In the abandoned building that once housed the Athens Stock Exchange, artist Teo is shuffling between the Fool, the Magician and the Devil in a Tarot card reading to divine the fate of the crippled Greek nation.
Above his head, a flickering electronic installation depicts share prices from 2007 near the market’s euro-era peak, before six years of recession and successive bailouts wiped about 48 billion euros ($65 billion) off the economy.
Temporary home to the Athens Biennale arts exhibition, the disused trading floor has become a mausoleum of former wealth and a hotbed of conjecture. Economists and artists have come together to tackle the question on all Greek minds: now what?
“Greece has become like a chemistry lab where the outcome of the experiment could be something completely new or something corrosive,” said Polydoros Karyofyllis, 43, the co-director of the Biennale, which runs until Dec. 1. “We see where science and statistics have led us so maybe it is time to look at art.”
The byword for the financial ordeal that threatened to tear apart the euro, Greece remains the biggest drag on the continent’s ability to overcome it. With the economy 23 percent smaller and more than a quarter of the working population jobless, Greeks are girding for more pain just as fellow debt crisis victim Ireland stops relying on rescue loans.