The consequences of disobedience
In 1939, filmmaker Jean Renoir presented The Rules of the Game to a Parisian audience. Of the screenplay, which he also authored, Renoir said it was “a precise description of the bourgeoisie of our age.” The film outraged both audience and critics, and the French government rushed to ban it on the grounds it had “an undesirable influence over the young.” In the ensuing decades, the film found a place among the masterpieces of cinema, and it is this biting satire which, eight decades later, became the inspiration for ten artists to each create a work based on its themes. The exhibition, named after the film, is part of the 62nd Thessaloniki Film Festival.
“The Rules of the Game,” Former Nursery, Pier A, Thessaloniki Port, www.filmfestival.gr
17/12/2021 to 20/02/2022
“There’s a reason that, even to this day, pirates and superheroes attract audiences and the younger generation,” says artist Lydia Venieri. Drawing inspiration from the characters and stories in Byron’s poetry, Venieri restages dream scenes from a fantastical world which is also somehow real, as these characters traverse layers of existence, and change the fate of each generation. Many of the images she uses as backdrops come from contemporary depictions of Greek and Ottoman settings, but through her peculiar tableaux vivants she attempts a more personal and light-hearted interpretation of history.
“Byronic Heroes,” MOMus–Museum of Contemporary Art, 154 Egnatias, www.momus.gr
A century of waiting
Antiquities helped shape the collective memory in the 90 years between the outbreak of the Greek Revolution (1821) and the integration of Macedonia into the Greek state (1912). Ancient objects, collectors’ works, heirlooms and archival material illuminate this little-known page in Greek history.
“For a Flame that Burns On: Antiquities and Memory, Thessaloniki–Macedonia, 1821-1912,” Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, 6 Manoli Andronikou, www.amth.gr
The meaning of reality
The central exhibition of this year’s Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale explores the gap between actual events and their documentation. The exhibition borrows its theme from Iraqi film director and writer Hassan Blasim’s short story “The Reality and the Record.”
“The Real and the Record,” MOMus–Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Warehouse A, and MOMus-Experimental Centre for the Arts, Warehouse B1, Thessaloniki Port, www.momus.gr
The story of Kliun
Ivan Kliun was one of the most important painters of the first generation of the Russian avant-garde. The retrospective exhibition in the Moni Lazariston portrays an important artist largely unknown to the general public. A close friend of Kazimir Malevich, Kliun passed through a whole spectrum of artistic movements before developing his own theory of Suprematism. The Costakis Collection contains more than 380 works (sketches and paintings) by the artist.
“Ivan Kliun: Transcendent Landscapes. Flying Sculptures. Light Spheres,” MOMus–Museum of Contemporary Art–Kostakis Collection, 21 Kolokotroni, Moni Lazariston, Stavroupoli, www.momus.gr
The philhellenic movement
The success of the Greek Revolution was determined not only on the battlefield, but in the salons of European thought and art as well. Philhellene writers, musicians and painters stirred public sentiment over the plight of Ottoman-ruled Greece and helped prepare the struggle. Literary and historical texts, artistic depictions of places and people, musical scores and art objects from private collections reflect many of the aspects of the philhellenic movement in the years preceding the uprising and during the first decades of the newly independent Greek state.
“Philhellenisms, 1780-1860,” Museum of Byzantine Culture, 2 Stratou, www.mbp.gr
The hiding place
From late 1940 to April 1941, conservators and archaeologists took great care to hide marble statues, figurines and ceramic vases from the collections of the National Archaeological Museum under the floors of the original building and its extension. The photographic record of this operation to preserve the antiquities on the eve of the Axis occupation is still deeply moving.
“The Burial and Protection of Antiquities from the National Archaeological Museum during WWII,” Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, 6 Manoli Andronikou, www.amth.gr
The end of the thread
Following on from the exhibition “Weavings: Painting and Tapestry in Greece from 1960 to the Present,” which ran at the Benaki Museum in 2019, the MOMus–Museum of Contemporary Art further highlights the connection between art and weaving in the Greek art scene, as well as the relationship of Greek modernists with weaving and its diverse possibilities. The exhibition features a series of tapestries alongside paintings and sculptures which either inspired the weavings or follow them stylistically.
“Weavings Anew,” MOMus–Museum of Contemporary Art–Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and State Museum of Contemporary Art Collections, 154 Egnatias, www.momus.gr
The legendary duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, a.k.a. Dead Can Dance, returns to Greece almost three years after appearing at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens. This time, they’ve selected an indoor venue with amazing acoustics and high technical specifications, where their music can be appreciated to its fullest. The event offers the unique opportunity to follow the course of the duo, whose creativity and innovative sound made the genre of world music famous, from their first album of 1984 to the present. The concert is part of the duo’s Europa 2022 tour.
“Dead Can Dance,” Thessaloniki Concert Hall, 25 Martiou & Paralia, www.tch.gr