HANDMADE: On the Social Dimensions of Craft

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    Bertille Bak, Rayonnage, 2009-2014. Άποψη εγκατάστασης: Art Space Pythagorion, Σάμος. Φωτογραφία: Άννα Πρίμου.
    Συλλογή ΕΜΣΤ | Εθνικoύ Μουσείου Σύγχρονης Τέχνης, Aθήνα

    04.08 — 25.09.2022
    Art Space Pythagorion, Pythagorion, Samos

    Participating Artists

    Nikos Alexiou
    Bertille Bak
    Silvina Der Meguerditchian
    Maria Louizou
    Jennifer Nelson
    Natalia Manta
    Eleni Mylonas
    Maria Varela


    Katerina Gregos

    HANDMADE: On the Social Dimensions of Craft
    Text by Katerina Gregos

    In recent years there has been an upsurge and a renewed interest in craft-based or hand-crafted work in the contemporary art field. The term “craft” refers to processes, actions, techniques, and forms of creativity usually performed manually or with the use of manually operated apparatus. With the advent of the industrial revolution, the pressure for efficiency, and low-cost mass production, craft gradually became marginalized and in some cases it has disappeared altogether.

    But many artists are returning to hand-crafted practices, to the tangible and to the haptic; one reason is perhaps the increasing pervasiveness of digital culture, the increasing dominance of the immaterial in contemporary life, and the marginalization of the tangible and the haptic. The other may be that in many countries, craft was primarily associated with women, and the working class, as well as with nonwhite people – i.e. marginalized groups who were excluded from the domain of ‘high’ art and orthodox or dominant art historical narratives. Today, the art-craft opposition is also being challenged because of this underlying power dynamic, which dictated what was valued and what not. This, in many ways, explains the return of craftwork, which was once an integral part of artistic practice in any case.

    However, whilst much of the current craft-based practices are focused on the materiality, the form of the handcraft in question, or the exploration of tradition, this exhibition will focus on craft-based work that has an underlying social and political dimension, and will examine the social and political economies and contexts, as well as the relational networks that lie at the core of craft-based practices and traditions. In the work of the participating artists the practice of hand-crafting becomes an integral partof collective empowerment, agency, the sharing of knowledge, the preservation or re-writing of history, and finally a buffer against historical amnesia. Craft-based contemporary artistic practices thus become an important component in reconsidering the politics of materiality, identity, labour and social exchange as well as embodying histories in its materials.

    Handmade will include both Greek as well as international artists, and will also feature a selection of works from the collection of EMST | The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, sparking a new synergy between the two institutions.

    • Thursday, August 4

      Performance Six Breaths Per Minute  by Maria Louizou. At 20:30

      • Saturday, August 6

        Film Screening Smyrna. The destruction of a cosmopolitan city 1900-1922 (2012)

        Photo: Imperial War Museum

        The exhibition is accompanied by the educational programme HANDMADE / Tell a storydesigned and implemented by the artist and curator of educational programmes for contemporary art Katerina Zacharopoulou. More information and participation procedure for students, teachers and organized groups will be announced (Duration: September - October 2022)

        A collaboration between the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (ΕΜΣΤ) and the Schwarz Foundation


        • Curator: Katerina Gregos, Associate curator: Ioli Tzanetaki, Registrar: Maria Drakou (ΕΜΣΤ), Conservator: Fotini Alexopoulou (ΕΜΣΤ) Transport, Installation & AV: Yorgos Efstathoulidis (Constructivist), Media Relations: Zuma Communications (Schwarz Foundation), Communication: Kassiani Benou (ΕΜΣΤ), Education Programme: Katerina Zacharopoulou, Graphic Design: Rafaela Dražić, Researcher (Samos): Evangelia Vakiarou


        • Special thanks to: 3 137 (Athens), Kostas Damianidis, Nikolaos Dimitriou Cultural Foundation, Historical Archive of Samos, An-Mai Nguyen, Arsen & Roupen Kalfayan, Yuli Karatsiki, Matroni Ktistou, Anna Primou, Ileana Tounta.
        • With the support of the Municipality of Samos, the Municipal Harbour Fund of Samos, and the Port Authority of Pythagorion.

        Media Sponsors


        • Handmade catalogue.pdf

        Related Initiatives

        The Schwarz Foundation is a private non-profit foundation whose mission is to promote the exchange between various cultures.AboutArt Space PythagorionSamos Young Artists FestivalSamos Music RoomsGet in contactSupport
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