1st Biennale of Contemporary Κeramics in Santorini

4 mins read

Every ceramic piece tells a story – of its creator, its materials, its origins. A story of human hands mingling with humble clay, guiding it through careful, precise movements into unexpected forms. A story of a gaze that measures, judges, and caresses the material. A story of an artist who tenderly leans over the forming soil, engaging in monologues, pausing to reflect, appreciate, admire, and listen – an artist who crafts a new narrative, along with her/his material, together.

The ancient Greek word for pottery, for the potter’s clay and earth, is “Κέραμος/Kéramos.

”And BCK 2024, the inaugural Biennale of Contemporary Keramics in Greece, paying homage to the material’s local history and roots, appropriately integrates “Kéramos” in its name, by lending its initial “Κ” to the word “Ceramics.”

The organization highlights a double need. On the one hand, that of supporting Greek Ceramics and, on the other hand, promoting it to a wider audience. It aims to create stimuli for new aesthetic trends, promote research, and strengthen communication between creators and the public.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera_images by Lambros Papanikolatos

Who We Are

The Biennale of Contemporary Κeramics by Big Blue Dot is wandering and decentralized by conviction. Like a traveling blue dot, it is not centered in the Athenian metropolis. Instead, it is held each time on a different island, drawing inspiration from each place, its mythological and historical past, its archaeological landmarks, presenting an exhibition and a program with parallel events, projects, exhibitions, and workshops for both artists and the local community.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera_images by Lambros Papanikolatos

What We Do

BCK’s wandering leads to a new narrative – the ceramics are each time the narrator of the cultural heritage of a particular place.

It organizes educational programs offering knowledge, new experiences, and stimuli to local communities; it contributes to the development of cultural tourism and enhances the local economy and art. The Organizing Committee, in collaboration with artistic bodies and groups, institutes, museums, and educational organizations, explores and develops new ways to promote the cultural heritage of Greece through contemporary ceramic art. Every two years the event will be renewed, highlighting and culturally enhancing a new part of Greece and our history.
New places, new narratives.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera_images by Lambros Papanikolatos
Museum of Prehistoric Thera_images by Lambros Papanikolatos

Vision

With its main objective being the promotion and recognition of contemporary Greek ceramic art and ceramists on a global level, BCK is envisaged to become one of the most important biennial cultural events in Greece.

Mission

Its mission is to fill the gap that exists in contemporary ceramic art in our country and to be a major Biennale, equivalent to those held abroad. BCK aspires to act as a catalyst for Greek culture and for the promotion of established or emerging Greek and foreign ceramists, connecting domestic artistic production with the international scene.

Organizer

BCK 2024 is realized by Big Blue Dot, a non-profit company based in Kefalonia, which was founded in order to organize the Biennale of Contemporary Keramics and promote Greek ceramics worldwide.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera_images by Lambros Papanikolatos

Location & Meeting Place

The inaugural location for the first Biennale of Contemporary Keramics 2024 is the island of Santorini.
The meeting place is the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, which, having the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri as a point of reference, presents the life and culture of Thera during the prehistoric period, as depicted through various exhibits, mainly clay vessels and wall paintings.

Akrotiri was a major urban center and port of the Aegean during the Middle and Late Bronze Age (2000–1700 BCE). It was a populous city with admirable social organization, public streets, and high-rise buildings. Impressive frescoes – the oldest examples of monumental painting in Greece – decorated almost all building complexes and, through their narratives, they provide today valuable information about the society of Akrotiri. Moreover, imported objects prove the relations and communication of the inhabitants of Akrotiri with the Dodecanese, Cyprus, mainland Greece, but also Egypt, and Syria.

Five thousand ceramic vessels of various types and sizes, tools, figurines, ritual objects, and furniture were discovered in the area, testifying to the great development of the settlement. The earth preserved remnants within it, which were later revealed and now narrate aspects of daily life in prehistoric Thera.

Santorini’s global influence today makes it an ideal first destination for BCK and an excellent “medium” for spreading local artistic activity worldwide. The island already has the necessary infrastructure to transport works, host visitors and artists, and is easily accessible by boat and plane.

Dates & Duration

With a duration of five months, from June to October 2024, visitors will have the opportunity to admire the main exhibition, as well as attend workshops, lectures, and visit parallel exhibitions at the Santorini Art Factory (SAF).

Museum of Prehistoric Thera_images by Lambros Papanikolatos

Exhibition

Inspired by the archaeological site of Akrotiri in the south of the island, where the ruins of a prehistoric city of great cultural importance have been uncovered, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera will host twenty original works by twenty artists from Greece and abroad. Through an open call, artists were invited to be inspired by the findings from prehistoric Akrotiri, research, and present their works with clay as the dominant material. The works were selected by an international committee of experts and will be exhibited in the place that was the source of inspiration.

Ladianos Konstantinos, Blue Monkey, 2023 (detail)_Photo by Ismini Goula_Courtesy of CAN Christina Androulidaki gallery, Athens and the artist

Artists

The response from artists and the submissions we received from every corner of the globe were amazing. Each artist created a unique narrative and. The International Jury selected twenty artists, who shared their vision with BCK and, through their works, celebrate the beauty of ceramics.

The artists selected are:

Stella Baraklianou | Helena Boddenberg | Mirka Drapaniotou | Ule Ewelt | Ion Fukazawa | Amyel Garnaoui | em irvin | Iosifina Kosma |Konstantinos Ladianos | Simon Manoha | Natalia Manta | Angeliki Papadopoulou | Desa Philippi | Yoav Reches | Nikos Sepetzoglou | Theo Triantafyllidis| Christos Tsoumplekas| Giorgos Vavatsis | Yena Young | Zois Giannis

The International Jury

The International Jury was formed by:

Theodora Chorafas (Ceramist) | Florian Daguet-Bresson (Curator, Art Dealer) | Konstantina Daskalantonaki (Curator) | Marina Fokidis (Curator, Writer, Educator) | Frangoula Georma (Archaeologist, Ministry of Culture) | Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotaki (Artistic Consultant) | David Jones (Ceramist, Theorist) | Loukia Thomopoulou (Artistic Director BCK)

Exhibition Curation
Konstantina Daskalantonaki | Loukia Thomopoulou | Marina Fokidis | co-curated by Maya Efstathiou, Curator of the Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Exhibition Design
Aris Petro Architect

Exhibition Signage
DpS Athens

Awards
1st prize: €3,000 and solo show
2nd prize: €2,000 and solo show
3rd prize: €1,000 and participation in a group show

Honorary Awards
For their contribution to ceramic art, BCK will award two distinguished Greek artists.

Catalog
BCK 2024 will be accompanied by a printed version.

Parallel Events
Lectures, seminars, exhibitions, presentations, and workshops, both in physical and digital form, with a focus on interaction with the local community and the artists. These actions enrich education, foster interaction, and promote a sense of community.

Production
Big Blue Dot, Civil Non-Profit Company

Co-production
Region of South Aegean
Thera Municipality

With the support of
Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO)
NEON Organization for Culture and Development
COSMOS | ESG & CSR consulting

Collaborations
Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades | Demetrios Athanasoulis, Director
Museum of Prehistoric Thera | Maya Efstathiou, Curator
Santorini Arts Factory (SAF) | Tomato Industrial Museum “D. Nomikos”
Christos Doumas, Professor of Archaelogy
Frangoula Georma, Archaeologist

Info

Thursday 6 June 2024 - Saturday 26 October 2024

BCK Exhibition Spaces:

Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Santorini
Ephorate of Antiquites of Cyclades
Fira, 84700, Thera
t. (+30) 2286025405 / email: [email protected]
Visiting Hours: 08:30–15:30, Wednesday to Monday (Tuesday closed)

Santorini Arts Factory (SAF)
Tomato Industrial Museum “D. Nomikos”
Vlychada, Santorini
Tel: +30 228608514
Visiting Hours: 10:00–18:00, Tuesday–Sunday (Monday Closed)


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