Recorded Memories – Europe. Southeast

Photo: Andreas Tsonidis

Photo: Andreas Tsonidis


20 March – 19 May 2015 / Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki & Army Warehouses

Opening: Friday, 20 March 2015, 20.00

The Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography announce the opening of the exhibition Recorded Memories – Europe. Southeast, on Friday, 20 March 2015.

The exhibition features works by twenty-two artists from eleven countries in Southeastern Europe, who address various aspects of collective memory, places of memory, different cultures of memory, as well as the role of image in these processes. With the use of photographs and videos, the artists examine through their works the ways with which the past continues to be present in this particular region of Europe that has been marked by conflicts, hostilities and wars. The exhibition brings together artistic works that present very different historical narratives and, beyond that, different uses to which the camera can be put: as a device for producing matter-of-fact recordings or biographical accounts, for subjective documentation or historical analysis or as a means of capturing the vestigial traces of an action.

This large exhibition was curated by Constanze Wicke, who collaborated with curators and institutions (such as the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography) from the eleven participating countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldavia, Rumania, Serbia and Turkey).

The artists participating in the exhibition are: Hassan Abdelghani/Croatia, Ana Adamović/Serbia, Jelena Blagović/Croatia, Pavel Brăila/Moldavia, Michele Bressan/Rumania, Marianna Christofides/Cyprus, Iosif Királi/Rumania, Panos Kokkinias/Greece, Milomir Kovačević, Bosnia-Hersegovina, Nikola Radić Lucati/Serbia, Nicola Mihov/Bulgaria, Erhan Muratoğlu/Turkey, Ştefan Sava/Rumania, Stefana Savić/Serbia, Sašo Stanojkovik/Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Predrag Terzić/Serbia, Andreas Tsonidis/Greece, Peter Tzanev/Bulgaria, Žaneta Vangeli/ Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Sandra Vitaljić/Croatia, Vaggelis Vlahos/Greece, Fani Zguro/Albania.

According to the curator of Recorded Memories – Europe. Southeast: “The title of the exhibition carries with it the idea that there is a substrate, a medium that can record memory or assimilate it. The photographic film is, in fact, a “sponge” that soaks up the visible and traps it as the past. But memory is an organic process, one that is subjective and irrational, and far more complex than a simple matter of retrieving a stored past or pressing the shutter. Record!”

The thematic arrangement of the exhibition offers a variety of perspectives from which one can view the works on display. Some approaches are defined by their theme, others by the artistic attitude of the artist, while others by the medium they make use of. The diversity of uses to which photography can be put becomes evident only when the viewer takes a comparative overview of all the works on show.
Perhaps, it is the split-second fragmentariness inherent in the nature of photography and film that connects many of these different approaches together. And this regardless of whether the artist is working with found images or using the camera to document and produce new images. The “fragment” of recorded reality is either the starting point for a wide range of artistic “excavations” of the past or the articulation of a perspective that sets up an opposing view to confront official historiographical interpretations.

The selection of the works is based on the proposition that the camera media of photography –photography, film, and video– have a special relationship to the past and are important means of conveying individual rituals of remembrance and cultures of collective memory. This “recording gaze” transforms the present into the past and yet a narrative is always needed to give these fragments a point of view. In this sense, the artists are not far removed from historians, who organize the sources of the past and translate them into a story.

The exhibition Recorded Memories – Europe. Southeast is the result of an initiative by the Goethe Institut in collaboration with the Museum of Photography in Braunschweig, where the exhibition was originally on view before it started its tour through the eleven participating countries.

The publication accompanying the exhibition includes the works by the artists and texts. Authors /Curators:
Alexandra Athanasiadou / Irina Cios / Dr. Konrad Clewing / Nadezhda Dzhakova / Vangelis Ioakimidis / Xenia Kalpaktsoglou / Dr. Suzana Milevska / Ana Panić / Başak Șenova / Slaven Tolj / Yiannis Toumazis / Branka Vujanović / Constanze Wicke