The State Museum of Contemporary Art with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Greece organized the 1st Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2007. The aim of this initiative by the Ministry of Culture was, amongst other, to place Thessaloniki and Greece in the international network of contemporary art biennials.
A number of parameters have shaped the identity of the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art. The fact that Thessaloniki is far from the European centers of art distribution (such as sponsors, companies and private persons investing in contemporary art) gives the Biennale the freedom to encourage and attract new avant-garde ideas and eventually contribute to the actual development of art,
not to its recycling. It also makes public – on the European art scene – art works that offer new aesthetic proposals which are both bold and daring, with the intention of boosting aesthetic and social dialogue.
The Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art is focusing on international current affairs, global restructuring, and crises that affect men and their environment. By forming ties with existing art institutions in Europe and elsewhere, the Biennale aims to encourage further artistic exchange.
The Biennale communicates with artists from different geographic regions and presents the work of artists who have difficult access to areas with intense artistic life on the European art scene. By seeking to act as a stepping-stone and bringing artists closer to Europe, the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art places Greek artists in a field of aesthetic dialogue, beyond the boundaries of Europe.
The 1st Thessaloniki Biennale “Heterotopías” in 2007 was curated by Catherine David, Jan Erick Lundstrom, and María Tsantsanoglou.
The 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale “PRAXIS: Art in Times of Uncertainty” in 2009 was curated by Gabriela Salgado, Bisi Silva, Syrago Tsiara.