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The Unwritten Library: An Exhibition Trilogy

annex M
Curated by Anna Kafetsi

The newly established Annex M, a visual arts centre in Athens Concert Hall, is organising a trilogy of exhibitions focusing on Books/Readers/Writers to take place during Athens 2018 World Book Capital.
Revolving around this threefold theme, these three exhibitions seek to explore the complex networks of relations and interconnections emerging at the intersection of textuality and orality, book/text and body, private and public space.

The Last Reader
Duration: 10 July–16 September 2018
Venues: Garden and Project Space
Screenings: Atrium

The trilogy begins on the topic of reading and the dialogic relationship between the reader and the book/text.
Bodies and voices, the sounds of language, and multiple reading possibilities, ‘the texture of the reading’ (recitation, public reading, text read like a piece of music, song/written score) according to poet Aleksei Kruchenykh, interpretation and its uncertainties, impossibility of understanding, translation, reading as community, as exit from the self/the study and entrance into life, into the public realm, reality as a book/text – these are all topoi of a new reading condition with no limits, revealed through the diversity of readings of the visual art works and the exhibition text.
The act of reading as image, emotion, performative experience and rehearsal, as a collective/participatory process, or alternative activism, is a constant negotiation between the fictional and the real. An area in which, par excellence, new forms of subjectivity and new collectivities emerge. 15 audiovisual installations by 10 international artists will be on view in large screens and displays in the Garden and the Project Space.
The summer exhibition will be open in the evening (19:00–24:00 daily). 

After Babel
Duration: November 2018 – February 2019
Venues: Exhibition space 300, Project space and other Megaron areas

The second part of the trilogy focuses on books and texts through their physical, hybrid, or intangible reality.
Objects of desire and main characters in new fictions, books generate enchantment and emotion through the exhibits. They cross paths with the vision and other senses. Through processes both linguistic and conceptual, they open an ambiguous, often hermetic space of reading. The viewer-reader crosses its boundaries to go beyond knowledge and meaning, sometimes even beyond writing itself, into uncharted aesthetic territories. 
As a metaphor, the exhibition title paves the way to other metaphors and facilitates an open, unprejudiced reading outside the Canon, through the ignored, forbidden, anonymous, or unwritten pages of the unknown, the excluded, the marginalised, the Other.
Works on view will include paintings, sculptures, installations, and video installations, artists’ books, and web art, some of which will be new productions.

A Room of One’s Own
Duration: April–September 2019
Venues: Exhibition space 300, Project space and other Megaron areas

The last part of the trilogy is dedicated to writing. The title, borrowed from Virginia Woolf’s celebrated 1929 essay, clearly, though not exclusively, refers to the physical as well as metaphorical space that the novelist regarded as indispensable for women writers if they were to transcend their isolation and marginalisation. The writer’s room, or ‘The Pavilion of the Limpid Solitude’ (Borges), the study as a way of thinking and writing, where an author withdraws to write a book, is another broad metaphor for the act of writing itself, for a return to subjectivity, and for the right of various minorities to speech on the artistic, social, and political levels, in today’s order of things.
Works on view will include paintings, sculptures, installations, and video installations, artists’ books, and web art, some of which will be new productions.
All three exhibitions will be accompanied by bilingual (Greek-English) catalogues and screening programmes, readings, talks with artists and theorists as part of Megaron Plus, school programmes, and public tours.

About the Curator
Anna Kafetsi, a PhD holder in Aesthetics/Theory of Art (Sorbonne-Paris I), is the founding director (2000-2014) of EMST, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens,  and a former curator for the XX century Collections at the National Gallery, Athens. She is currently serving as director of Annex M, a newly established center for the visuals arts in the Athens Concert Hall. She curated many exhibitions including Metamorphoses of the Modern-The Greek experience, 1992, Russian Avant-Garde-The G. Costakis Collection, 1995, Synopsis 1-3, 2000-2003, Transcultures, 2004, Videographies, 2005, The Grand Promenade, 2006, Politics of Art, 2010, The Garden sees, 2017 as well as shows by artists Vlassis Caniaris, Chen Zhen, Kimsooja, Shirin Neshat, Y.Z. Kami, Yang Fudong, Gulsun Karamustafa, Dilek Winchester among others. She is the author of many catalogues, essays and monographs.