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Face to Faces (Face à Faces)

Face to faces is an international joint exhibition of modern art, having France as its starting point. It constitutes part of the broader action entitled ‘DIALOGUES D’IMAGES’ (IMAGE DIALOGUES) and is an initiative of the ‘CULTURESFRANCE’, an institution of the French Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs (previously known as AFAA or Association Francaise d’Action Artistique). The objective of this action is to establish an ‘intercultural’ dialogue between artists who live or work in France, with artists from other countries, on the common thematic of (auto) portrait. Eventually aiming at broadening and investigating the limits of a simple joint-thematic exhibition, the original ‘body’ of this exhibition tours around the world while, each time it is presented in a country, it gets further enhanced with the work of artists from that host country. The selection of the works has been made by two curators – the one of the touring exhibition and another from each host country. No need to mention that the aesthetic result is different each time.

In Greece, the exhibition will be included in the events of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, enhanced with the work of contemporary Greek artists who live or work either in Greece or abroad. In Thessaloniki, Face to faces is to be presented in two phases: the first part, comprising the video installations, will be accommodated at the French Institute of Thessaloniki from May 25 to July 14, while the second part consisting of the photographic work, at the Photography Museum of Thessaloniki, from July 15 to September 15, 2009.

Face to faces attempts to provide artistic answers to questions arising concerning the new identity of the contemporary individual, as it is shaped within the new system of social, economic and cultural values. Globalization nowadays intrudes more and more in several aspects of our life (economy, art, politics and information science) while culture is shrinking more and more to a tradable and consuming process. Within this framework, economic theories, as well as political and cultural ideologies have been demystified or even abandoned, while religious fanaticism has dominated. In such a post-modern world, where does the individual stand? What is the individual’s attitude (as an entity) towards him/ herself (face to face) and how does he or she survive in terms of niche and relations with the others (face to faces) as well as the surroundings? With human presence as the artists' focus of interest, the exhibition investigates the identity of the human physiognomy in its various expressions: The way in which the artist anticipates himself or how would like to anticipate it (in front of the camera), how he anticipates others (before the camera) and how he uses himself or others in order to expresses his art through each means at hand (video or photography).

Yann Toma, Dominik Lejman and Cécile Hartmann are some of the internationally acknowledged foreign artists who are going to participate in the first part of the exhibition, featuring the video installations along with famous Greek artists, such as Katerina Thomadaki - Maria Klonaris, Maria Zervou, Dimitris Tsoublekas, Alexandros Mistriotis and Evanthia Tsantila.

The second part of the exhibition, accommodated at the Photography Museum of Thessaloniki, includes the photographic work of fourteen contemporary, internationally acknowledged artists, who live or work in Paris: Nan Goldin, Suzanne Lafont, Philippe Ramette, Orlan, Kimiko Yoshida, Hans Hemmert, Alain Bublex, Jean Luc Vilmouth, Francois Rousseau, Yuki Onodera, Roman Opalka, Yann Toma, Cécile Hartmann, Dominik Lejman, along with the works of leading contemporary Greek artists as well. Among them: Christina Dimitriades, Panos Kokkinias, Manolis Baboussis, Venia Behraki, Eleni Mouzakiti, Lia Nalbantidou, Yiorgos Prinos, Pavlos Fysakis, Athina Chroni, Eleni Maligkoura, Yiorgos Katsaggelos, Evangelia Kranioti. The curators of this exhibition are Angeliki Grammatikopoulou
- Barbaut and Ιsabelle de Montfumat.

Production: Culturesfrance – State Museum of Contemporary Art
Organization: 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Culturesfrance, Photography Museum of Thessaloniki, French Institute of Thessaloniki
Curator on part of Greece:
Angeliki Grammatikopoulou - Barbaut
Curator on part of international participants: Ιsabelle de Montfumat
Exhibition design and installation: Ch. Michailidou


Venue A':
Institut Francais de Thessalonique
Opening of the Face to Faces / video exhibition: May 24, 2009
Duration: May 25 – July 15, 2009

Venue B': Thessaloniki
Museum of Photography
Opening of the Face to Faces/ photo exhibition: July15
Duration: July 16 – September 20, 2009

Curators of the Face to Faces (Photograph, video) exhibitions:
Angeliki Grammatikopoulou - Barbaut and Isabelle de Montfumat

With the support of:

Sponsor of the exhibition at the Institut Francais de Thessalonique:

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