Thessaloniki Biennale

By Wollen, Roger | Art Monthly, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Thessaloniki Biennale


Wollen, Roger, Art Monthly


Thessaloniki Biennale Various venues May 21 to September 30

Does the world need two new European biennales? The Greeks think so: the first Thessaloniki Biennale ran this summer and 'Destroy Athens', the first Athens Biennial, has just opened.

In Thessaloniki 160 artists from 37 countries exhibited in a host of venues. It was too big and spread across too many sites--concentrating it geographically and at fewer venues would have been preferable. Rather than simply selecting a group of international artists the Thessaloniki biennale adopted a theme, Heterotopias, after Michel Foucault's 'Of other spaces' (a talk given in 1967 and published after Foucault's death in the French magazine Architecture/Mouvement/ Continuit in 1984). The selection concentrated on Balkan, north African, middle eastern and central Asian countries. Despite the diversity this gave a coherence to the project and, as a major port city with a long multicultural history, Thessaloniki was an ideal host. Greece does not need two biennales but if there was to be one, choosing Thessaloniki rather than the capital would be a bold move.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Catherine David was the overall curator, working with Jan-Erik Lundstrom and Maria Tsantsanoglou. The result is a show that introduced a number of unfamiliar artists (only 17, not born or living in Britain, listed solo or group shows there) and the heterotopic provided a challenging theme addressed by all three curators (particularly by Lundstrom).

Whereas utopias are imaginary ideal places, dystopias are their opposite--places to be avoided. Foucault describes heterotopias as 'real places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society--which are something like counter-sites' in which 'all the other real sites that can be found within the culture are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted. Places of this kind are outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality.' He distinguishes between two types of heterotopia: sites of crisis and sites of deviation.

He also gives a range of examples. Crisis sites, often privileged, sacred and forbidden places, include barracks, boarding schools, ante- and post-natal sites and coming-of-age sites. Deviation sites include hospitals, prisons, retirement homes, cemeteries, gardens, theatres, cinemas, fairgrounds and--the heterotopia par excellence--ships. These are places where there is deviant behaviour, expectations or existence. A final group of heterotopias (heterochronias) are those concerning time, particularly past time, such as libraries, archives and museums, with their collections, naming and displaying--in fact the world of art as described by Catherine David in her essay.

And so to art: many, if not most, of the selected works addressed subjects which could be linked to heterotopias--war, conflict, health, death, urban pressures, ecological concerns--and the role of contemporary art as a 'midwife' to such heterotopias. But one could not help thinking that the range of heterotopias is so wide that almost anything could be attached to the idea, and to posit contemporary art as a midwife raises questions. For example, one may be able to attach the concept of heterotopias to many Dada works, but Dada is no longer 'contemporary' art, so why the qualifying adjective? Aren't renaissance, baroque or classical art as relevant?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Thessaloniki Biennale
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.