THESSALONIKI.- Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty is the theme of this years 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, which runs from May 24 to September 27, 2009. The Biennale is organized by the State Museum of Contemporary Art with the support of the Greek Ministry of Culture, and is co-curated by Bisi Silva (Nigeria), Director of the The Centre of Contemporary Art in Lagos; Gabriela Salgado (Argentina), Curator of Public Programmes in Tate Modern and Independent Curator; and Syrago Tsiara, Director of the Thessaloniki Center for Contemporary Art.
Can art provide a window of opportunity in these uncertain times? In his provocatively titled book After Theory, the English theorist Terry Eagleton claims not the death of theory, but the redefinition of its goals and fields of research. Could this be the moment for the reconsideration of the intrinsic worth of artistic practice? Should we now explore art as a privileged space for relatively free expression of ideas and thoughts? Can this offer an alternative view of the world and the social environment? According to ancient Chinese philosophy, revolution is realignment with the order of the world. Could this be the time to seek a true revolution? Is there a place for Art to go back to life, back to Praxis, to where creative activity contributes to the formation of a political view and to a new way of thinking and being?
Fifty-seven artists from Greece and abroad will present their work in the main visual arts program of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art. The official selection of artists includes: A Posteriori - Dominique Fontaine, Anxiong Qiu, Alexandre Arrechea, Kader Attia, BeforeLight, Michel Bianchini, Jodi Bieber, Mark Boulos, Sonia Boyce, Mircea Cantor, Joan and Ivan Capote, Fredi Casco, Paolo Chiasera, Chto Delat Group, Carlos Cruz Diez, Lillibeth Cuenca, Hassan Darsi, George Divaris, Bright Eke, Maria Ezcurra, Samba Fall, León Ferrari, Rene Francisco, Alla Georgieva, Sheila Gowda, Jens Haaning, Diego Haboba, Khaled Hafez, Magdalena Jitrik, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Maria Kheirkhah, Sooja Kim, La Pocha Nostra-Guillermo Gómez Peña, Hew Locke, Maria Loizidou, Oswaldo Macià, Mad for Real-JJ Xi and Cai Yuan, Melanie Manchot, Fernando Marquespenteado, Cesar Martinez, Megan and Murray McMillan, Despina Meimaroglou, Emeka Okereke, Amilcar Packer, Pahlavuni - Tadevosian Vazgen, Leticia Parente, Mauro Pinto, Qi Sheng, Jose Alejandro Restrepo, Azad Sargsyan, Singha , Bidyut Ngangom, Marios Spiliopoulos, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Clemens Von Wedemeyer, Maya Schweizer, Walker Bromwich, and Mary Zygouri.
Works and projects will be displayed in the following venues: Warehouse C, Warehouse 13, the old Cold Store Building, and the Pumping Station in the port of Thessaloniki, Outdoor Areas of the Port, the Bezesteni, the Bookstore of the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank, the Bazaar Hamam, the Paradeisos Baths, the Atrium of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Atrium of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, and outdoor areas in the city.
An ongoing program of openings and special events will take place in specific venues on May 24 and the public will be able to visit the exhibitions until September 27. The Biennales website www.thessalonikibiennale.gr will gradually present the entire program of exhibitions and actions (with the exact dates of inauguration and durations) that will take place at various sites in the city with the cooperation of many cultural entities. Additional information is available on the Greek State Museums website: http://www.greekstatemuseum.com/kmst/en/index.html.