Would it be possible for a biennale to become the starting point for reflection on the crucial issues that contemporary societies are facing today? To examine, from a critical distance, people’s standpoint towards the world and the planet? The 7th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (October 12, 2019 – February 16, 2020) aspires to act as a field for the redefinition of our values and priorities, a process which is more likely to happen when things are seen from a critical distance. This detachment aims to shape our positions, stimulate our vision and make us act.

True to its long-established international character with artists originating from Brazil to Australia, and to its extrovert philosophy and belief in the value of joining forces, “engrafting” its own team with outside curators, the Biennale’s core theme is STASIS. “Stasis” is a term with multiple connotations in Greek: depending on the context, it can refer to stillness, to a person’s stance or point of view, or simply to making a pause.

In this case, the audience is invited to make a stop at this year’s edition of the Biennale that is ready to welcome everyone interested in its proposition, which is summarized by its curators as: “a historical overview of the self, the world and life through art stances and artworks. With their questioning or enthusiasm, resistance or subversion, poeticness or realism, imagination or critical approach of reality, their probing or inventiveness, artists seek alternative perspectives of the past, present and future world, reconstructing it in the process”. Thus, the Biennale’s proposal involves pausing for reflection, detachment, silence, not for the sake of complacency and isolation, but in order to choose a standpoint, get actively involved and join voices in order to chart courses that require effort, thought and consistency.

Athina IoannouFeaturing more than 50 international and Greek artists’ work, under the direction of Syrago Tsiara and the supervision of 11 curators, this year’s Biennale –which celebrates twelve years of active involvement in the Greek and international art scene- is determined to expand its geographical horizons by going beyond Thessaloniki with one section travelling to Athens and the MOMus- Museum Alex Mylona.

The Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki – MOMus was born from the merger of four Thessaloniki-based museums/art venues (the State Museum of Contemporary Art, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography and the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki) and the Athens-based Museum Alex Mylona. It is a Legal Entity of Private Law based in Thessaloniki and is under the oversight of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Aris KatsilakisThe founding of MOMus followed a lengthy period of concerted effort, driven by the steadfast, shared ambition of creating synergies and setting common goals for the promotion of contemporary Greek culture at local, national and international level. The Institution aims to, among others, dynamically develop and promote visual arts and art education, as well as provide support to experimental and alternative art initiatives.

Read more on the 7th Biennale’s program, participating artists and venues here.