have personally come across since 2010.
The creation of a board game as an artwork stems from my own inner need to take an ironic stand and illuminate what has become a sick everyday reality in Greece; a reality that drives people to their biological and moral fall.
By employing the basic functions and mechanisms of a game (identification, provocation, interaction etc) one may bring about a state where the viewer experiences empathy towards the actual persons whose everyday reality bears all the marks of their suffering the biological and psychological implications of the financial crisis.

1.Pawnshop Board game, (Installation), 2014
(Forex 69X69 cm, 4 game pieces, 4 plastic chips, dice, 378 paper cards, plastic case with fake paper money.)
2.Pawnshop intro – Game setup, 2014, HD video, sound, color,
10 minutes. (part of the installation)

Courtesy: Lina Theodorou, Zina Athanassiadou Gallery

For the realization of this project many thanks to:
Ioannis Savvidis, Katerina Oikonomakou, Katerina Gregos, Nikos Ligouris, Stefanos Pissis, Katerina Petropoulou, Dafni Dragona, Teti theodorou, Michalis Manolios, Katerina Papadaki.

Exhibitions: 2014, No Country For Young Men, Contemporary Greek Art in times of crisis, curator Katerina Gregos, Bozar, Centre for fine arts, Brussels.
2014, Exploit!, Nieuwe Vide Artspace, curated by Nathalie Hartjes, Haarlem, Holland.
2015, “It’s Money Jim, but not as we know it”, Curator katerina Gregos, Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna, (Curated by Vienna / Tomorrow Today).
2015, TWISTING C(R)ASH, Curators Madeleine Amsler, Séverin Guelpa, Vana Kostayola, Kostis Stafylakis, Bâtiment d’Art Contemporain « Le Commun », Geneva.

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Game players at Bozar, Center for fine arts, Brussels: Julie Rodeyns, Antonis Fysekidis, Edwin Udding, Ioannis Savvidis, Teti Theodorou.

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Playing at the exhibition “It’s Money Jim, but not as we know it”, Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna.

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Playing at the exhibition TWISTING C(R)ASH, Bâtiment d’Art Contemporain « Le Commun », Geneva.

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