The National Museum of Contemporary Art began its operation in 2000. Its foundation came to cover a huge gap that the decades long absence of an analogous institution for contemporary international art had created in Athens.
Their decision to start immediately with exhibitions and namely of mostly critical and experimental character, even without premises or collections, was dictated by exactly this need. Exhibitions of contemporary art were taking and still take place in Athens. But the responsibility of the Museum, which equally sets in the centre of its activities both works of art and the public, is not to act circumstantially but based on an organized plan that is being realized from exhibition to exhibition and aims at awakening sensitivities and formulate critical thought and aesthetic criteria: there are no museums without audiences. Still, there are no museums without collections. With the ambition that until 2008, when the reconstruction of the former Fix brewery which will be the permanent premises of EMST will have been completed, a remarkable nucleus of works of art by Greek and international artists will have been developed, they compose collections of selective rather than encyclopaedic character, which promote advanced tendencies and critical explorations of the artistic present but also its historical depths which reach as far as the second half of the 20th century.
Their goal, both by exhibitions and collections, is to offer all the Museum’s visitors, which remains an unreservedly democratic institution, the “other” dimension which in our time cannot be conceived outside transcultural and ecumenical patterns.