National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens


26/05/2011 - 18/09/2011


Maaria Wirkkala


Project Room

26/05/2011 – 18/09/2011

Curated By: Anna Kafetsi

Within the framework of the series EMST Commissions, held with the kind support of the Bombay Sapphire gin and presented in the Museum’s Project Room, five commissions have been scheduled for 2011.
The aim of this series is to offer artists from Greece and abroad, who work with different genres and mediums, by showcasing multiple artistic and transcultural pursuits, the opportunity to draw inspiration, to experiment and to create new works for this particular site, which will then be added to the Museum’s permanent collections.

For the summer of 2011, we have invited the Finnish-born international artist Maaria Wirkkala, who will present an installation entitled Wondering. The idea for this work emerged after the artist visited last year the adjacent –and unseen to passers-by– archaeological site of Aristotle’s Lyceum, one of the greatest philosophical schools of antiquity. The initial artistic concept which couldn’t be realized but already exists in our imagination, included an intervention with light, during the night, on the shelters of the excavation site by projecting words from treatises by the philosopher from Stagira. In the work’s final form, the mental connection between the invisible, hidden site of the ruins is achieved through words and fragments of texts (Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, On the Soul, and Poetics), which are inscribed or projected on white garment covers hanging from a large-scale revolving construction in the neighbouring space of the Project Room. In its multiple metaphoric utterance, the implied in its absence, or covered, human body suggests through the familiar mechanical motion the connection of history to the present, and the idea of wandering as a starting point for thinking and poetical reflection.

Anna Kafetsi

Free Entry

With the kind support of

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE bottle design and device are trademarks and/or registered trademarks


My starting point is the state of things.
The situation is defined by time and place.
My work is defined by the environment and the circumstances.

EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens,
is located next to the excavations of Aristotle’s Lyceum.

The idea is to underline the site.
To underline the existing connection between
the art museum and the historical site.

To illuminate the shelters of the ongoing archaeological excavations.

T o  s e e  t h e  s h e l t e r  a s  A P A G E.
To use light to make the PAGE float in the darkness.

Only one significant word linked with Aristotle is added.
The word will be visible only in the dark.

Walking as a method of thinking.

To combine thoughts and movement (walking)
WORDS/TERMS/TEXT linked with Aristotle
are present.

I am an artist, not a scholar.

I am wondering while wandering.

Maaria Wirkkala, April 2011


Μaaria Wirkkala, Wondering, 2011
© Photo: Maaria Wirkkala and Timo Torikka