Societe Anonyme was initiated as Art Night in September 2008 by curator Stephanie Bertrand and Lydia Chatziiakovou (ArtBOX.gr). It was created in order to respond to Thessaloniki artists’ and curators’ lack of a sense of community within the local art scene. Taking action, Art Night was introduced as a means of contributing to the formation of an inclusive community among Thessaloniki’s creative practitioners (artists, curators, designers, architects etc.) beyond personal friendships, animosities, preferences, opinions and allegiances, through a series of weekly meetings and discussions.
Within the first year, another concern emerged out of Art Night’s ongoing conversations: the need to disseminate more information and promote greater dialogue around issues of current relevance within the contemporary art world. Consequently, Art Night became primarily structured as a reading group, generating discussions around theoretical texts, catalogue essays, articles, interviews, manifestos etc., while also organizing exhibition visits and discussions with guest participants.
2 years after its inception, the initiative once again adapted to reflect the evolving concerns of its participants and the changing nature of the local art scene. Thessaloniki’s creative forces are increasingly using alternative formats to promote new work and engage the public. Thus, in January 2011, Art Night was relaunched as Societe Anonyme, adding a third element to its scope and mission: to publicly promote the work of its members and to become increasingly present within the art scene by organizing a series of public outputs beyond its closed discussions, including a blog documenting its activities and special events open to the public.