Malvina Panagiotidi, "Repetitions of half-meanings", 2024 (detail), Photograph: Ilias Madouros




Exhibitions cycle: WHAT IF WOMEN RULED THE WORLD? Part 2

Malvina Panagiotidi’s solo exhibition at EMΣΤ, All Dreams Are Vexing, is the outcome of the artist’s research in the summer of 2023 on the island of Spetses, at the house where the first Greek female painter, Eleni Boukoura-Altamoura (1821–1900) stayed isolated following the tragic premature deaths of her two children from tuberculosis.

During that period, the painter became involved in spiritualism in an effort to reconnect with the spirits of her children, leaving behind her a handful of legends and a grimoire – a magical manuscript containing spells. The exhibition space has been transformed into a total installation, a locus of “magic” where sculptures made of glass, wax, and bronze converse with sound and video works. Powered by an artistic practice that focuses on the intersections of occult modernism, the mechanisms of the imaginary, and the unfamiliar aspects of human behaviour as manifested in different socio-political conditions, Malvina Panagiotidi re-approaches the myth of “the madwoman in the attic”.

The exhibition unfolds around two research axes, firstly, the re-negotiation of Boukoura-Altamoura’s house as a symbol of geniality and isolation, as a second layer of skin that protects and suffocates her at the same time. Secondly, on the examination of symbols from Boukoura-Altamoura’s magical manuscript – one of the few existing ones in Greek letters – and their recontextualisation as carriers of memory.

Upon entering the exhibition, the visitor crosses the threshold into the house’s corridors as well as into Eleni Boukoura-Altamoura’s mind. As the wax sculptures burn and transform, the blown glass parts – breaths, ghosts, and the energy of an unseen world – symbolise the ineffable and the silenced, while the bronze elements of her sculptural compositions, that is, the human organs, the intestines, the plant stalks, and the flowers (or is it all of them combined?) become a grounding force that keeps us anchored and present in the here and now.

Curator: Anna Mykoniati


Malvina Panagiotidi (Athens, 1985) lives and works in Athens. She studied architecture at the University of Thessaly and the postgraduate programme “Art in Context” at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. She has been awarded the ARTWORKS SNF Artist Fellowship Programme (2018) and the J. Spyropoulos Award (2016). Selected exhibitions: Plásmata II: Ioannina, Onassis Stegi (2023); Mr. Robinson Crusoe stayed home: Adventures of design in times of crisis, Benaki Museum, Athens (2021); When You Touch About Me, I Think Myself, SIGNS, Istanbul (2020); Gone Today, Here Tomorrow, annexM – Megaron, Athens Concert Hall (2019); Constellations in the dirt, NEON & Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades, Kouphonisi Archaeological Collection (2018); The Equilibrists, DESTE Foundation & New Museum, Benaki Museum, Athens (2016); Hypnos Project, Onassis Stegi, Athens (2016); The Predictions of a One-night King, Chalet Society, Paris (2015); A Monument for the First Gay Emancipation Movement, HKW, Berlin (2015). She is also a founding member of the group Anacolutha (2022) and the artistic research group Saprophytes (2009).