THESSALONIKI, GREECE 09.26.11
“YOU GET A STRANGE IMPRESSION of a city when you arrive and everything is closed because it’s Sunday,” mused Sueyun Locks, art patron and owner of the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia. A parade of shuttered storefronts on the streets of Thessaloniki passed by the windows of a shuttle bus bringing Locks and a half dozen other people to the opening of the city’s third biennial on September 18. “Due to the crisis, everything will be closed on Monday as well. Just so you don’t have the wrong impression,” said Margarita Pournara, a tough-nosed critic from an Athens newspaper, an edge of steely humor in her voice.
The weight of the Greek debt crisis looms over this edition of the biennial like a boulder. According to a local paper, Thessaloniki’s State Museum of Contemporary Art, which has been organizing the event since it began in 2007, had received less than 2 percent of its one-million-euro budget as of September 1. On Saturday, after the Greek government passed another round of austerity measures, almost everyone in the city went on strike, “including the police,” said Melina Melikidou, who had been hired by the museum as a secretary on a temporary contract but was doing, by my estimation, three higher-level jobs for the biennial at once. On Friday, a small-business owner in his fifties, up to his eyeballs in loan payments, doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire on a sidewalk in front of a Thessaloniki bank. (He survived, as did his debt.) Suicide rates in Greece have doubled since the crisis began. Read the rest of this entry »
The Future of a Promise will be the largest Pan-Arab show of contemporary art at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. From Tunisia all the way to Saudi Arabia, this landmark exhibition brings together more than twenty-five recent works and commissions by some of the foremost artists from the Arab world.
The Future of a Promise – Collateral Event of the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
Edge of Arabia
The Fridge Factory and Clear Waters
Marina Abramovic: MACCO Cetinje – Marina Abramovic Community Center Obod Cetinje, Ilija Šoškic, Natalija Vujoševic
Commissioners-Curators: Svetlana Racanovic, Petar Cukovic. Venue: Palazzo Malipiero, San Marco 3079
Artist Diohandi was unanimously elected by the competent advisory committee of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to represent Greece in the 54th Venice Biennale, to be held from the 4th of June until the 27th of November 2011.
This year’s theme, according to director Bice Curiger, is ΙllUΜΙnazioni –IllUMInations, metaphorically connecting the sense of light and nations.
The Greek artist’s artistic works will be created “in situ” (on site), connecting the exterior to the interior of the Greek pavilion, as it was announced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Materials bearing fragments of memories will be holding a primary role in Diohandi’s work, such as light and sound.
As the artist herself states, her work is “based on recreating the environment through time and space relations, by creating artworks specific to any given space and time”.
The proposal for this year’s Biennale Greek entry was unanimously elected and submitted by art critic Maria Maragos.
Source: ANA – MPA