November 12, 2016 — December 31, 2022

The things you don’t see are the things you don’t know.

empty pr(oe)mises

Senior Curators

Lanfranco Aceti and Katerina Koskina


EMST, Athens


Stamatis Schizakis

When Lanfranco Aceti and Katerina Koskina conceived this exhibition, the idea focused on rendering viable a space that due to financial upheavals, political wrangling, and institutional bureaucracy had been placed in an existential limbo. The question was apparently simple: “How do you feel and fill an empty space?” The answer was to be found in the reality of the relationship between social aspirations (concentrated on basic needs) and the need to self-aggrandizement of political oligarchies (concentrated on retaining and celebrating the power to bestow starvation).

The experience of art as a fight for identity and power by the powerless became even more part, than it already was, of a practice that questioned the role of contemporary museums. It was clear from the onset — as the project did not develop and seemed to become an empty promise, delivered publicly on empty premises — that there was no institutional space able to nimbly deliver responses to the crisis of contemporary art. empty pr(oe)mises became a recurring thought of something that should happen and a point that should be made despite and in spite of ideological stances, personal believes, political allegiances, and ever changing uncertain conditions.

Documentation of Curatorial Project and Artists’ Works

Lanfranco Aceti’s Video Curatorial Statement


Empty Pr(oe)mises is an unusual curatorial project. It straddles the complications of the financial crisis, political upheavals, as well as the curatorial and aesthetic crises that befell the arts trapped between multiple social conflicting needs. All the artists responded to an international curatorial call by Lanfranco Aceti and Katerina Koskina and were selected by an international committee (Lanfranco Aceti, Bart De Baere, Lilian Haberer, Katerina Koskina, Barbara London, and Monika Szewczyk). The exhibition examines, through the curatorial perspective and its related struggles, the complexities of making art in fraught political and financial environments. It also explores if there are alternative forms of institutional collaborations that might empower both artists and curators. The artists have responded to the brief of the project and created artworks that could be installed in the temporary space of the EMST in Athens, but that could also be installed and displayed in other parts of the world. The brief of the exhibition was, in fact, to offer visibility to artists and their projects at a time of crisis.

Elena Ailes, Argh Team, Simon Banos, Simon Belleau, Tom Bogaert, Peter Broeren, Jon Burris, Josephine Callaghan, Ben Clement, Jay Critchley, Diogo da Cruz, Fernando Egido, Judy Freya Sibayan, Zoe Hatziyannaki, Fanis Kafantaris, Anni Kaltsidou, Marina Kassianidou, Devon Knowles, Andreas Kopp, Misha Kuball, Thom Kubli, Makis Kyriakopoulos, Marion Inglessi, Maria Lalou, Paul Landon, Hoffman Lambertus, Lazar Lyutakov, Nikos Makaroumas, Tony Maslić, Anastatias Mastrakouli, Rehan Miskci, Sarah Mohr, Simonetta Moro, A-Dash Niederhauser, Kosmas Nikolaou, Spiros Panagirakis, Artemis Papachristou, Lambros Pigounis, Helene Lundbye Petersen, Caroline Pradal, Tianyu Qiu, Oliver Ressler, Willem Jan Smit, Candice Smith Corby, Matthew Sperdakos, Natascha Stellmach, Anastatias Stratakis, The Office of Ideal Discovery, Norbert Tóth, Thodoris Trampas, Peter Tuka, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, Lydia Venieri, Anna Walker, Richard Whitlock.