Views on the PhotoBiennale-Logos







  November 2014 – March 2015

The Logos themed PhotoBiennale held by the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography comes to a close with a large group exhibition in the museum itself, including selected works by PhotoBiennale participants and photographers from the Museum’s collection.

    A few words about the exhibition “Views on the PhotoBiennale”

The visitor has an opportunity to discover differing, conflicting but equally fascinating forms of logos in the exhibition “Views on the PhotoBiennale” presented by the TMP, and continuously supplemented for its duration with audiovisual material and interactive applications.

Entering the exhibition space, one encounters selected works by Fouad Elkoury (1952-) from the series Thessaloniki: A Multiethnic Past, which narrates in its own unique way stories from the city’s past. In a particular conversation sharing a common axis, Dara McGrath (1970-) and Brent Meistre (1975-) interact, as their work gives logos a presence where absence reigns: the former’s Edgelands series records the desolate and transitional places at national borders of eastern and central Europe, while the latter’s SOJOURN: Landscape in South Africa 2007-2012 series attempts to photograph a completely blank landscape – incomprehensible, empty of meaning, history or any trace whatsoever.

Heading further, the viewer is confronted with another type of logos, often ineffable and anonymous: on the one hand Gilbert Hage (1966-) with the Anonymes series that pays tribute to anonymity and Yorgos Prinos (1977-) who invites us through the Black series to interpret his work through the condition of shade, and on the other Maelonn (1972-) who through White on White attempts a metaphor for memories that fade, like photographs that grow white as their image disappears. This section is complemented by works of Konstantinos Ignatiadis (1958-) and Eric Bance (1948-), both dominated by the element of self-referentiality.

On the left side of the exhibition space the boundaries between the imaginary and “real” are fluid and the concept of identity seems to occupy the photographers, yet logos is still evident and immediate: the series Icons by Gabriele di Stefano (1981-) deliberately “blurs” faces of political leaders without making them completely unrecognizable, while Kostas Kiritsis (1962-) in Self Portraits invites us on a journey towards discovering his own identity. With them, Daniel Blaufuks (1963-) grapples again with the process of memory, evident also in a work from his Album series, while an emblematic portrait by Ji Hyun Kwong (1981-) from The Guilty series decisively asks corresponding questions about identity and memory.

On the exhibition’s right side, photographers continue a dialogue between personal and collective speech, individual and historical memory: Zeren Göktan (1975-) in her series Black Swan Event photographs chance events in Imbros, and Panayiotis Lamprou (1975-) refers in a personal manner to his grandmother in the series Aristoula. In the same section, Vesselina Nikolaeva (1976-) tells a story of love in her series Yesterday When I Was Little, trying to narrate in diary fashion the story of her daughter’s life from its beginning. Nearby, in a closed space, Athina Kazolea (1958-) in her photographic work Fragments of presence in the Hans of Istanbul presents the khans in present tense ; memory and oblivion serve as tools, while she brings in the forefront the work (ergon), which gives meaning and identity to things.

The viewer encounters also a triptych of works by Anneta Kapon (1950-). Here the photographer creates manifestations of logos allocating and weighing the “weight” of the visual and verbal realms, as stated in the explanatory text. In the series Nicosia International Airport by Andros Efstathiou (1974-) the viewer experiences the evolution of the Nicosia airport from a symbolic building to something more human and personal.

At the exhibition’s end, the artists work combine logos with image and sound: Thodoris Zafeiropoulos (1978-) takes part with the installation titled Please Participate Me. Here his photographic works are presented in a novel way, accompanied by a video projection of 10.000 still images that transmit verbal statements in the form of scrolling subtitles. Nikos Markou (1959-) in his video Life Narratives presents everyday people recounting dramatized traces of life, as two printed portraits of his – showing the individuals present in the video – look us straight in the eye asking questions about human existence.