Out of the way in Thessaloniki

The museum that was created to house the Costakis collection took a major step in 2007 with the first visual arts Biennale in Greece. Despite an excellent concept and a wise choice of curators – State Museum of Contemporary Art (KMST) director Maria Tsantsanolou, Frenchwoman Catherine David and Swede Jan-Erik Lundstrom – the event did not get a good reception. The public in Thessaloniki experience the magic of the annual International Film Festival, but it will take time and a lot of effort to get people out of the seaside cafes and up to the Lazariston Monastery for the exhibition. Like all state museums, the KMST often encounters distrust of its exhibition initiatives and state funding. In the future, it will have to do more than just play the Costakis collection card, by proper promotion of lesser-known artists and exportable exhibition concepts. And it will have to get involved in the life of a city that is crowded with ouzeris and nightclubs.