The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) collaborate for the presentation of the unique project La verità è sempre un’altra (Truth Is Always Something Else). An exhibition including more than 20 works from the EMST Collection is hosted within Time is Out of Joint, the current set up of the Gallery’s permanent collection, from September 21 to November 11, 2018.
It is the first time that Galleria Nazionale opens its spaces to a foreign institution by integrating its collection into its exhibition program. A transcultural dialogue is more necessary than ever, especially in Europe, and this specific one is based on a strong and long-lasting connection between Italy and Greece.
The idea to form this connection raised from the program Tempo Forte Italia – Grecia 2018, an initiative launched by the Embassy of Italy in Athens together with artists and other important cultural institutions both in Greece and Italy. The aim of the program is to strengthen and deepen the existing relationship between the two countries, through various ways of cultural collaboration and exchange, from the antiquity to the various forms of the contemporary field.
The temporary nature of the exhibition acquires a certain permanence, originating from the project itself, which combines the two collections into a single vision.
The exhibition is the 3rd edition of the EMST series entitled EMST in the World, launched in 2016, which has two parts, on in the collaborative institution and the other in the EMST premises in Athens. During the Italian part of the project the works of 17 artists will be exhibited. The selection of the artists was based on their connection with Gruppo Sigma, a historic movement founded in Rome in 1959 by a group of Greek artists.
Most of the artists presented in the exhibition have a deep connection with Italy, a place that they chose either for their education or for their artistic research and, as a result, the influence by the social, political and cultural situation in Rome, during their stay in the city, is obvious on their work. The similarities and differences that emerge through the juxtaposition of the works, also depend on the spectators’ interpretation and perception.
Information about the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST):
The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) began its operation in 2000. Since 2016, its permanent home is the former Fix brewery on Syngrou Ave., the reconstruction of which was completed in 2014.
From 2003 until 2008, EMST was hosted in the Athens Concert Hall, while from 2008 until 2014.in the Athens Conservatory. It had also presented exhibitions and events at the Athens School of Fine Arts and in the public space. After the Museum’s relocation in its permanent premises, in 2015 and while in the process of implementing its permanent collection, EMST continues its activity and temporary exhibition program. The first exhibition in the new premises, entitled Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp, was a synergy with the M HKA in 2016 and constituted the inaugural exhibition of the series EMST in the World. The second exhibition of the same series was realized through the collaboration of EMST with documenta 14 and lasted from April to September 2017. The two organizations collaborated in the framework of “learning from Athens” – documenta’s chosen working title – and materialized the intention of EMST to become extrovert and to exhibit its collection to the public. As a result a double relocation occurred: the former Fix brewery became the main exhibition space of documenta 14 in Athens and Fridericianum became the temporary home of part of the Museum’s collection in Kassel. The exhibition, titled ANTIDORON. The EMST Collection, presented over 220 works, part of the exhibition of the permanent collection of EMST in Athens.
Continuing the EMST in the World Series, the next step is the collaboration with Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, presenting an exhibition with works mostly by the EMST Collection.
Moreover, in the framework of the Year of Cultural Exchanges between Greece and China and following the exhibition CHINESE XIEYI: Masterpieces from the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) presented at EMST in 2017, an exhibition with works of EMST permanent collection will take place at NAMOC in Beijing, in November 2018.
The Museum’s constantly growing collection is formed around an important nucleus of works by Greek and international artists, such as Jannis Kounellis, Stephen Antonakos, Gary Hill, Vlassis Caniaris, Chryssa, Mona Hatoun, Emily Jacir, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Kim Sooja, Nikos Kessanlis, Shirin Neshat, Lucas Samaras, Costas Tsoclis, Bill Viola, Joseph Kosuth, Pedro Cabrita Reiss, Costas Varotsos, George Lappas, Oliver Ressler, Gulsun Karamustafa a.o.
The pivotal moment for EMST in continuing its dynamic development was the approval of a major grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The funds will allow the Museum to undertake the work needed to realize its core strategic goal of full operations, with the equipment and implementation of the approved plans for the installation of its permanent collection on the three top floors, the operation of the media lounge, and the completion of the screening and conference room, the library, the archives, the roof terrace and other areas. During the same time, the public tender for the operation of the café and restaurant will also have been completed.
Curated by Katerina Koskina, EMST Director and Daphne Vitali, EMST Curator
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