Truth will not take Care of itself

Truth will not take Care of itself

State of Concept

Moria refugee camp after the fire. December 2021, Lesvos island, Greece. Photo: iLiana Fokianaki. 

February 26, 2023
Truth will not take Care of itself
March 2, 2023–October 31, 2024
State of Concept
Mpotsari Tousa 19,
117 41 Athens
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 4:30–8:30pm,
Saturday 12–5pm

T +30 21 3031 8576

Can the art institution become a care-taker of truth? 

Continuing our work through the research platform The Bureau of Care, that examined the ethics and politics of care and how they can inform cultural practice, State of Concept is looking into the way two crises unfolding in tandem these last years are presented in the mainstream: the climate and what became known as the refugee crisis. We will be investigating how they are both affected by new technologies of surveillance, developed within and outside of Europe, especially in developing economies like Greece. Particularly when this last decade we observe that data, information and manipulation play a substantial part in major political changes and interventions.

The two year-long program arrives as a response to what we see as an emergency: the corrosion of truth. While fake news has a long history, today the bio-political methods of power, via big data and surveillance technology, manipulate knowledge production and the understanding of reality in ways and speeds before inconceivable. This manipulation is most often related to both the fabrication of alternative truths for both environmental catastrophe and the refugee crisis, many times built through a weaponisation of nature- presented as the culprit instead of state necropolitics or climate change denial.

In many countries around the world, including Greece, democratic checks and balances are increasingly absent, due to a sometimes rigged judicial system that does not act when it comes to major breeches of individual citizen (and migrant and refugee) rights. In some cases, the judicial system is instrumentalised by the state to criminalize those that speak truth to power. In Greece, it persecutes activists in the fields of environmentalism and human rights, and in contrast protects through inactivity, those that pollute, extract, violate and survey.

The current wire-tapping scandal involving various EU countries, among them Greece, where dozens activists and journalists were under surveillance via hacking spyware Predator, is an example of how surveillance technology is used against those that aim to safeguard truth: in the case of Greece activists of civic society and journalists. The scandal prompts us to ask: 

What can an art institution do, when it claims to care? What should its role be, when the public sphere is shaped by racist discourse, fake news and alternative facts, poisoning our reality and jeopardizing our future? In an age of mistrust, surveillance and disinformation, how do you gain back people’s attention to the multiple crises we face? State of Concept is aiming to become a vessel of hard facts and precarious testimonies, in a sea of alternative truths. How can we “re-invent life through a hopeful futurity”, in the words of T.J. Demos in order to avoid the possibility of de-futuring all life?

“Truth will not take Care of itself” discusses the current questions that arise from the relationship between social and environmental justice inspired by the response of civic society to the sociopolitical problematics evident in Greece and beyond today. We are proposing the institution as a place where misinformation and right-wing propaganda can be contested, through the presentation of informed data and facts via a people’s forensics. The program will unfold in two phases, with the first to be launched in March 2023. 

Since 2021, State of Concept invites curators, artists and cultural collectives to curate a program: this year we are honored to be working for the second time with Forensic Architecture (FA) and its Berlin-based sister agency Forensis. FA/Forensis presents a new investigation, engulfed by a program revolving around three thematics of investigations they have been working on the last seven years, presented from March 2nd until June 10th. The research will operate as a point of reference for the whole program. Departing from themes that relate to what became known as the refugee crisis and the way surveillance technology and necropolitical tech is related to it, scholars, activists, artists and theorists are invited to think together how to take care of truth in a program that will unfold in the coming months.

State of Concept with Forensic Architecture/Forensis and Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung office in Greece, will be working with affected communities, local activists, legal and investigative teams. 

Due to the nature of the program, participants will be announced close to the date of events. 

March 2
1pm: Press conference at State of Concept, livestreamed via the institution’s Facebook page

Forensis/Forensic Architecture will present a new investigation on Greece. 

6pm: Keynote lecture by T.J. Demos, Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture and Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies at the University of California. Round table with Forensic Architecture and a q&a with the audience, moderated by iLiana Fokianaki. 

Writer, activist, and professor T. J. Demos discusses his latest research and the need to rethink climate aesthetics and politics in a time when climate denialism and discriminatory politics are infiltrating the mainstream. He will be presenting some new lines of analysis on his current work on environmental violence vis-a-vis political organising and the legacies and mishaps of past environmental justice movements.

8pm: opening 


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State of Concept
February 26, 2023

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