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For its third edition, Greece's second largest city welcomes the Thessaloniki Biennale
Hrair Sarkissian, Untitled (‘In Between’ Series), 2007. Archival inkjet print mounted on aluminium, 120 x 175 cm. Courtesy Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki.

THESSALONIKI.- The 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art is lead by the State Museum of Contemporary Art (SMCA) working collaboratively with the rest of the "Thessaloniki – 5 Museums Movement" (5M): Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and Teloglion Foundation of Art AUTh. The Biennale comprises a main and a parallel programme and focuses on the Mediterranean region under the title "OLD INTERSECTIONS - MAKE IT NEW" with exhibitions, a workshop for young artists, a performance festival featuring ORLAN, conferences and a symposium.

Director: Katerina Koskina, Head of the Board of Trustees of the SMCA


*ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF THESSALONIKI, The Jews in Thessaloniki. Indelible marks in space 18 September 2011- 30 September 2012. Curators: Polyxeni Adam-Veleni, Director of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; Evangelia Stefani, Head of the Exhibitions Department; Eleftheria Akrivopoulou, Archaeologist and Museologist; and Angeliki Koukouvou, Archaeologist.

In collaboration with: 9th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Folklife and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia-Thrace, Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, Museum for the Macedonian Struggle and Thessaloniki History Centre.

The exhibition The Jews in Thessaloniki. Indelible marks in space is an attempt towards the re-composition of the palimpsest of the major Jewish community in Greece, guided by the indelible marks of the Jewish presence in the city in the course of time.

In four parts, the history of the Jewish Community will be presented as an archaeological search, from the Hellenistic period, when the first signs of its presence are traced, to the tragic annihilation during the WWII. It will be a journey in time and place through the history of the Jews of Thessaloniki revealing another story of the city. Sites will include: the University of Thessaloniki, an area where already from ancient times the Jewish cemetery extended; the Ancient Agora of Thessaloniki, where the Rogos Jewish community was located; the hotel Electra Pallas in Aristotelous street, built in the area of the known School of Alliance; Liberty Square, the customs-house at the port; the commercial Saul and Modiano arcade, emblematic buildings-villas in the east part of Thessaloniki; and the railway station, where the neighbourhoods of the poor Jews were located.

Objects, rich audiovisual material, which includes unpublished documents, photos, maps, narratives and testimonies, accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition is part of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s ‘Thessaloniki: Cultural Crossroads’ programme.

*MUSEUM OF BYZANTINE CULTURE, Byzantium & the Arabs October 2011 –January 31, 2012. Curator: Stamatios Hondrogiannis, archaeologist MBC. In collaboration with: 4th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, 6th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, 7th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, 9th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, 10th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, 12thEphorate of Byzantine Antiquities, 23rd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, 25th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities,17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Benaki Museum of Islamic Art, Historical Museum of Crete, Numismatic Museum, Science Centre and Technology Museum "NOESIS", Library AUTH.

The exhibition Byzantium & the Arabs presents the relations and interactions between the Byzantium and the Arabs from the 7th century A.D to 1453 (fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans). The exhibition presents the historical identity of the Arabs, the birth of the new religion of Islam and the caliphates, the great expansion across the Arabic peninsula and the Mediterranean region, as well as the sieges of Constantinople and the fall of Thessaloniki in 904.The battles with the Arabs, as well as the emergence of the tradition of the ‘Akrites’ in particular Digenis Akritas will also be among the topics of the exhibition. The interaction of both cultures through letters, science and art is also be depicted.

The exhibition will include over a hundred objects, such as icons, manuscripts, jewellery, coins, ceramics, and sculptures, from the collections of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, as well as from collections of public and private museums, and Ephorates of Antiquities in Greece.

The exhibition is part of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s ‘Thessaloniki: Cultural Crossroads’ programme.

*MACEDONIAN MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, “Roaming Images. Crossroads of Greek and Arab Culture Through the Eyes of Contemporary Artists” September 18, 2011 - January 8, 2012. Project leader: Christos Savvidis, Curators: ‘Roaming Images, Exhibition’: Iara Boubnova. ‘Roaming Images, Routes’: Sotirios Bahtsetzis.

In cooperation with: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) - School of Architecture, National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation - Thessaloniki Centre, Institute Mohamed Ali for the Research of the Eastern Tradition, Kavala (IMARET).

Organizing Committee of “Roaming Images”: Xanthippi Skarpia-Heypel (President of the Board of Trustees of MMCA), Katerina Kamara (General Secretary of the Board of Trustees of MMCA), Matoula Scaltsa (Member of the Board of Trustees of MMCA), Denys Zacharopoulos (Artistic Director, MMCA), George Papakostas (President of the School of Architecture, AUTh), Ioannis Epameinondas (Director of the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation - Thessaloniki Centre), Anna Tzouma-Misirian (President of IMARET).

“Roaming Images” is a nomadic forum that brings the West and the East together, through the search of the various concepts of ‘image’, along with the ideologies and geo-cultural state of affairs that fostered them. The project calls contemporary artists to engage the cultural heritage of the Arab peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean as places of a long-standing artistic and cultural convergence. The notion of image evolves into a world medium of telling the story concerning the way we speak, the way we think and even the way we envision the future.

The “Roaming Images Project” consists of the exhibition “Roaming Images” curated by Iara Boubnova, as well as of the “Roaming Images, Routes”, curated by Sotirios Bahtsetzis. Within the framework of the “Roaming Images, Routes”, a series of projects (organization of site-specific projects or public art interventions, lectures, workshops etc) is taking place in various cities - stations, along the route linking Muscat (Oman) to Thessaloniki (Greece), with the participation of local artists, writers and scholars that work in this broad geographical region. Through the creative cooperation with local institutions, foundations and partners, “Roaming Iamges” presents in Thessaloniki art works that have been produced through these actions, along with their documentation.

At the same time, the exhibition “Photography as a Means of Creating or Subverting Stereotypes”, curated by Lena Athanasopoulou, at the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation - Thessaloniki Centre, presents works of students involved in the issue of stereotypes.

Roaming Images is supported by the programme “Thessaloniki: Cultural Crossroads” of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It’s part of the Focus Middle East project by MMCA.

*STATE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, Selections from the SMCA Costakis Collection, SMCA, Moni Lazariston September 18 – December 18, 2011. Curators: Maria Tsantsanoglou, Angeliki Charistou (SMCA). In the Moni Lazariston, home of the Costakis Collection, works of the Russian Avant-Garde are presented in the two central exhibition halls, themed according to a selection of works by artists participating in the main programme. In the basement, two rooms are devoted to movements of Russian Avant-Garde art, while at the same time the interaction of other expressions of art - poetry, theatre, music, cinema, architecture - with the visual arts is highlighted.

*PRESENTATION: Jan Fabre, PIETÀS (models and drawings) Thessaloniki Concert Hall - Building M2, September 18 – December 2011. To mark the participation of the SMCA in the presentation of Jan Fabre’s new work PIETÀS at the 54th Venice Biennale (01/06-16/10/2011), a connection with the exhibition will be made, based on audiovisual material and preparatory work.

*TELOGLION FOUNDATION OF ART – AUTH, Pieces and Fragments from Fustat, November 2011 - January 2012. Curators: Rosanna Ballian (Benaki Museum-Athens), Panagiotis Bikas (Teloglion Foundation of Art, AUTH) In collaboration with: Benaki Museum of Islamic Art.

The Teloglion Foundation will present the exhibition Pieces and Fragments from Fustat. The exhibition will seek to highlight the value of the ‘fragment’ as a record of culture, as well as the works chosen by Greek collectors.

Fustat, part of old Cairo now, was the first capital of Egypt during the period of Arab dominion (7th century A.D.) and flourished until the 12th century A.D. Fustat is also known for the archaeological remains discovered during the last hundred years. These finds offer significant information about the glorious past of the city. The objects in the exhibition were formerly part of the Antonis Benakis collection and today are part of the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art Collection in Athens. These works will be exhibited alongside furniture and small objects from the collection of Nestor and Alice Teloglou.

The exhibition is part of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s ‘Thessaloniki: Cultural Crossroads’ programme.

Thessaloniki Performance Festival / September 19-25, 2011. Curator & coordinator: Eirini Papakonstantinou (SMCA). The Performance Festival constitutes an international meeting of this artistic practice as part of the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art. As with its emergence in May 2009, the Festival will focus utterly on the art of performance, aiming to become a meeting place and an interactive platform for Greek and foreign artists who search for the ultimate value of the human body and set off the social-political dimension of this particular expression of art. Alongside the live performances, the festival will encompass lectures, master classes, screenings, workshops, concerts, tributes and an exhibition, in an attempt to approach the meaning, the history and the development of performance art in Greece and internationally.

The French avant-garde artist ORLAN will be the Guest of Honour of the Performance Festival. Screenings of past performances will be included as well as a presentation of her work, through a discussion with the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale Director, Katerina Koskina.

The Festival will take place in various places in the city, indoors and outdoors, and will offer to the broader public the opportunity of interaction.

Artists: Nisrine Boukhari (Syria), Efi Birba & Aris Servetalis (Greece), Nezaket Ekici (Turkey), Regina José Galindo (Guatemala), Evi Georgi (Greece). Christina Georgiou (Cyprus), Silvio De Gracia (Argentina), HOPE (Greece), Mikhail Karikis (Greece), Alastair MacLennan (N.Ireland), Mohammad [Nikos Veliotis, Coti K. ILIOS](Greece), Liza Morozova (Russia), Kira O’ Reilly (U.K.), Luigi Presicce (Italy), Georgia Sagri (Greece), Wafaa Yasin (Palestine).

Special Tribute to: Theodoros

International Young Artists’ Workshop / Domino, September 18 –October 7, 2011: workshop, October 7 –November 7, 2011: exhibition. Curators & Coordinators: Areti Leopoulou, Theodore Markoglou (SMCA).

The 3rd International Young Artists’ Workshop will focus on contemporary experimental art, highlighting a characteristic dimension of Thessaloniki, as a cultural crossroad. The workshop will begin on the 18 September 2011, at the former army camp ‘Pavlos Melas’, with the kind support of the Municipality of Pavlos Melas. It will be brought to completion on 7 October, with the opening of an exhibition of the works produced during the artists’ stay.

The workshop could function as a ‘temporary autonomous zone’ within the Mediterranean environment and its economical and political conflicts, realignment and unrest. The title ‘Domino’, was therefore selected to reference the known and dominant theory of the ‘Domino effect’. Based on the central idea of the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennial and the workshop’s concept, all the participating artists come from the Mediterranean and the Middle East regions.

Participating artists: Dimitris Ameladiotis (Greece), Nadia Ayari (Tunisia), Sirine Fattouh (Lebanon), The Fleetgroup (Georgia), Andre Gonçalves (Portugal), Elina Ioannou (Cyprus), Nader Sadek (Egypt).

SMCA | Thessaloniki Biennale | OLD INTERSECTIONS - MAKE IT NEW |

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