CULTURE

The National Museum of Contemporary Art shows some of its recent acquisitions

With the closing of the retrospective exhibition on Manolis Baboussis at the end of April, the National Museum of Contemporary Art will temporarily move from its current premises in the former Fix factory to a building in Psychico. For the next three years, during the course of which the Fix building will be renovated to rehouse the museum, the Contemporary Art Museum will withhold its exhibition program – though with some exceptions. The «Synopsis III» exhibition, which the museum will hold in the fall (the premises have not yet been determined), is the only one officially announced thus far. It is hoped that the upcoming plans to refurbish the current location of the museum will resolve the long problem of finding it suitable space. Opinions on the suitability of the Fix factory building are divided; some consider the building to be a landmark of urban industrial architecture and unique for the vast spaces it provides. Others think that the refurbishment of a half-dilapidated building is unworthy of the cost. In general, both sides agree that the surrounding scaffolding and half-ruined state of the museum (not to mention the advertising billboards that, up until recently, enveloped the building’s exterior) are an eyesore and ill-suited to the image that a museum of contemporary art wants to put across. If housing is one of the fundamental issues surrounding the National Museum of Contemporary Art, another is the formation of a permanent collection. The museum’s director, Anna Kafetsi, has already gathered a substantial number of works by Greek and international artists and, in a likely effort to give the museum a contemporary edge, she has paid special attention to photography and video. This focus comes through in an exhibition of works of photography and video that the museum acquired during 2001-2002. The display, which runs parallel to the Baboussis retrospective, shows alternating works – some previously exhibited at the museum – built around a succession of thematic exhibitions. Earlier in the month, works by artists such as Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Marina Abramovic addressed performance art. Feminist art is the theme currently explored through a series of weekly alternating works featuring video and photography by artists Nan Goldin, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneemann, Lynda Benglis, Dara Birnbaum and Sadie Benning. Another section on «New Media» features the video «Incubation-Collapse Process» by Makis Faros. An installation by artist Zafos Xagoraris completes the series of exhibitions currently housed at the Contemporary Art Museum. At the end of the month, the works will be stored and the building will close to the public. But the museum will continue with its buying policy, adding more works to an already considerable, permanent collection.