EMST at the Athens Conservatory

The relationship between old and new acquisitions in a private art collection, a spotlight exhibition on an emerging young artist and and a study on the growing popularity of country living are the themes around which three exhibitions have currently been organized at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST). The shows are on display at the Athens Conservatory, the museum’s temporary home. Titled «Heart in Heart,» the first exhibition is the first major presentation of works from the museum’s collections in the last five years. The show includes the museum’s recent acquisitions as well as older works. By developing new relationships between them, the distinction between the old and new is eliminated. The museum’s director, Anna Kafetsi, who curated the «Heart in Heart» exhibition, noted the following, «This is not a thematic exhibition, but rather a metaphorical, moving topography, in which communication is being tested.» Kafetsi further added that the show also takes a look at «how our privacy comes out in a public space.» Indeed, from the reflections of a centrally placed cube by Lucas Samaras, to the autobiographical narration of a Nan Goldin video, the exhibition hosts multifaceted confessions and paths of expression. The second exhibition comprises five videos by Giorgos Drivas. The artist uses cinematic techniques on black-and-white photographs and texts – this is Drivas’s first solo exhibition at the EMST, and comes within the framework of promoting leading Greek artists. The museum is taking advantage of the summer months this year by presenting its first outdoor exhibition, with works being displayed in the outdoor spaces around the Athens Conservatory. Showcased within the framework of the «Public Space and Social Network» cycle, «Expanded Ecologies: Perspectives at a Time of Emergency» deals with issues touching on ecology, without, however, presenting any specific environmental thematic material, such as on global warming or recycling. The show does not declare any «green» agenda. The inspiration behind the works on display has come from many different sources, ranging from the dynamics of the business world in a piece by Eftihis Patsourakis, to a study on the rising phenomenon or «oikophilia,» or an abnormal adoration of the home environment, executed by Alexia Kokorelia and the Nomint design studio. Participating in the show are 27 artists, architects and groups of artists, who all work primarily in the Athens area and who have contributed sculptural and sound installations, in situ works, interactive events and night screenings. The latter will provide visitors with opportunities for cooler, evening visits. EMST, 17-19, Vassileos Georgiou B & Rigillis, tel 210.924.2111. For more information, visit