Statecraft (and beyond)
National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens (EMST), Greece
16 Jun – 30 Oct, 2022
Statecraft is an international group exhibition that explores the underlying mechanisms at work in the engineering of the nation-state, as we know it today, and the challenges it faces in today’s globalised, networked world. Probing the history and the processes of nation-building in modern times, Statecraft examines the power structures and processes behind state bureaucracy, governance, and sovereignty, and their common issues of democracy, citizenship, rights, inclusion and exclusion. The exhibition explores the scope and limits of state authority while confronting a new political reality in Europe and beyond, during a time of rising nationalism and authoritarianism, and as some countries become progressively more inward-looking. Featuring 39 artists, Statecraft also looks beyond traditional forms of the nation-state towards alternative models of statehood and political organisation while addressing the current challenges of mass migration, the realities of post- and trans-national structures of organisation, globalisation and technologically enabled nomadism. As the exhibition was being prepared Russia invaded Ukraine, making us painfully aware of the fact that the post-Cold War order has begun unravelling, that democracy and national sovereignty are not to be taken for granted, and that unchecked state power leads to violent and dangerous excesses for humans as well as the environment.