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About City

Katerina Karavida

PhD student

Department of Culture & Creative Industries

E: kkaravida@gmail.com

Thesis title: Biennial exhibitions of contemporary art: The case of Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece

Supervisor: Dr Jo Littler and Dr Marisol Sandoval

Overview and research interests

Aikaterini's thesis focuses on the Thessaloniki Biennale (2007 and 2009 editions) and draws critical comparison with the concurrent Athens Biennial, with the aim of exploring the biennial exhibition format in the contemporary Greek cultural context, highlighting the particularities of Greek biennials.

Methodologically, the research employs a combination of qualitative approaches underlined by discourse analysis and semiotics, following a series of key thinkers, namely Michel Foucault, Mieke Bal, Donald Preziosi and Ervin Goffman. 

The project examines the Thessaloniki Biennale's central role in the city's transition to a knowledge-based economic model and proposes a link between contemporary art biennials and the creative economy model. It also highlights the role of the Thessaloniki Biennale in constructing a particular identity for the city of Thessaloniki and its role in the Balkan area.

The critical comparison with Athens biennial's discourse serves to demonstrate the varied approaches towards forging a contemporary Greek cultural identity through artistic and cultural institutions. Finally, the thesis discusses the polemics occasioned by the literature on biennials and challenges the argument put forward by the biennial sceptics that biennials lead the art world towards homogeneity.

Aikaterini has an MA in History of Art from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Bachelor's degree in Archeology from the University of Ioannina, Greece.


  • Aikaterini Karavida, 'The Issue of the Representation of the Margins in Contemporary Art Exhibitions: The Case of the Thessaloniki Biennale', International Journal of the Arts In Society, Vol. 4, 2009.