February 20, 2019 - State of Concept Athens - Spring/summer 2019
February 20, 2019

State of Concept Athens

Sanja Iveković, Sweet violence, 1974. Video (black and white, sound), 5:56 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

Spring/summer 2019
March 1–September 7, 2019

State of Concept Athens
Tousa Botsari 19
117 41 Athens
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 4:30–8:30pm,
Saturday 12–5pm

T +30 21 3031 8576


Further unfolding the exhibition chapter “Department of Justice” that begun with Yota Ioannidou’s A case of Perpetual No and continued with Forms of Freedom by the Rojava Film Commune (both in 2018), State of Concept Athens is proud to present its upcoming third and fourth iterations. 

Focusing on the close affinities of the histories of former Yugoslavia and Greece, particularly the anti-fascist and anti-nazi struggles during World War II, the institution reflects on today's disintegration of liberal democracies, following a constant reshuffling of the political landscape in the regions of Eastern Europe and the Balkans since the Cold War. A reshuffling that can in hindsight, be seen as the precursor of a political contemporaneity governed by right-wing populism, new nationalisms and societal divisions.

The program is using the historical period of World War II as a point of departure from where the figure of the partisan woman emerges; a forgotten paradigm of emancipated subjectivity, that is today only but a footnote of history. Operating as a proposition for imagining a future of feminisms that spurs from such historical moments, employed to rewrite a script of living guided by intersectionality, self-organising, pluralism and horizontal self-governance, the two exhibitions examine the female partisan as both a modern and contemporary topos, from where we can re-configure today’s feminisms and the tropes of their resistance, in a landscape shaped by anti-feminist rhetorics. 

Sanja Iveković: Red Star Fear Not
March 2–May 11, 2019
Opening: March 1, 7:30pm
Curator: iLiana Fokianaki 

Sanja Iveković’s solo Red Star Fear Not is a survey review of the artists’ tireless and continuous investigation into the role of women in structuring societal conditions and performing the political in their own terms. Whether it is through deconstructing the social conditions of consumerism, or through challenging the personal in the political by proposing the female body as the field on which the battle between capitalism and socialism took place, Iveković has been throughout her career an accurate chronicler of the politicization of gender. At times she acts as an agit-prop artist, uncovering the erasure of histories of the feminine, evident in works such as Generation XX, where partisan women, forgotten heroes of the socialist legacies of ex-Yugoslavia re-appear on the pages of fashion magazines, or her newly commissioned works for this exhibition Greek History Lesson (2018) and Whether We Were Brave (2019), that propose an imaginary of a feminist future by looking in the past. The latter—inspired by the film of Greek director Alinda Dimitriou Birds on a Mire (2008)—a docufilm of interviews of 28 women members of the partisan army of ELAS (Greek Liberation Army) during the nazi occupation of 1940–44—is employing oral historical testimony as a reminder of today’s global neo-fascisms, tracing histories of resistance. 


I’ll open the door straight, dead straight into the fire
May 18, 2019–September 7, 2019
Opening: May 17, 2019, 7:30pm
Curator: What, How and for Whom/WHW

The exhibition Ill open the door straight, dead straight into the fire curated by collective What, How and for Whom / WHW starts from the figure of women partisans in intertwined histories of Yugoslav and Greek anti-fascist struggle and postwar constellation of Cold War. It situates these histories in relation to various liberation and anti-colonial struggles, and a contemporary line of feminist demands for total social alternative. The brave and uncompromising quote in its title is taken from a poem "May 25th" (1978) by poet, actress and militant anarchist Katerina Gogou (1940–93). The exhibition presents episodes and cases of documentary research along diverse artistic works that look at contributions of women in building an egalitarian and just world system, often lost in dominant heroic narratives of anti-fascist struggles and leftist rhetoric. Ill open the door straight, dead straight into the fire asks who are the partisan women of today and tries to join various voices and approaches opposing the current conditions of re-traditionalization, enforcement of patriarchy and devastating reproduction of capitalist growth.

The exhibition program "Department of Justice" is funded by the FfAI (Foundation for Arts Initiative) and the framework of Partisan Women will continue with a launch of a research grant for greek women artists above 35, in May 2019.

State of Concept Athens
Share - Spring/summer 2019
  • Share