iLiana Fokianaki – curator, writer, theorist, and founding director of Athens’ independent art institution State of Concept – will direct Kunsthalle Bern. Selected through an open call launched by the board of Kunsthalle Bern, Fokianaki will take over from Kabelo Malatsie, whose tenure ends in February 2024.
At State of Concept, which she founded in 2013, Fokianaki has worked closely with artists negotiating various aspects of geopolitics, identities and the formations of power, bringing artists including Forensic Architecture, Kader Attia, Kapwani Kiwanga, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Laure Prouvost and Sanja Iveković to Athens, while initiating various research projects focusing on social and ecological care. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, e-flux in New York and Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam. For Kunsthalle Bern, Fokianaki has proposed a multiyear programme that borrows from the ecological concept of permaculture, to engage with various stakeholders and communities in the city of Bern.
‘I am thrilled to have been chosen to lead Kunsthalle Bern,’ Fokianaki said in a statement. ‘I envision its pivotal role in fostering a shift around what it means to “institute” in the concurrent ecological, social, and political crises of our time.’