Konstantinos Doumpenidis

Visual Artist and Creative Director
Live and work in Athens, Greece 

Creative Director of Juicer Studio
Part of Esto Association


CV - About


Fascist Virus

Centrum, Berlin - Germany
November, 2020

The Fascist Virus, 29 October-15 November 2020, Centrum, Berlin. Curated by Jorgina Stamogianni.

In one of his unpublished articles entitled The Fascist Virus (1934); Austro-Hungarian political economist and social philosopher Karl Polanyi refers to the contagion of fascism. Specifically, he refers to the targeting of the working class by fascist governments, and the minorities, they sought to exterminate. Polanyi identifies fascism as a virus that, during normal times, remains latent within capitalism. At times of systemic crisis, however, it becomes virulent.

By juxtaposing two hotly debated terms and with Polanyi’s homonymous text as a starting point, I weave an allegory on the pathology of contemporary societies and the rise of right-wing extremist voices within Europe. I examine phenomena of the past where ecology and the love of nature were utilized by the Ethnosocialists as a vehicle for the protection of the Land and for propagating an organic, unquestionable sense of belonging, through a movement known as Eco-fascism. Eco-fascists place the blame for climate change on population demographics. They ignore the intertwining relationship between capitalist profits and environmental devastation, presenting extremist rhetoric with an emphasis on diminishing those who identify as marginalized and non-white, while at the same time redefining the subject away from climate protection (Klimaschutz) towards homeland protection (Heimatschutz).

At a highly turbulent time in Germany back in the 1930s, people turned to the far right. The country was plagued by hyperinflation and national humiliation after the defeat of World War I, and Adolf Hitler emerged as the one to punish those responsibly and bring back to light the greatness of the "white Aryan race." Through their propaganda, the Nazis promoted esoterism and ecology, they talked about the importance of the whole (white German) man and alternative therapies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, "New Agers" have been protesting against the use of masks and vaccines as a means to eradicate the virus. In these demonstrations, members of neo-Nazi organizations find an opportunity to oppose the policies pursued by governments through supporting conspiracy scenarios, but also take a stance against humanity for the evil they cause on the planet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been linked with awakening ecofascist ideologies in the sense that it advocates the protection of the environment over the loss of thousands of human lives. “We are the virus” statements assume that humanity and the planet are mutually exclusive. During the pandemic, various internet users appeared to be republishing misleading photos of clear water in the canals of Venice, likening the virus to the "Earth’s vaccine". Contemplating the evolution of Eco-fascism and its current manifestations, The Fascist Virus is a dystopian fairytale about a history that tends to repeat itself.

The exhibition was comissioned and produced by Centrum project space, Berlin.
Exhibition text

Wheat and Pigs, 2020
In-situ installation
acrylics and epoxy resin on PVC,
wood, grass, soil, leaves variable dimensions

The Fascist Virus, 2020