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Marina Fokidis

“It’s all about the exhibition, isn’t it?” Curatorial practice and its entanglements
22 July–3 August 2019

Marina Fokidis, documenta 14
Marta Minujin, The Parthenon of Books, 2017, steel books and plastic sheeting, documenta 14, Kassel (DE), photo: Mathias Voelzke

Curatorial practice and theory

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Teaching language
English (teacher also speaks Greek)

What to bring
Laptop, pen and notebook; comfortable shoes


Maximum number of participants

Juliane Bischoff

Participation fee
€ 700.– (€ 540.–)

Exhibitions: About what? For whom? Where? And why?

How can one describe the actual “space” and “time” that an exhibition – a biennial, a mega-event or any sort of curatorial endeavour – occupies? Do times call for another model of art-dissemination and cultural mediation? Or perhaps even for a plethora of models which might reflect more adequately a set of multiple understandings of the complex notions of place and time? What is the role of contemporary art in shaping a democratic public sphere? What is the notion of “public space” within the context of an exhibition? Can this be a place between places at a time between times?

Starting from these questions, the course will explore the ever-changing nature of contemporary art exhibitions within the rapid socio-economic, political, environmental and technological transformation of our times. Through a series of readings, presentations and conversations, as well as hands-on research and praxis, participants will be invited to reflect on curatorial methodologies and challenges as have occurred in particular case studies such as the bi-locational documenta 14 and other scenarios which do not necessarily occupy the epicentre.

The class will include group seminars as well as visits followed by discussions and private tutorials. The aim of the course is that participants will work individually or in groups towards the formation of a curatorial idea.

Marina Fokidis is a curator, writer, and educator based in Athens, Greece. She is the founder of the art center Kunsthalle Athena, ( which was established in 2010 and operated as a non-profit art space until 2015 and of the journal "South as a State of Mind ( ) which was founded in 2012 as a platform for critical discourse on contemporary art and culture, with a particular focus on south to south to south correlation and shared intensities.

Fokidis is known for her advocacy of emerging and underrepresented artists, particularly those working in Greece, South Europe, and the wider Mediterranean region. Her curatorial practice is characterised by a strong focus on geography, co-existence, locational experimentation, and critical engagement with social and political issues. In 2014 she was appointed Head of the Artistic Office in Athens and curatorial advisor for documenta 14. There she worked closely with the artistic director, Adam Szymczyk, and the members of the curatorial team to develop a program that incorporated a wide range of critical perspectives, approached from multiple angles and presented simultaneously in two different locations-Athens and Kassel- and not just a single one, as per Documenta’s tradition. In 2011 Fokidis was one of the curators of the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art. She was also commissioner and curator of the Greek Pavilion at the 51st Biennale di Venezia (2003) and one of the curators of T.I.C.A.B. – Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual 1 (2001). She was an adjunct curator at the Art Space Pythagorion – Schwarz Foundation, where she curated solo shows with newly-commissioned works by Slavs and Tatars (2013) and Nevin Aladağ (2014). From 2001 to 2008 she served as co-director of Oxymoron, a non-profit organisation in Athens dedicated to the promotion of contemporary visual art in Greece on an international level.

Fokidis has curated numerous other exhibitions, both in Greece and internationally. During the last year she worked on the curation of the main thematic exhibition  of ARCO /Madrid. Titled The Mediterranean: A Round Sea, it received ninety two thousand visitors and a wide attention from professionals and the press.  At the same time, she has written for various art publications, including Friezeart-agendaFlash Art , ARTINFO.  and Manifesta Journal. She was a jury member for various awards, including the Preis der Nationalgalerie (2019), Videobrasil (2017), BES Revelação/Museu Serralves (2013) and the 2013 Furla Art Award.


Marina Fokidis (ed.) The Mediterranean: A Round Sea, Arco /Ifema & Nero Editions, 2023
Marina Fokidis (ed.) SOUTH AS A STATE OF MIND (
Marina Fokidis,Digging into the Future: An Account of Notions of Time and Place” in Hildengund Amanshauser, Kimbery Bradley (eds.) Navigating the Planetary, Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts & VFMK, 2020
Marina Fokidis, “Learning from Athens – A Working Title and a Working Process for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel”, in: Joasia Krysa (ed.): The Biennial Condition: Stages #6, Liverpool Biennial, 2017
Marina Fokidis, “Kunsthalle Athena, The Institution as a Performance”, in: João Mourão, Luís Silva: Performing the institution(al) – Volumes 4 & 5, Cura Books & Kunsthalle Lisbon, 2016
Marina Fokidis, “Sierra_Oscar_Uniform _Tango _Hotel”, in: Galit Eilat, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Charles Esche, Pablo Lafuente, Luiza Proença, Oren Sagiv, and Benjamin Seroussi (eds.): Making Biennials in Contemporary Times, Essays from the World Biennial Forum 2, online publication, 2014
Marina Fokidis, “Hijacking Cultural Policies“, in: Judith Kapferer (eds.): The State and the Arts. Articulating Power and Subversion, Berghan Books, New York 2008

Marina Fokidis
Photo: Evangelia Kranioti