State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Thessaloníki, 06/23/2015 - 09/30/2015

21 Kolokotroni


Investigating gender, the right of gender self-determination and other crucial identity-related issues, as seen through the eyes of modern art practice, constitute the theme of the multifaceted action “Ident-alter-ity” that will take place from June 17 to July 31, 2015, within the framework of the main programme of the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art. 

An exhibition, a symposium and a performance are at the core of “Ident-alter-ity”, which is the product of a collaboration between the Contemporary Art Centre of the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Action Field Kodra, Thessaloniki Pride and the Municipality of Thessaloniki. The exhibition gives the opportunity to both established (for example David Hockney and Lynda Benglis) and emerging artists to engage in an open dialogue through their work.

The aim of the organisers is to detect and present various visual formulations of an issue, which is being transformed once again into an arena of conflict, at a time witnessing the rise of neo-conservatism, of racist, homophobic, lesbiophobic and transphobic behaviors, attacks against women, and discriminations based on race, nationality, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

“Social gender identity and the right to gender self-determination have reemerged as a crucial issue of contestation and struggle, even in societies where such rights were considered established and secure. The concept of otherness, the alien or different, is an inherent part of identity. The alien or unfamiliar is part of the self and is treated as such by a substantial body of theoretical works and artistic propositions”, remark exhibition and programme curators Syrago Tsiara and Thodoris Markoglou, on behalf of Contemporary Art Centre of the State Museum of Contemporary Art.

The curatorial team of Action Field Kodra, consisting of Dimitris Michalaros, Panagis Koutsokostas and Anthi Argyriou, organized an open call, which resulted in the project “Ident-alter-ity – But still in one piece”.


The exhibition “Ident-alter-ity” will investigate the issues of gender and gender self-determination.

The opening of the exhibition, which includes photographs, videos, paintings and performances, will take place on Wednesday, June 17, at 20:30, at the Foyer of the Thessaloniki City Hall.

Participating artists: Lynda Benglis (USA), Ursula Biemann (CH), Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz (CH-DE / DE), Marianne Darlen Solhaugstrand (NO), Yevgeniy Fiks (RU / USA), Kostis Fokas (GR / UK), Hector de Gregorio (UK), Igor Grubic (HR), David Hockney (UK), Deborah Kelly & Tina Fiveash (AU), Majida Khattari (MA/FR), Slava Mogutin (RU/USA), Carlos Motta (CO / USA), Natasha Papadopoulou (GR), Antonis Protopatsis (GR), Wolfgang Tillmans (DE/UK), Boryana Rossa - Oleg Mavromatti (BG / USA-RU), Milica Tomic (RS)

In the exhibition, among other artists:
David Hockney converses with the homo-erotic poetry of C.P. Cavafy through a series of engravings that illustrate a new, 1967 English translation of the Alexandrian Greek poet by Stephen Spender and Nikos Stangos. 
Little known to the general audience are the early 20th century pencil drawings and oil paintings of Antonis Protopatsis, a painter and poet from Mytilene, who tenderly portrays scenes of adolescent eroticism. 

In “Female Sensibility” (video, 1973) Lynda Benglis presents two heavily made-up women kissing and caressing each other. The action is read against feminist film theory of the "male gaze”.

Russian artist-photographer Yevgeniy Fiks, who has taken part in many SMCA exhibitions, presents a series of photographs of gay areas and spots in Moscow. In one work he presents a 1934 letter by a Scottish homosexual journalist and Communist Party member addressed to Stalin, in which the former asserts that homosexuality is compatible with Communism. 

Milica Tomic from Serbia, in the video “I’m Milica Tomic”, reintroduces herself to the audience again and again, adopting a different nationality every time: “I’m Milica Tomic, and I am Korean; I’m Milica Tomic and I am Norwegian”, she says, while revealing the wounds on her body — the price of alternating identities. 

Majida Khattari turns against the orientalist portrayals of the “lustful East”, while Natasha Papadopoulou questions stereotypical gender roles and investigates the mechanisms of representation of female sexuality. 
Igor Grubić examines LGBT activism and the violence that has tarnished gay pride events in Croatia, using archival material and a dance performance.

Curators:Thodoris Markoglou, Art Historian-SMCA Curator, Syrago Tsiara, Art Historian-Director of the Contemporary Art Centre of Thessaloniki.

The opening ceremony will also feature a performance (at 21.30), “M My Me # 3” (conceived and based on an idea by Natasha Papadopoulou, choreographed and performed by Natasha Papadopoulou and Stella Dimitrakopoulou).

Duration of exhibition: 17.06 - 31.07.2015

The following actions are part of the ““Ident-alter-ity” exhibition:

Α) “Ident-alter-ity / But still in one piece”
Exhibition within the framework of an international open call by Action Field Kodra
Participating Artists: Katerina Athanasopoulou (GR), Marilena Aligizaki (GR), Aggeliki Avgitidou (GR), Chiara Bertin (IT), Eva Vei Geromichalou (GR), Marina Genantieva (GR), Fred Koenig (GR), George Petrou (CY), Trix Rosen (USA), Kelli Skoularioti (GR), Manuel Vason (IT)
Curators: Dimitris Michalaros, AFK chief director, Anthi Argyriou - Panagis Koutsokostas. AFK Curators

Β) “Ident-alter-ity. Gender issues in contemporary art
Symposium drawing mainly on the political representations of gender in art and modern theoretical-activistic experience. 
Thursday, June 18, from 16.00 to 21:00 (Multiple Use Hall, Thessaloniki City Hall)
Speakers: Marina Galanou, Kostas Yiannakopoulos, David Getsy, Dimitris Michalaros, Slava Mogutin, Boryana Rossa, Jules Rosskam, Syrago Tsiara, Yevgeniy Fiks.

Collaborating Institutions: State Museum of Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Centre of Thessaloniki, Municipality of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Pride, Action Field Kodra - Municipality of Kalamaria

Opening days & hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00-18:00
Guided tours: 1-31.07.2015, every Saturday at 13:00

The 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
The Mediterranean is the thematic axis and focus of the main and parallel programmes of the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, which will take place from June 23 until September 30, 2015, under the general direction of Katerina Koskina.

The Biennale’s official opening will take place on Tuesday, June 23, at 20:00, at Pavilion 6 (Leof. Stratou Av. & 3rd Septemvriou St., in the TIF-HELEXPO premises.

For More Information


Carlos Motta

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