Sync Curatorial Fellowship and the Nordic Association’s Curatorial Residency in Stockholm (CRIS) invites you for a drink and a conversation with curators Marita Muukkonen, Jonatan Habib Engqvist and artist Georges Salameh, coordinated by sync’s second edition Fellow, Power Ekroth, at the Swedish Institute at Athens on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
Swedish Institute at Athens,
6 Mitseon Street, Athens
Doors open at 19:00. Conversation starts at 19:30.
The refreshments served are designed by the collective ‘Greece is for Lovers.’
The conversation will be conducted in English.
How does an outsider perceive the art scene in Athens? The question has been raised many times to me during my stay. Naturally its impossible to make any assessments after only just a few weeks, but when I ask the questions in return, the following points reappear:
First and foremost there is an enormous thirst for international cultural exchange. A few dominating private foundations has shouldered some of the tasks that in other European countries are administrated through the ministry of culture such as residency exchange programs, grants for artists and centralizing the different art and culture centers. Meanwhile the Museum for Contemporary Art, EMST, is closed. Lastly, the many brilliant artist-run spaces, non-for-profit spaces/events and happenings, which create extremely interesting programs, cannot be sustainable in the long run. This triggers many more questions about how to create a sustainable and equal art world which is not only relevant locally in Athens, but on a much more global scale. Some countries have recently implemented for instance that art has to be “patriotic” in order to receive state grants. Other countries send outspoken and critical artists in jail. Meanwhile the increase of private museums (266 worldwide in 2018) is booming, and has a tremendous impact in both the market and how art is protected or unprotected for researchers or “eternity.” The nation state and its physical borders with visa regulations – or lack of the same – and the private interests shape the cultural worker’s world in an increasing manner, on top of other authoritarian structures such as patriarchy or racism.
What role would a nation state have ideally when it comes to cultural and artistic production? What role has art in the political framework (democracy)? Cultural heritage/identity may not share the same national borders of a country, but is implemented as such – would it make sense to redefine the terminology of cultural identity?
Is it of interest to shift the power relations between the sectors of cultural production locally and globally, like public institutions, private actors and grass-root spaces, and if so, how?
And finally, related to this are of course questions of immaterial and cognitive labor – what role can it have when populist politics are constantly working towards the dismantling of cultural budgets?
Attached file: BIOS