Unpacking My Library


The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) organizes in the framework of Athens 2018 World Book Capital of the City of Athens the exhibition Unpacking My Library in the space of the reading room/ library, which will open to the public for the first time.

Starting from the library as a metaphor of a space for the accumulation, classification and organization of knowledge, the exhibition will explore artistic practices around collecting classifying systems of knowledge and sharing information, activating memory, revisiting history. The title comes from Walter Benjamin’s essay “Unpacking My Library. A talk about book collecting”. The works in the show are about existing or imaginary libraries, libraries of the past or the future, with a literal or virtual presence, in physical space or in a digital environment.

The exhibition, using the infrastructure and layout of the museum’s library shortly before it is put to its regular use, features twelve artists from the EMST collection, archive and library, recent or historical works as well as new productions designed specifically for the space.

Opening hours of the exhibition: Tuesday-Sunday 11.00-19.00

21.06.2018 at 17.30

Fehras Publishing Practices (Kenan Darwich, Omar Nicolas, Sami Rustom) is an artist collective and publishing house established in Berlin in 2015. It was founded as a response to mounting questions concerning the history and presence of art and publishing in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Arabic diaspora. The research of Fehras focuses on the interrelation between cultures and publishing, which includes different fields of languages, archives and arts.

At the Lecture – Performance, two members of the collective, Kenan Darwich and Omar Nicolas, will focus on the installation DISAPPEARANCES, APPEARANCES, PUBLISHING, presented in the exhibition Unpacking My Library. The project examines the private library of Abd Al-Rahman Munif, one of the most well-known modern writers in the Arab world. Munif spent most of his life in exile, moving to a large number of Arab and European cities. He constantly collected books and publications during his travels and founded libraries in different cities, destined to disappear, shrink or move. Munif’s library could therefore be considered a reference to the history of Arab cultural expulsion and the transfer of knowledge, and at the same time it is an area in which the disappearance and re-emergence of publications take place.

Due to limited capacity the admission tickets of the Lecture – Performance will be distributed by EMST on a first come first served basis one hour before the event.

Announcement regarding the Parallel Events of July will follow.

Athens World Book Capital 2018

Athens World Book Capital 2018 is made possible thanks to its donors and contributors. Major Donor is Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Gold Donors are John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and Core SA. Donors are Onassis Foundation, Welfare Foundation for Social & Cultural Affairs, Laskaridis Foundation and Greek Collecting Society for Literary Works (OSDEL). Valuable contributors are Aegean Airlines, Athens International Airport, and Urban Rail Transport SA (STASY).


Curated by Anna Mykoniati and Tina Pandi


Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
Theodoros Giannakis
Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain
Fehras Publishing Practices
John Latham
Chris Marker

Vlado Martek
Yiannis Papadopoulos
Nina Papaconstantinou
Julien Previeux
Pantelis Xagoraris’ Archives
Chryssa – Archival Photographs


As part of

With the kind support of

Communication Sponsors