Opening Ceremony and Photography Exhibition by Serrano


On Friday, February 28th, the 5th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival opened its doors to the audience. The Festival will run for a total of ten days and end on Sunday, March 9th, presenting a total of 148 films from around the world.

In its fifth and most ambitious year, the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival has organized an Official Programme for Greek documentaries. All of the recent Greek productions will be participating in one of the following sections: the Greek Competition Section, the Out of competition Section, The Greek Panorama Section and the Greek Informative Section. This year the Greek contestants amount to 60 while the international participants are 87.

Yesterday, the Minister of Culture, Evangelos Venizelos declared the opening of the Festival with the attendance of Li Ying, the director of Dream Cuisine. Dimitri Eipides, the Director of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, noted that one of the reasons of Mr. Ying’s visit was his admiration for Theo Angelopoulos.


Saturday, March 1st marked the official opening of Andres Serrano’s photography exhibition at the Kalfagian Gallery. American congressman Jesse Helms once said about him: “I don’t know him personally, nor do I want to meet him because he isn’t an artist. He’s a jerk”.

The exhibition is presented in the framework of the 5th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. Vasilis Ioekimidis, the Artistic Director of the Skopelos Photography Centre will be supervising the exhibition. This won’t be his first experience with Andres Serrano, since in 2001 Mr. Ioekimidis had also supervised a group exhibition of 15 photographers, including Serrano’s work. Part of that exhibition was also presented at the Thessaloniki Museum of Cinema.

The Kalfagian Gallery will be presenting 12 works by the photographer from 3 different collections. The first of these collections is called Nomads” (90s’) and deals with New York’s homeless people. The second collection, “History of sex”, was created by Serrano in the Netherlands while his friend, director Michael Coolter who had traveled with him, recorded the trip and the conception of the collection. The documentary that resulted was called “Late at night” and will be presented in the section given the same name.

The exhibits in this section can be characterized by some as offensive. There is a warning at the gallery’s entrance about the works’ offensive content and entrance to the exhibition is not allowed to persons under the age of 18.

Mr. Arsen Kalfagian, who hosts the exhibition, said that, “there might be some form of protest for the exhibition, but its better to keep stagnant waters on the move. Art exists to make us reflect upon things and consider them in a different way. Each one of us is called upon to give our own interpretation”.

The third part of the exhibit entitled “The Interpretation of Dreams” is part of the artist’s most recent work. He began to work on it 2001 and continues to this day. It is worth mentioning that Serrano’s work exists in only three copies throughout the world –which are on display mainly in museums- and each piece is priced at about 25 thousand dollars.