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Residencies Insights: Ethics of Curatorial Practice: Making Art Public, Building Institutions. Case Study State of Concept Athens, talk by iLiana Fokianaki (Greece/Netherlands), Curator-in-Residence

7 Nov 2018, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road

In the case of institutions created by artists or curators, the institution is often a personal affair inextricably connected to the research interests and cultural practice of its founders. In this talk, iLiana Fokianaki will unfold the institutional trajectory of State of Concept Athens, an independent institution she founded in 2013. She will map out its development within the cultural and institutional context of the Greek capital and discuss how the institution responded to the rapidly shifting art ecosystem by refining its discourse, forging its institutional language, and honing questions that directly respond to the socio-economic conditions in Greece and Europe.

By highlighting ways of institutional being and practicing that raise the issue of collective responsibility in a financially precarious environment, as well as the role of the institution in creating a curatorial narrative through the format of exhibition chapters, Fokianaki will argue for a “creative embodiment of instituting” that urges the cultural worker to “unlearn one’s privileges” (Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak) by creating institutions that promote collective responsibility, ethical practicing, but also alternative economies of exchange.


This talk is presented as part the Mapletree-NTU CCA Singapore Art Education Programme series.


Workshop (conducted for NTU School of Art, Design and Media MA/PhD students)
Thursday, 8 November 2018, 10.00am – 1.00pm
The Seminar Room, Block 43 Malan Road
To register, please email Cifford Loh at



iLiana Fokianaki is a writer and curator based in Athens and Rotterdam. Her research focuses on the notion of state and the power formations that manifest themselves under the influence of geopolitics, identity politics as well as cultural and anthropological histories. Through her exhibition-making practice, she articulates the institutional “performance” of the concept of the state. In 2013, she founded State of Concept Athens, the first non-profit institution with a permanent program and location in Athens. State of Concept promotes Greek and international artists through solo exhibitions and it also invites curators to create exhibitions that comment on the sociopolitical landscape of Greece and beyond. In 2016, together with Antonia Alampi, she founded Future Climates, a platform that aims to propose viable futures for small-scale organizations of contemporary art. Since 2017, she is curator and programmer of Kunsthal Extra City in Antwerp, Belgium. She is a contributing author to several books and has written for art-agenda, Art Papers, e-flux, Frieze, LEAP, Metropolis M, and Ocula. She is currently pursuing a PhD on economy, identity, and politics at Panteion University, Athens, and is a member of IKT International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art.



Image caption: Through the Fog: Descripting the Present, exhibition curated by Nick Aikens, installation view, State of Concept, Athens, Greece, February 2016. Courtesy State of Concept.