PhotoBiennale / 21st International Photography Meeting is organized by the Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki, the only state-run museum dedicated exclusively to photography in Greece.
Τhe central topic of PhotoBiennale is “Place” (Topos). This is the second part of a thematic trilogy which began in 2008 with “Time” (Chronos) and will continue in 2012 with “Discourse” (Logos).
PhotoBiennale is devided in 3 parts (1st part: April-May 2010, 2nd part: June-September 2010, 3rd part: October-December 2010/Μay 2011).
The international meeting includes exhibitions presented in museums, galleries and other exhibitions spaces all over the city of Thessaloniki, as well as in other Greek cities, in collaboration with public and private organizations.
Apart from the Main Program, the event encompasses parallel events and activities, like the Portfolio Reviews and the international photography Award Cedefop/Photomuseum which is related to the topic of work.
The PhotoBiennale is firmly situated amongst other European festivals of photography, namely Fotografia in Rome, International Photo biennale in Moscow and PhotoEspana in Madrid. The Festival is also part of “Festival of Light”, (www.festivaloflight.net) an international collaboration of photography festivals around the world.
1) Place as territory, as one’s depiction of wastelands or of places which he/she consider interesting. In these exhibitions we witness the artist’s oblique look on territory and the ties he/she creates with it. In this manner we face reconstructed images of places through the artists’ outlook; here the artist functions as a re-creatorbof place.
2) Place as an intrinsic part of history. These exhibitions deal with place and its references to memory, collective and personal; through these works the viewer has the opportunity to travel in time or even to witness the “creation” of a place/monument, such as the restoration of the Parthenon.
3) Place as a result of fabrication which is created either by form or content. Some artists recreate space by using special techniques which intervene with the result of the actual picture and create a land of its own. Others deal with fabricated worlds, as created through representation, like theatres or with manmade worlds like malls and all-inclusive resorts on exclusive exotic islands.
4) Place as the artist’s locus of creation. Here we are presented with works which allude to the artist’s personal world. In these works place is used more as a vehicle for the artist than as the main focal point. Place is just the pretext for bringing forward the issues which concern him/her in his world of creation.
Exhibition program – Structure
- Main Program
The main exhibition programme has a central thematic core: for 2008 the thematic core was time (chronos), for 2010 place (topos) and discourse (logos) for 2012. This thematic core is enveloped by exhibitions presented in museums, art galleries and state exhibition spaces (museums or renovated buildings) throughout the city of Thessaloniki and the surrounding area.
The main exhibition cluster was based on the choices of the submitted proposals, which were evaluated by the committee below:
Vangelis Ioakimidis (Director TMP)
Christoforos Marinos (Independent curator – art historian)
Thouli Misirloglou (Art historian, curator Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art)
Stamatis Schizakis (Assistant curator of Photography and New Media –National Museum of Contemporary Art)
Martha Chalikia (Independent curator – art historian)
- Parallel Program
In every Meeting apart from the main theme a parallel programme is also included made up of choices of curators and creators selecting complete and specific proposals not falling under the central thematic core but nevertheless included as part of the Meeting –taking advantage of the fact that all the central exhibition spaces in the city as well as the most important art galleries of the city put photography centre stage for the duration of the PhotoBiennale.
- Art Galleries propose
The art galleries during this period make suggestions pertaining exclusively to photography. The choices of both artists and thematic exhibitions are dependent on the cooperation between the two and are subsequently considered by the museum. In this way another platform whereby artists and the public can meet is formed.
- Travelling exhibitions
During the PhotoBiennale exhibitions are shown in other Greek cities and abroad.