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When art meets housing

The Biennale of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki puts 'Home' in the spotlight

Thessaloniki, Greece, 19 September 2017 | Social

The Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, first inaugurated in 2007, is coming back for its sixth edition, scheduled to take place from September 30, 2017 until January 14, 2018 in Greece's second largest city with a focus on the notion of the "home".

The main exhibition will welcome more than 75 artists from around the world, in four venues across the city. The title of the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale is Ιmagined Homes”, taking as a starting point the current attention on the immigration problem, addressing at the same time the fluidity and constant redefinition of the home as a concept. 

The organisers, led by the State Museum of Contemporary Art, set the thematic framework as follows

Home, as an imagined construct, constitutes the thematic core of the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale. The terms ‘hearth’ (hestía)’ and ‘home’, here refer to notions not only of residence, but also of community and homeland, a place where one feels safe and accepted, has one's roots, and develops the core of one's social and family relationships.

Today, however, for much of the world the above notions are uncertain, with thousands of people obliged to leave their homelands for other, hopefully safer, places. These notions therefore exist only within the imaginary, as constructs, projections and expectations. The scale and the specific characteristics of the violent displacements witnessed in recent years, and of others throughout history, have radically transformed the concepts of home and destination.

These changes are not only reflected in migrating populations, themselves becoming part of an international diaspora, but also in the host environments, which are often altered to receive and incorporate their new residents. 

In a country hardly hit by the refugee crisis, where the affordable housing sector has been completely dismantled following the closure of the Workers' Housing Association (OEK), could maybe art bring housing back on the table...?


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