EMΣT Athens opens its winter-spring exhibition programme with six new solo exhibitions.

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EMΣT Athens opens its winter-spring exhibition programme with six new solo exhibitions.
Eleni Bagaki, The book reader, 2022. Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm. Courtesy Eleni Koroneou Gallery and the artist. Photograph: Studio Vaharidis

ATHENS.- The National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens (ΕΜΣΤ) presents its winter-spring exhibition cycle with a constellation of six solo exhibitions in dialogue with the major international group exhibition, MODERN LOVE (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies), the flagship show curated by ΕΜΣΤ artistic director Katerina Gregos. With presentations of work by Michael Karikis, Eleni Bagaki, Erica Scourti, Hannah Toticki, Melanie Bonajo, and an on-site installation by Dan Perjovschi, an exhibition route is created throughout the museum, that, with MODERN LOVE, explores how digital technology, the internet and social media have impacted contemporary life and social relations, in addition to the economies they produce.

ANNAH TOTICKI: Everything, everywhere, all the time
Until 28 May 2023, Curated by Ioli Tzanetaki

Hannah Toticki’s solo exhibition at ΕΜΣΤ is the first presentation of her work in Greece and the artist’s first major museum exhibition in Europe. Toticki has developed a highly distinctive and personal visual language that is inspired by fashion, pop culture, design and theatre. Her sculptures and installations incorporate clothing, accessories, furniture, and are often combined with performance, video and music. In Everything, everywhere, all the time, Toticki adopts a critical eye and an often-humorous approach to examine aspects of the “burn-out society,” invisible women’s work, our relationship with technology and, more generally, the state of art in a post-capitalist society striving for productivity, acceleration and growth. The exhibition consists of work from different cycles of Toticki’s creative process. They are divided into four sections, entitled Production, Sleep, Control and Attention, which provide a conceptual framework and render visible the connections between the various themes that have permeated her art over the years. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour digital catalogue. Work by Toticki is also included in the exhibition MODERN LOVE (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies).

ELENI BAGAKI: Something like a poem, a nude and flowers in a vase
Until 7 May 2023, Curated by Tina Pandi

Eleni Bagaki’s work in painting, sculpture, drawing, text, sound and videos revolves around a persistent development of autofiction. Through the reconstruction of personal experiences or the creation of imagined events, Bagaki explores issues surrounding erotic relationships, sexuality, gender representations, and the precarity that many of the younger generation experience in Greece. Central to her artistic practice is nomadic wandering and flight as an existential condition in the quest for a sense of belonging. The exhibition at EMΣT, the artist’s first major museum presentation, features a series of paintings with compositions of human figures standing alone or interacting in natural landscapes. The starting point for these works is desire: Bagaki’s dreamy paintings are produced, as she emphasises, by and for desire. Intimations of physical attraction and erotic observation shape the artist’s relationship with the depicted bodies and their environment. The exhibition Something like a poem, a nude, and flowers in a vase unfolds as a kind of dreamlike wandering and observation on desire, sexuality, and erotic quest. Eleni Bagaki was born in Chania, Crete; she lives and works in Athens. This is her first solo museum exhibition in Greece. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour digital catalogue.

ERICA SCOURTI: Profiles of You
Until 7 May 2023, Curated by Daphne Vitali

In her distinctly autobiographical work, Erica Scourti deploys humour, irony, parody and self-exposure to engage with emotion, intimacy, work, doubt and self-improvement as well as examining the artist’s role vis-à-vis technology. Her work is an ongoing process of self-narration in which personal biography meets the collective, the personal meets the political and the real meets the fictional. Her visual practice starts from a process of self-observation and a systematic recording of daily life and digital habits through the creation of audio-visual diaries and collages. Through a systematic use of social media, her mobile phone, applications and the web, Scourti creates text-based works on fabric or paper and performances, videos and collages characterised by a lo-fi, raw and immediate aesthetic. Viewers become voyeuristic witnesses to her personal life, in addition to becoming witnesses to phrases, words and concepts with open-ended and multiple meanings. The exhibition at ΕΜΣΤ is her first solo exhibition in Greece and her first major museum exhibition. It is accompanied by a full-colour digital catalogue.

MIKHAIL KARIKIS: Because we are together
Until 28 May 2023, Curated by Stamatis Schizakis

ΕMΣT is pleased to present the first in-depth presentation of Mikhail Karikis’ work in Greece. Karikis is a prominent representative of Greece’s cultural diaspora. Though work by the artist has been shown in many important international exhibitions and biennials, his work in Greece is less known. Karikis combines moving image and sound, with collaborative practices, to draw attention to social, political and environmental issues, both past and present. Working with groups of students, workers, pensioners and activists while drawing inspiration from global industrial and political history, literature and avant-garde music, the artist creates musical and vocal events that shine a ray of hope on an ominous future. The exhibition is structured around six key audio-visual installations from Karikis’s work over the last decade: Weather Orchestra (2022), Surging Seas (2022), Ferocious Love (2020), No Ordinary Protest (2018), Children of Unquiet (2014) and Sounds from Beneath (2011–2012). These installations are complemented by selected smaller works, photographs, and texts. What they all share is a sense of polyphonic poetics in which separate narratives connect groups brought together by a sense of solidarity in their struggles for a better future.

MELANIE BONAJO: Progress vs Regress
Until 28 May 2023

Through their videos, performances, photographs and installations, Melanie Bonajo addresses contemporary existential challenges and issues of eroding intimacy and isolation in an increasingly urbanised and technological world. Their works present alternative and anti-consumerist methods for reconnecting, exploring sexualities, intimacy and feelings. Bonajo’s experimental documentaries often feature communities living or working on the margins of society and highlight the importance of a strong sense of community, equality and body politics within our societies. Progress vs Regress (2016) is a film that explores the influence of technological innovations on social relationships through the perspective of the elderly, who have experienced the most radical and widespread industrial, technological and digital changes in the history of humankind in the last decades. Through the protagonists’ personal, intimate and touching stories, the film portrays the needs, expectations and challenges of a generation struggling to integrate in a society that is striving for constant progress, efficiency and speed. Ultimately, the film is about the fear of being left behind as one gets older, and how social media and technology put additional pressure on our ability to adapt to new situations. Finally, it is about how we, as a society, treat the elderly, who are marginalised because of age and often perceived as having no economic value.

In Situ

DAN PERJOVSCHI: The Long Wall Report
Until 29 October 2023, Curated by Anna Mykoniati

Since the 1990s and in the aftermath of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, Dan Perjovschi has become internationally known for his cartoon-like drawings in museums and other institutional spaces, as well as in public spaces. His characteristic imagery, executed in permanent black markers, draws from current affairs, politics, social issues and contemporary narratives, situations and pathologies. With a humorous, incisive and critical eye, Perjovschi explores political topics including recent global conflicts and contestations, identity issues, cultural biases, and burning issues such as the migration crises and religious conflicts, as well as consumerist habits. Perjovschi has transformed the practice of drawing into a medium of information, political commentary and activism. Expressing difficult ideas in rapidly executed, off-the-cuff drawings, Perjovschi’s installations propose that art can be both political and critical without being didactic and moralistic. For his first solo museum exhibition in Greece, Perjovschi has been invited to create a new, large-scale 30-metre installation, drawn directly onto the largest wall of the EMST Foyer. Perjovschi has contributed to numerous exhibitions and biennials as well as to literary and political journals, such as Contrapunct and 22. The latter was the first independent oppositional weekly published in Romania in the aftermath of the Democratic Revolution.

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