“Unlearn what you know,” Szymczyk said. “In my opinion, an exhibition should be an experience, without great programmed expectations.”
Indeed, emptying the cache in one’s brain isn’t a bad idea before tackling 160-odd artists showing in more than 40 venues. Anchoring the presentation are the larger spaces—the Athens School of Fine Arts, Benaki Museum Pireos Street Annexe, the former Athens Conservatoire, and the EMST contemporary art museum, the latter which has long been inoperational due to government mismanagement.
Then there are the smaller venues, many of which feature just one or two artists. The program also includes a radio station that broadcasts 28 commissioned sound pieces in multiple formats, art films screened on Greek television, a vibrant education program, and a jam-packed schedule of performances.
Curator Monika Szewczyk, who is part of a team working under Szymczyk, instructed press to “not look for red threads.” But of course, themes emerged. One such thread is language, including the universal language of music—which emanates from performances, archival materials, and even art objects across the exhibition.