Macedonia : The 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art

Hrair Sarkissian, Untitled (‘In Between’ Series), 2007. Archival inkjet print mounted on aluminium, 120 x 175 cm. Courtesy Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki, Macedonia , Greece.

THESSALONIKI, Macedonia – 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).

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