June 16–October 30, 2022
The National Museum of Contemporary Athens, EMST, is pleased to present four additional exhibitions as part of its new artistic program under the direction of artistic director Katerina Gregos. These exhibitions join the museum’s flagship international exhibition Statecraft (and beyond), which explores the underlying mechanisms at work in the engineering of the nationstate as we know it today.
Eirini Vourloumis: In the Same Space, a photographic dialogue with the painter Andreas Vourloumis, curated by Stamatis Schizakis
A creative conversation between photographer Eirini Vourloumis and the work of her grandpa, the Greek painter Andreas Vourloumis, is started in the exhibition In the Same Space. Vourloumis juxtaposes photographs she took while traveling around Athens with his paintings, watercolors, and drawings that show the city from fifty years earlier. The process—a type of flânerie through the Greek capital—remains the same despite the differences in the media. Uncanny linkages and unexpected continuities are revealed when two artists of different generations register the same city in different ways. By establishing a connection between post-World War II Athens and contemporary Athens, the show emphasizes both the city’s timeless qualities and the changes that have contributed to its modern character.The exhibition is a personal tribute to Vourloumis senior, as well as a meditation on urban change and spaces or places that have been lost.
Antonis Pittas: jaune, geel, gelb, yellow—Acts of Modernism with Theo van Doesburg, curated by Daphne Vitali
jaune, geel, gelb, yellow pits the failure, collapse, and historicisation of the modernist ideals against the political backdrop of mass protest and the gilets jaunes movement in France. Antonis Pittas recreates the police, demonstrators, and their interactions during the protests using reflective yellow foil. He juxtaposes them with drawings by Theo van Doesburg, the leader of the avant-garde and pioneer of the De Stijl movement, taken from the large collection of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, the artist’s hometown. Here, the project engages with pieces from the EMST collection that especially discuss the political unrest and protest that took place in Greece in the 1960s and 1970s, when a military dictatorship ruled the country. Pittas asks us to think about several facets of political unhappiness by starting with the failure of modernism and its faith in progress.This exhibition is part of a new programme at EMSΤ that invites contemporary artists to engage with the museum’s collection.
Artist at Work: Jennifer Nelson: Waste (Inheritance)—A Public Negotiation with the Repressed, co-ordinated by Anna Mykoniati
For a year, Jennifer Nelson collected her family’s packaging and material waste. The resulting accumulated volume and mass of this procedure is well beyond the artist’s body size and weight. Until September, Nelson will be working in the museum, sculpting this discarded material into forms that can be worn on the body. Visitors are welcome to enter a temporary studio within the museum exhibition space to participate in the making of the work by crafting these materials, or simply to talk with the artist as she explores their lifecycles: a sheet of cling film, for instance, has an origin, a production-based energy cost and waste product of its own. It also has an environmental legacy, the cost of which is usually left for a future reckoning. Nelson argues that these materials are a collective sculpture that can only be judged when we look at the implications of the material across its full lifecycle.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Sonic Detective
Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a “private ear” whose audio-visual installations, videos, performances, photography, essays and lectures explore the political effects of listening, through the use of various kinds of audio to examine its effects on human rights and law. Abu Hamdan’s research-based practice bridges sound and politics and his audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and for advocacy purposes by organisations such as Amnesty International. At EMSΤ he presents two film works that probe issues such as contested borders, citizenship and freedom of movement. This is Abu Hamdan’s first solo presentation in Greece.
Statecraft (and beyond), curated by Katerina Gregos
Statecraft is an international group exhibition that explores the underlying mechanisms at work in the engineering of the nationstate, as we know it today.
These exhibitions are complemented by the site-specific project Amazonios, which offers an introduction to some of the unseen views of the city and takes place in the former house and studio of artists Nikos Kessanlis and Chryssa Romanos, in Polydroso a neighbourhood in the northern suburbs of Athens.
The launch of the new artistic programme coincides with a renewed mission and a new collection policy for EMST, as well as a commitment to fair pay for artists.
Founded in 2000, EMST holds the national collection of contemporary art and is located in the former FIX Brewery, in the heart of Athens. In addition to a series of temporary exhibitions, it also currently presents a selection of over 170 works from its collection, highlighting the work of 78 artists from Greece and further afield.
EMST is funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports.
Kallirrois Ave. & Amvr. Frantzi Street (former FIX Factory)
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm,
T +30 21 1101 9000