Modern Love – EMST Athens 05.09.23

This summer we travelled to Athens, a truly inspirational city packed full of historic sites, museums and galleries. Highlight of our trip was the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST).

The gallery was established in 1997, operating from various locations in the city before fully opening on the site of the FIX brewery in 2020. The gallery exhibits works by contemporary Greek and international artists. A state-of-the-art facility including exhibitions paces, media lounge, conservation laboratory, library, archive, screening room, shop/cafe, and roof top views of the Acropolis.

Modern Love (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies) is a travelling group show of work by 24 artists from 14 countries (expanded by EMST to include Greek artists) who discuss the role of digital technologies on human relationships, the state of love in the age of the internet, the influence of social media and capitalism.

“The accessibility of the Internet to an ever-greater number of people has had liberating effects, encouraging and empowering more open and diverse lifestyles, contributing to the dissolution of interpersonal orthodox conventions and social constrictions, and crumbling taboos and biases around gender and sexuality.”

The show considers how the internet allows for greater expression of non-heteronormative lifestyles and identities. To what extent have new channels like Tinder/Grindr commodified relationships? Where are the boundaries between public and private, virtual and real, fact and fiction?

Modern Love also investigates how we as individuals variously exploit, and are exploited by, new and emerging digital platforms. Contrary to the promise of social media, loneliness, individualism and isolation are increasing. “How can one resist the instrumentalisation of love, its superficialisation and banalisation by commerce and social media?”

Artists include Andreas Angelidakis, Candice Breitz, Mahmoud Khaled, Duran Lantink, Yorgos Prinos, Marijke De Roover, Margaret Salmon, Hannah Toticki, and others.

Hannah Toticki - Focus Wear, 2020

Marge Monko - I Don't Know You, So I Can't Love You, 2018

Yorgos Prinos- Young Man With Hood. London, 2016

Duran Lantink - Old Stock Collection: Look 3 (Purple Vagina Face) 2019

Margaret Salmon - I You Me We Us, 2018

Andreas Angelidakis - Center For The Critical Appreciation Of Antiquity. System For A Home Stylite, 2022