EMST (The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens), in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Cuts, Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press) and with Arts Administration @ Boston University launches a call for artworks open to international artists on the theme of empty pr(œ)mises.

empty pr(œ)mises, conceived and curated by Lanfranco Aceti and Katerina Koskina, will focus on the intertwining of the words promises and premises.

How does one inhabit emptiness? For this project artists are invited to visualize and localize within the space of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) the struggle between the promises of future ideas and the processes of their realizations in the empty premises which should host them.

The promises clash against the reality of the premises which oblige a re-evaluation of the idea itself, but also of our identity in relationship to the promises made. The infinite possibilities of realization embedded in the promises of a space and the restrictions of contemporary spatial and socio-political realities inherent to the premises entangle with the role that the virtual and physical premises play both as space and context. These multiple interconnections can either support or disrupt the potential fulfillment and manifestation of the functions of promises and premises.

In the complex entwining and conflicting negotiations of ideas, placemaking, materials and technologies as well as architectural and engineering structures, lies the artists and curators’ struggle in defining art spaces, processes, interventions and materializations. These are a reflection of socio-political and cultural phenomena that shed a light on the ontology of an aesthetic that is both of being and becoming.

The artworks, as projects in fieri (in development), because of their very nature of proposals – similarly to architectural projects – will define and shape the emptiness of the space of the EMST, bringing to light the infinite arrays of creative and aesthetic possibilities.

These aesthetic propositions, contrary to architectural projects, will not remain at the stage of ideas but will be collected in a publication by the Leonardo Electronic Almanac – MIT Press.  In this publication each artist’s proposed artworks can be displayed over ten pages, or ‘spaces’, with images in full colour. The collection thus created with multiple proposals will embody the role that the EMST could play in both the international and national contemporary art scenes.

The artists’ proposed images will also be displayed on the online space of the EMST and the Museum of Contemporary Cuts (MoCC) – creating a public archive of ideas. Each image will also be disseminated via social media.

The existence of these proposals for the empty premises of the EMST holds the promise of their possible realization in the physical space of the museum. In this time of blended spaces and activities which transition publicly between the conceptual space, the virtual display and the physical realization – not necessarily in a pre-established and orderly fashion – the physical embodiment of an artwork is not strictly linked to its original location. The realm of possibilities are embedded in the premise (intended here as a conceptual assertion) of the artwork and these are increasingly unbound from the restrictions of the social-political realities that characterize the locus in which the project originated.

For their proposals we ask that artists consider all of the above, with special consideration to the context of this project rooted in the long awaited building of the EMST (National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens) which was built to host an important international collection of contemporary art. The impact of the financial crisis has left a new and completed empty building, at the very centre of modern-day Athens, suspended and awaiting the realization of its function: trapped in between promises and premises, realities and virtualities, local and international expectations.

Application Details

To be considered for this project please provide the following:

Phase 1 – Deadline by December 01, 2016

1) Expression of interest which should include your contact details, mobile number and email address. At this stage you can state via email that you are committed in making a submission. Please send your email to the following address: emptyproemises.emst@gmail.com by December 01, 2016.

Phase 2 – Deadline by March 01, 2017

  1. For the catalog proposal please submit a project for the EMST space – description, details and restrictions are attached. Even if there are restrictions to the physical space – as in all projects – we ask artists to envisage as a daring project as possible in total freedom: every medium and every practice are acceptable (including but not limited to: Internet art, conceptual art, performance, sculpture, painting, installation, etc.). We would like to receive innovative, daring and audacious usages of the space that challenge traditional perceptions of aesthetics and roles of contemporary art museums. For your proposal to be considered, please provide the following:
    1. Minimum 10 to maximum 15 images at high resolution for print publication. Measurements for the high resolution images’ dimensions for publication are as follows: A single full page image should be at least 18,5 cm (width) x 26 cm (height) and must be at 300 dpi minimum, .TIFF preferred (otherwise .JPG). A double spread (an image on two adjacent pages) should be at least 36,2 cm (width) x 26 cm (height) and must be 300 dpi minimum. All images should be named as follows: Number_FirstName_LastName_Print, e.g. 01_John_Smith_Print
    2. All images and documentation should be provided with a Dropbox link. The Dropbox folder containing all the submission materials should be named as follow: FirstName_LastName_EMSTep e.g. John_Smith_EMSTep
    3. The link should be emailed to emptyproemises.emst@gmail.com with the subject of the email: EMSTep – FirstName – LastName, e.g. EMSTep – John – Smith
    4. There should also be a Word document .doc or .docx (no other documents will be accepted) with the following information in the given order 1) First Name and Last Name 2) Postal Address 3) Email 4) Phone Numbers (a landline and a mobile number) 5) Biography (500 words) 6)  Artist Statement (500 words).
    5. In a second .doc or .docx Word document named FirstName_LastName_Captions, e.g. John_Smith_Captions.doc there should be all the captions. Caption should be numbered in sequential order from 01 to 15 and their numbers should correspond to the numbers in the images filenames in order to avoid errors. Captions should follow this convention: Artist’s First Name and Last Name, Work Title (in italics), Year of Production. Medium or Media.
  2. For the display of images on the EMST website, on Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press) and the Museum of Contemporary Cuts we will need:
    1. Minimum 15 to maximum 30 images and videos. Images sizes are as follows: 2000px wide at 1200px high suitable for web (72dpi).
    2. All web images should be named as follows: Number_FirstName_LastName_Web e.g. 01_John_Smith_Web
    3. In a .doc or .docx word document named FirstName_LastName_Captions_Web, e.g. 01_John_Smith_Captions_Web.doc there should be all the captions for the web images. Caption should be numbered in sequential order from 01 to 30 and their numbers should correspond to the numbers in the images filenames in order to avoid errors. Captions should follow this convention: Artist’s First Name and Last Name, Work Title (in italics), Year of Production. Medium or Media.
  3. For copyright release please sign copyright agreement for publication, online distribution and exhibition.


Curatorial Statement

Application Package, PDF

Ground Plan, PDF

Publication Agreement Form, PDF

Image Release Form, PDF

Photo by Panos Kokkinias.