Art Space Pythagorion- EMST: The social dimensions of handicrafts in Samos


The Schwarz Foundation presents the exhibition “HANDMADE: The social dimensions of handicraft”, at the Art Space Pythagorion in Samos in collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by Katerina Gregou

In recent years there has been a renewed interest in the field of contemporary art for works that are handmade or based on craftsmanship.

The term “craft” refers to processes, actions, techniques and forms of creativity usually performed by hand or using hand-held devices.

With the advent of the industrial revolution, the pressure for productivity and efficiency, as well as low-cost mass production, handicrafts were gradually marginalized and in some cases completely disappeared.

Traditional techniques and know-how that existed for generations were eliminated.

Today, many artists are returning to craft practices and methods that involve creative materiality.

One reason is the growing prevalence of digital culture, the dominance of the immaterial, IT, the rise of cognitive labor in modern life, and the marginalization of the tangible and intangible. A second reason is the association of craft mainly with women and the working class, as well as with minorities – that is, with marginalized groups excluded from the realm of “high” art and orthodox or dominant historical narratives.

Today, as the underlying power dynamics that dictated the rules of what is “high art” and what is not are being challenged, the art-craft opposition is also being called into question.

Craft, which was once an integral part of artistic practice anyway, is coming back to the fore. However, while much of today’s artistic practices and exhibition approaches exploring craft focus on the materiality, form or folkloric dimension of tradition, this exhibition will focus on works that possess an underlying social and political dimension, and examine the economies , the contexts, and networks of relationships that lie at the core of craft practices and traditions.

In addition, it will feature works by artists who elevate the practice of craft and tell stories with social or political content. Craft-based techniques developed in Samos and the surrounding areas, many of which have been passed down from generation to generation and are gradually declining, will also be examined. The exhibition will feature both Greek and international artists and will also include a selection of works from the EMST collection thus marking a new synergy between the two institutions.


The artists include the following: A: Nikos Alexiou, Bertille Bak, Maria Louizou, Jennifer Nelson, Eleni Mylona, ​​Sphinxes, Maria Varela, Natalia Manda among others.

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