It is said that photographers take photos not only with the intention to depict the world, but also to leave a trace, a visible sign of their presence. Following this observation we can proclaim that every photograph does not only captures something from the world but also returns something back to the world. This statement is also useful to the degree that enriches our reading of photographs. It urges us to take a step behind and trace the relationship of the photographer to his subject. It impels us to wonder what kind of desire drove him or her to leave a mark on a certain object, person, room or event. Apparently it is true that in the present abundance of photographic images, the detection of this desire is difficult. And this is mainly due to the ease and haste of producing and consuming photographs. Fortunately, some photographers follow different rhythms. They stand, look and think in front of their subject. Taking a picture of it leaves a visible trace of their presence and their relation with it. In Gina Maragoudaki’ s pictures it is the darkness, the sense of a melancholic wandering in places sealed and cut off from the rest of the world. nnCurated by Costis Antoniadis.
Ι took my first photographs as a teenager using my father’ s camera. Not only I was attracted by the art of photography, but I was also charmed by the camera as a device.
Though I was enthusiastic on photography, I was eager to music and particularly to advanced theory of music, which I decided to study.
Much later I come upon the work of the great photographers, and at 2010 I started taking relevant courses, which I am still attending.
I feel it as an exhilarating journey and until today I am still exploring, discovering and reidentify myself through photography. I am trying to penetrate, but I am also experimenting on its basic elements.
Why would a photographer decide to divert our attention from what motivated him or her to take a particular photograph. A feasible answer is to make us think more, to free us to choose and judge what is crucial and what is insignificant in photographs, and thus to life itself. The importance of this kind of photographs is precisely that their content is unreadable: when we realize that we have nothing to understand or explain we can ease ourselves in a delightful wandering among and in the images of the world. The photographers participating in the exhibition persistently observe people around them and depict their gestures, shadows or reflections. They often invent new forms which, without violating the rules of standard photography, reveal uncharted regions of the visible. The exhibition «About a Secret» illustrates some aspects of this exploration. Therefore photography becomes a secret about a secret as Diane Arbus has put it. To reveal this aspect photographs should stand as autonomous works, silent and illegible free of any context. In some cases, it is true that their succession in the exhibition or the accompanying catalogue creates unexpected associations, highlights deviations or reveals unpredicted territories of expression. But this also is part of the adventure of roving photographs. Costis Antoniadis.
Bryan Formhals, Jose Maria Hernandez, Nils Jorgensen, Zisis Kardianos, Charalampos Kydonakis, Junku Nishimura, Jack Simon, Rupert Vandervell, Delyan Valchev, Ania Vouloudi and Pierre WayserAbout a Secret - Exhibition Catalogue
Petros Koublis photographs the outskirts of Athens, in areas untouched by the grim picture of the economic crisis. His proposal is actually simple. A recovering of our senses, as to manifest a reconfiguration of the consciousness over the environment we live in. For this is what his photographs are reflecting: the senses of touch, hearing, smell and all the emotions arise by the sight of things around us. In other words, there’s no message or any spectacular idea expressed; it’s a mere visual experience intending to let us feel and recognize a feeling rather than an item.nAnd something more. It’s a proposal that brings into surface for once more the context of poetry in photography, the «equivalent» as introduced by Alfred Stieglitz, a century ago.n«Ephemera» as we say «Equinalents». Enjoy.nnCostis Antoniadis
Born in 1981.nnMy relationship with photography started in 2000, after having dedicated some of my adolescent years in painting.nnI studied photography in an Athens' institute and I participated in some series of seminars on history of photography, being mostly developing my style through a constant personal exploration.nnMy professional relationship with photography started in 2004.nnWorking as a professional photographer I mainly focused on fashion photography and portraiture, cooperating with magazines, both in Greece and abroad. I've been always trying to maintain and incorporate elements of my personal aesthetics in my professional work as well.nnAll of these years I’ve been constantly working on personal projects, alongside my commissioned work, evolving the style and the aesthetics of my photographic work.petroskoublis.com Ephemera by Petros Koublis - Exhibition Catalogue Ephemera του Πέτρου Κουμπλή - Κατάλογος Έκθεσης
Curated by Costis AntoniadisnnNowadays digital photographs have lost their physical substance. Whether good, bad or indifferent, photographs in digital form today live in limbo in a virtually unlimited digital waiting room. They wait there for the day of their completion, to become visible in the daylight, to regain a body.nAs contradictory as the choice of the medium may seem, the online exhibition "You Are My Mirror” attempts through a virtual setting to invest these ghostly images with a body and simultaneously to detect the kind of relationship we actually have with them today.nnAn example of this is given by six women photographers, as they compel us to confront the persons they photographed. Children, teens and young women, pose for the camera lens, look at the photographer behind the camera and through them they stare at us. One would expect that their familiarity with photography, would have eliminated all traces of “pose” at the crucial moment that their photograph was taken. This does not seem to happen. In the hands of these artists the magical power of the mirror appears to be flourishing again. How do I look? What do I look like? Do I look as I think I am? Do others see me as I see myself?nThese are all questions that we hold within us from our first encounter with the image of ourselves, the first time we perceived our own reflection in a mirror. It is since then that we seek to reconstruct a confused, incomplete picture of ourselves through the images that mirrors return to us, through the eyes that are staring at us and every person or object that we desire or fear. What is fascinating about the photographic portrait is that a similar impulse directs the photographers’ choices. They take pictures of other people, they capture their glances to fill in their own incomplete picture.nnCostis Antoniadis
When she was twelve years old Nadia Sablin, born in the Soviet Union, left with her parents for the United States. In her work "Together and Alone", the life she left behind takes the metaphysical aspect of a soul sister, a twin sister and friend, which she searches for in her new life and reconstructs through actual experiences. She is looking for her in the pictures she takes, in the detached attitude of children in front of her lens, in their silence and in their gaze that is often turned inwards.n“I see her in the eyes of strangers.” she says “Her gestures overtake theirs for a split second, and she is gone before they know what has happened. With my trap, I wait for her to appear there, and if I'm quick enough, if I press the button at the right moment, none of this will be real. We will be together again, she and I conspirators, sisters, laughers of derisive laughter, whole”.nWith her photographs Nadia Sablin attempts to recover a past that is lost forever and this profound desire pervades the images of children she captures with her camera.nnNadia Sablin was born in the Soviet Union and spent her adolescence in the American Midwest. After completing an MFA degree at Arizona State University, she now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and St. Petersburg, Russia.nHer photographs have been shown at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Wall Space gallery and Jen Bekman gallery among others.
“Both emotionally and physically these people feel like aliens, strangers, freaks” say Olya Ivanova. “They like to change their appearance the more often the better as they want to escape from themselves, hide their real face. So at some point it becomes difficult to understand what they actually are. They practice in transgender, homosexuality, body modifications, pierce and cutting themselves. They prefer to use nicknames and to live in some kind of parallel reality, an intermediate area, which is alien to the geographical divisions and political laws, which is not part of any absolute reality or deliberately invented fiction, but is created by its own rituals and rules of behavior...”nSo who are these persons in Ivanova’s photos, what do they look like without this invented "image - mask" behind which they are hiding? The reason for someone to hide behind a mask or even a pose is that the "behind-the-mask-face" does not exist as a coherent picture. So the image that these young people have chosen perhaps is the only true picture of a person that a camera can and has license to capture. Ivanova recognizes this right and she keeps her camera in front of them as a mirror returning their image intact, square and clear.nnOlya Ivanova (b.1981, Russia) received a BA in literature and worked as a copywriter with global advertising agencies in Moscow. She is a self taught photographer who has been heavily influenced by the work of Alec Soth and Guillaume Herbaut.nOlya currently shoots for magazines including Monocle, Psychologies, Time Out, Russian Reporter and others. Her photographs has been exhibited in Russia and internationally. Works are in museums and private collections.
The faces of the young boys and girls in the photographs by Margo Ovcharenko fill up the entire area of the photographic frame, and while they look like coming closer to us, they remain distant, melancholic, absorbed in themselves. Unfinished and unclear gestures suggest to us that these photographs also depict a relationship, an event or story. But the fragmented narration is such that no story can be completed. Ovcharenko is directing her models without interfering. Choosing the exact angle, the correct frame and shooting when they are left to themselves, she urges us to invade a private space where silence and introspection becomes the refuge of these young people’s generation.n”At 17, I realized what I wanted to get into making portraits was to avoid the effect of pose, to bring out naked a character dressed and catch a look of confidence of a character naked, to obtain the same perception of light and color as it was conceived in paintings before the nineteenth century. I love it when the distance between the subject and the viewer becomes minimum. I love photography that does not transform the subject in order to make it look more or less attractive, although I prefer to slightly blur the temporal and spatial margins around my characters”.nnBorn in 1989 in Krasnodar, Russia. Margo is a Moscow based photographer. Margo graduated from The Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia in 2011, and is represented by Russiantearoom Gallery, Paris.nSelected prints are available through Aperture Foundation, New York.
One could say that Rania Matar’s approach in photographic portrait follows the traditional portrait photography in the studios of late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The backdrop used by the photographer and the objects surrounding the photographed person were chosen to reflect his status, profession or age. Something similar happens with the photos in Rania Matar’s "A Girl and her Room", with the difference that here the decoration is self-made and real. The wall of the rooms where the girls are photographed take the role of the traditional photographic backdrop. Posters and notes are attached on it, shoes and clothes are thrown left and right, all sorts of gadgets, scattered souvenirs of joy or disappointment, reflect the history, character, origin and age of the girls.nn“I initially started this work” Rania Matar says “focusing on teenage girls in the United States and eventually expanded the project to include girls from the two worlds I am most familiar with, the two worlds I experienced myself as a teen and a young twenty year old: the United States and the Middle East.” Similarities and contrasts swhirl in the room around the faces and postures of the girls, in some pictures testimony of coquetry and indolence, and in others of modesty and melancholy.nnBorn and raised in Lebanon, Rania Matar moved to the U.S. in 1984. Originally trained as an architect at the American University of Beirut and Cornell University, she worked as an architect before studying photography at New England School of Photography, and at the Maine Photographic Workshops in Mexico with Magnum photographer, Constantine Manos.nnShe currently works full-time as a photographer and teaches documentary photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She also teaches photography in the summers to teenage girls in Lebanon’s refugee camps with the assistance of non-governmental organizations. Her work has won several awards, has been featured in numerous publications, and exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally.
Two worlds, geographically distant but amazingly similar are described in Rachelle Mozman’s photos from her works “American Exurbia” and “Costa del Este”. The homes where the shootings took place are in areas outside the suburbs of cities in Panama and New Jersey, far from the urban centers. Affluent families that live in these areas have surprising similarities, observes Mozman, in their aspirations of safety and segregation despite been so far apart.n“My interest” she says “ in photographing these children lies in my fascination with the development of identity in children within newly created environments. Both the girls and boys in my photographs are represented in moments where their individuality confronts the limitations of their respective and transforming culture” She also admits that this project is in part a personal exploration related to her own experience as a teenager moving to a small New Jersey town.nRachelle Mozman manipulates skillfully the light. Balancing the interior light with light coming from windows and doors she creates the impression of a clean, sterile and flat space. The rooms look smaller than they actually are, and the presence of children in them creates the illusion that the homes in these communities are built specifically like dollhouses for their privileged children. But in their weird poses we realize that there is something more that Mozman wants to tell us; perhaps that finally children are equally vulnerable there like everywhere in the world.nnRachelle Mozman grew up in New York City, and New Jersey and currently makes work between Brooklyn and Central America. As an artist working in photography and video her practice intersects document and narrative tendencies.nMozman is a Fulbright Fellow and has won several awards and has been exhibited widely. Her works are in museums and private collections. Mozman lives with her husband, musician Caito Sanchez, their son, and cat.
Anna Skladmann’s "Young Adults" explores what it feels like to grow up as a privileged child in Russia. She was raised in Germany but, with both parents born in Russia, she maintained strong ties with this country. In 2000, she went to Russia for the first time, and was impressed by the behaviour of children there. “We celebrated New Year’s Eve at a fancy ball, and there was this table of children all dressed up as little adults,” she says, “Even in their mannerism, they looked like little adults.” Skladmann was then fourteen years old but she has not forgotten this meeting. She returned to Russia as a photographer, seeking to learn what is imposed on these children to make them dress up and behave like adults. This kind of task raises the question whether it is ever possible for photography to grope at something behind the surface of things. The answer as always is given by the photographs themselves. And in Skladmann’s pictures children are presented according to her own perception as masters of a world that already belongs to them. They are photographed exuding confidence, fully aware of their future position in this world. Initially impressed by their maturity and wealth, Skladmann believes today that some of these kids have a tough time living up to their families’ expectations.nnBorn in 1986 in Bremen, Germany. Anna is a freelance photographer that lives and works between New York and Moscow. She graduated with a B.F.A in Photography from Parsons School of Design in 2008 where she studies partly in Paris and New York.You are my mirror - Exhibition Catalogue Είσαι ο Καθρέφτης μου - Κατάλογος Έκθεσης
The first Kythera Photographic Encounters took place in October 2002, bringing together photographers, photographic historians, critics, curators and fans of photography for four days of exhibitions, lectures, discussions and socialising. Held annually ever since, the event quickly became an important fixture for Greek photography thanks to the Conference on the History of Greek Photography which lies at the heart of the Encounters. From the very beginning, the involvement and participation of young photographers has been considered crucial to the Encounters’ success, and every year, one of the four shows held at various sites around the island has been a group exhibition for photographers under thirty living, working or studying in Greece.nnIn 2006, eleven curators and teachers of photography were invited to propose one exhibitor each; at the end of the Encounters, one of the exhibitors would be selected by a three-man jury to receive the first Young Photographers’ award. The winner of the 2006 award was Chara Varsamidou for her sequence “Mirrors”. Thereafter, the Young Photographer’s exhibition was selected from submissions. The award winners in subsequent years were Elena Panouli for “Sincerity of Line” (2007), Marili Papadopoulou for “The Borderline” (2008), Giorgos Moutafis for “Unaccompanied Minors” (2009), Loukas Vassilikos for “Street Red” (2010) and Andrea Shkreli for “Inaccessible World” (2011).nnThose same financial stringencies and the absence of any official support have led the Kythera Cultural Association, under whose aegis the Encounters are held, to partially suspend the 2012 Kythera Photographic Encounters, at least as far as events on the island of Kythera are concerned. Whilst we look forward to holding the twelfth Kythera Photographic Encounters on their home ground once again in 2013, this new link with a world-wide audience by means of an online gallery is one whose value we fully appreciate, and which we hope to maintain in future. Bringing together the radically different work of six such talented young photographers in an online exhibition cannot but increase awareness of the vitality of contemporary Greek photography.nnJohn StathatosnArtistic Director
The people depicted use their bodies silently; they seem to be undergoing real emotional and physical pain. Their dramatic gestures and the symbolic elements suggest that they acting out certain roles. Despite being completely absorbed by their emotions, they submit their gaze, inviting the spectator to view them, to enter into their world. They demand recognition, acknowledgement and response.nnMy intention was to intervene between these two levels of the gaze, to direct their intersection and create the preconditions for an interaction engaging observer and observed in a fluid, subjective relationship.
Her subject is constructed space. The city. The city without the presence of man. The city as the trace of man. Severe, almost uncompromising images. Square format, frontal composition. Constructed space is represented with horizontal and vertical lines, usually with a flattened depth of field. Place remains indeterminate, time is effaced. The sky is not the kind of sky which encourages reverie, simply another slab of geometric colour. The light, too, is frontal, shadowless. When they appear, shadows become an additional geometric feature.nnEleni Maligoura
"I return to my childhood home.nI am suspended on the borderline between the conscious and the unconscious.nI study the house’s history, recall my grandmother’s old stories, try on different roles for myself.nI watch the light fall through the rusty windows, revealing the signs of time past, exchanges between old and new interiors.nI peer into the mirror...
"War, enforced conscription, physical and psychological violence, the death of their parents or simply disastrous economic conditions are only a few of the reasons why hundreds of children find themselves obliged to flee their countries. The journey to Europe is difficult, the crossing of the Aegean perilous. Some of the children make it. Others are lost. In the narrative, the term illegal immigrant always precedes the term child".
"Photographing in the street, you feel like the spectator of a performance directed and staged for you only, that the actors, set, activity are there for your eyes only. Paraphrasing the sign from the Magic Theatre in Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf, the streets are a theatre “for photographers only”.nnAnd you, the photographer, are there to become a witness, a narrator of little stories, snapshots of an invisible performance in which the colour red rules".
Andrea Shkreli’s sequence “Inaccessible World” is the result of a three year-long involvement with the tattoo parlour of Nick and his friends. This is the record of a world literally inaccessible to most people, one whose habits and customs obey different rules. The images arrive unencumbered by captions or explanations.nnSome may recall that, beyond the ephemeral fads of fashion, hard-core tattooing is traditionally associated with marginalised social groups, who try in this way to assert dominion over at least their own bodies. Powerful photographs of a claustrophobic, neon-lit world depicted unsentimentally and without condescension.nnJohn Stathatos
The photographs in the series La Nuit Américaine are the outcome of research into the visual effect produced by ‘day for night’ - a technique that was used in American cinema, specifically in the genre of westerns, as a solution to the problem of night shots. The light of the sun was artificially darkened and consequently replaced by a 'shining moonlight' that eliminated colours, transforming sunny landscapes into faintly-lit canyons, cliffs or hills. The question was whether photographing the Greek landscape using this technique could evoke the aura of the landscapes in western movies. The title of the series is borrowed from the François Truffaut movie La Nuit Américaine (1973) that broadly discusses the artifice of movie making.nnCostis Antoniadis
Born in Athens in 1949, Costis Antoniadis studied Physics at the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki and subsequently photography at the Institut Francais de la Photographie in Paris. He is a founding member of the Photography Centre of Athens (1979-2004) and in 1985 was appointed professor at the Department of Photography and Audiovisual Arts of TEI, Athens. For many years, he has been working as curator and organizer of numerous exhibitions for the Photography Centre, the International Month of Photography, the French Institute, the Benaki Museum in Athens. In 2003 he was appointed as Director of the Museum of Photography at Thessalonica and from 2006 he works as a freelance curator. Since 1979 he has been publishing, and continues to publish articles on critical theory in numerous photographic and visual art reviews. He also exhibits in Greece and abroad, and many of his works feature in individual and national collections.