Κυριακή, 24 Αυγούστου 2008

“FAITH - Places and Manners of Worship”

...in the frame of Athens Photo Festival

Photography Center of Thessaloniki is participating with an exhibition, under the title: “FAITH - Places and Manners of Worship” , in Athens Photo Festival www.hcp.gr (former International Month of Photography). The opening is on the 30th of October,2008, in Tsichritzis Visual Arts Foundation, situated in a marvellous old building in Kifissia, Athens.

Participants are:

Matteo Danesin (ITL), Miya Ando Stanoff (US), Guillermo SrodekHart (ARG), Jan Van Ijken (ESP), Nermine Hammam (EGYP), Patrick Brown (THAI), Toledano Philip (GB), Marco Ambrosi (ITL), Janek Markstahler (GER), Paula Muhr (GER), Dimitris Prokopiou, Stefania Mizara, Basilis Karkatselis, Stavros Dagtzidis, Thanassis Raptis, Argyris Liapopoulos, Efthimis Mouratidis, Dimitra Ermidou, Avraam Pavlidis, Giannis Chologounis (GR), Florence Messager (GR-FR).

The exhibition “FAITH - Places and Manners of Worship” is the outcome of a long-standing effort to explore faith and the way it can be rendered in terms of cross-cultural photographic time.

Many artists in the history of photography traced, documented or analyzed through their images, this eternal power or weakness of man. Still, nowadays, for a large number of creative artists, this is not enough. We know things we never knew before, we conceive inconceivable situations, we sense globalization, all in spite of our inner immutability. The language of the medium has changed and so have our expectations regarding art, the ways in which a photographic work is met and perceived by the public, our concepts about the coexistence of different elements; thereby, the way we talk about faith and worship, the way we photograph it, have also changed.

The way and the extent that the spirituality of the fixed photographic image is involved in the spirituality of any faith is a primary feature of this exhibition. Transcending the already known through desire for a future integration of the transaction, results in actions and defines manners that, despite their singularities, have much in common regarding art and worship of the divine.

In this exhibition documentary and documentation photography coexist with scenographed, conceptual and pictorial photography. What is manifested is the intention of the artists to blend traditional with contemporary elements: the given elements with questions that may be generated, the eternally impulsive with the documented (and therefore dead) present, the respect for the principles of others and the undermining of those principles.

The insatiable curiosity of the creative act crosses the complex and manifold ways of expressing faith and worship, as a means to be grateful and explore what lies beyond man, and therefore, beyond photography.

Matteo Danesin (ITL), born in 1971, has opted for an emotional approach in his study of the religious rituals and festivals of the African Pentecostal community of Verona. These Africans have found a relatively easy way into Europe, combining faith, the finding of employment and immediate obtaining of the necessary residence papers. The intermediate link is represented by the orders of monks and missionaries who work in their birthplace, Africa, attempting to make converts. Without any attempt to hide behind his lens, the photographer demonstrates that the Africans’ embracing of the faith was not a conscious fraud designed to help them secure a visa.

Miya Ando Stanoff (USA) presents her audience with minimal landscapes, landscapes of meditation and prayer, landscapes which have no message – these are not photographs of something, but the thing itself. Stanoff’s images are not representations of sky, sea or land; they are not landscapes of the real and do not challenge us to identify them with a particular place, an atmosphere, a situation or time; they do not even evoke or refer to anything specific. These photographs are neither colour nor black-and-white, but landscapes of another Orient – Zen landscapes. Is the spectator reflected in the work? Is there any place for him in this transcendental universe? Is this a place to relax and meditate?

Guillermo Srodek-Hart (ARG), born in 1977, has made the main focus of his work the innumerable offerings, all coloured red, to be found all across Argentina – left at shrines to the country’s contemporary Robin Hood, Gauchito Gil, who deserted from the army because he refused to fight against his own fellow citizens. On the day of his execution all sorts of strange events occurred, interpreted as miracles, powerful enough to transform him into a folk hero.

Jan Van Ijken (NL), born in 1965, takes photographs of Easter celebrations among Catholics in Spain. Holy Week is marked with services in which the faithful wrap themselves in shrouds, wear painted cowls and touch one another with the heavy statues and crosses they carry in their hands. The service, a centuries-old tradition in Seville, only ends with the setting of the sun.

Nermine Hammam (EGYPT), born in 1967, photographs the Ashura, in which the Shiite Muslims of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain honour the memory of the struggle to the death, many centuries ago, between the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed. On the day of commemoration they flagellate themselves with chains and sharp instruments – the self-inflicted pain being a proclamation of religious faith.

Patrick Brown (GB/THAI), born in 1969, records in his photographs a vegetarian religious ceremony which takes place each year in the south of Thailand. The celebrants honour their gods by placing their hands in the fire, piercing their bodies with needles and inflicting on themselves other forms of suffering.

Toledano Philip (GB), born in 1968, offers a visual representation of the hopes and anxieties of contemporary America, in a challenging and caustic commentary on the lifestyle and morals of a country riddled with contradictions.

Marco Ambrosi (ITL), born in 1959, seeks to photograph the West African immigrants of Verona, who find their way to Italy with the assistance of the Pentecostal Church. He makes arrangements beforehand with the congregation, drives up to the church in a van and arranges an armchair (always the same one) in a little makeshift studio. As soon as the service is over he invites the congregation one by one to assume a pose they feel comfortable with. All are apparelled in their Sunday best, and the photographs highlight the imposing dignity of these worshippers.

Janek Markstahler (GER) has for years now been observing the religious practices of members of various faiths (all of them – and this is no accident – sharing many common features), their uses of sounds and objects in their worship of the supreme being.

The crowns of thorns, rosaries, crosses on chains around the neck, the robes of monks and vestments of priests and the painted sculptural compositions we find in the work of Paula Muhr (SER/GER), all these integral features we associate with the interior of Catholic churches are photographed in a way which seems to bring us closer, in a mysterious way, to the faith and piety of the devout.

Dimitris Prokopiou visits the houses of friends and acquaintances and photographs them in front of the little household shrine, a little corner of a room where icons of the saints rub shoulders with photographs of their youth, of distant relatives, children and grandchildren. He depicts ordinary interiors which have been transformed into places of devotion, adorned with images of familiar faces, weary and worn with the daily grind of life.

Stefania Mizara has taken photographs in three villages of Macedonia where the ritual of the firewalkers is still observed. Rooted in the ancient Dionysian rites, sanctioned by Saints Constantine and Eleni, the ceremony is performed by barefoot villagers walking across red-hot coals, endlessly chanting the phrase Stacht’ na yen… stacht’ na yen…

Vassilis Karkatselis (born in 1952) is going on with destruction of the ‘holy’ elements of the photography image. He destroys the specific place that has been photographed, and the decisive time of the image in order to create a new ‘holy’ time, place and image, an out of the reality image. His work is as for a unique sculpture. He is working beyond the boundaries of the medium.

Dimitra Ermeidou creates images that refer to religious visions. Actions of suffering, with known religious symbolisms are revealed in utopian settings, where the element of the inexplicable and transcendental is evident. In her work, concepts such as Sin, Good and Bad, Sacrifice and Punishment dominate. Each artwork is an autotelic episode, in a research for the eclectic kinships between faith as human behaviour and the individual’s mental outlook. The final question is placed on this basis: what is the deeper relation between religion and psychology?

Stavros Dagtzidis, born in 1948, photographs one of the biggest religious festivals to have survived in Greece, the festival of Aghios Simos in Mesolongi, which takes place each year in June. Large numbers of the faithful congregate for the festival, among them many Gypsies from all over Greece who bring their children to be baptized, to renew old vows and make new ones.

Thanasis Raptis, born in 1962, is fascinated by the saintly qualities of ordinary, simple, innocent people who, in the midst of life’s many trials and tribulations, ascend their own Golgotha - but without ever losing their decency and integrity. His message is that all these simple souls are worthy of the halo of the saint – and ventures himself to crown them with that very halo they deserve.

Efthymis Mouratidis, born in 1961, helps us to trace the divinity which lies inside each of us, through the shadowy form of an X-ray. What lies hidden beneath our clothes, in the inner recesses of the mind? The simple symbols of faith (crosses, charms, stars of David, writings of the prophet, and so on) are elevated, shrouded in a special atmosphere – the result of the distortion imposed by the requirements of the medical procedure. The awkwardness of the patient before the merciless, stainless steel surfaces of the machine is transformed into a mysterious and sensual beseeching.

Argiris Liapopoulos presents the dance of "whirling dervishes". Turning towards the truth, the dervish grows through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth and arrives to the "Perfect,". Then he returns from this spiritual journey as a man who reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation, to all creatures without discrimination of believes, races, classes and nations...

Abraham Pavlidis holds a special place in contemporary Greek photography. Photography is a natural extension of his keen interest in travel and his desire to record the places where people work, worship and live their private lives – places charged with memory and tradition.

Yiannis Hologounis photographs the festival at Aghios Nikolaos in Halkidiki, known as “the eikonismata”. The custom, its origins lost in distant antiquity, is also encountered in other parts of Macedonia. It takes place immediately after Easter and is accompanied by special services and prayers for a good harvest.

Florence Messager (GR-FR) uses photography and painting, in entirely abstract terms, to express the deification of the high priestesses of the contemporary cinema, both Greek and foreign.

Πέμπτη, 3 Ιουλίου 2008

Porto Valitsa, Paliouri, Chalkidiki, Greece

13 years events under the title «Near the sea» in Porto Valitsa

Vassilis Karkatselis «Time Portraits». Photography exhibition until the 17th of July,2008

Thanassis Raptis "The Fauna of my country". http://raptisthtexts.blogspot.com/ Photography installation until the end of September,2008

In Porto Valitsa, Paliouri, Chalkidiki, Greece.

Τρίτη, 1 Ιουλίου 2008

Photography exhibition "Taste 4 Arts" in " The Earth Festival of Vlasti"
From Thursday 10th until 13th of July,2008

A co- operation of Photography Center of Thessaloniki with Les Amis du Vent, Legambiente and Ecotopia.

Participants are:

Garter Fulford
T. Minaretzi

The Earth Festival of Vlasti in Kozani is an attempt to resist to the levelling off and homogenization of art, culture and entertainment. It is an alternative ethnic festival that will take place from 1 to 13 July 2008 under the auspices of the Community of Vlasti and with the support of Ecotopia Ltd. Greek and foreign artists will take part in a multicultural feast whose objective is to highlight the positive existence of differences among peoples and support the coexistence of cultures. Moreover, it is a public awareness campaign about the importance and the protection of the environment.

The Earth Festival is an established national cultural event, an alternative summer option attracting the interest of all those who seek something different. More than 50,000 visitors have attended the festival since 2002, over the 35 days of culture.

It encompasses activities for children, music, paintings and other conjectural arts, ecological movies, shadow-theatre, environmental education, outdoor activities, seminars, speeches about sustainable development, exhibition of the work of Environmental Organisations, etc. More specifically, some of the events that will take place are:

• Festival of ethnic and jazz music, with emphasis given to young musicians. Well- known groups and musicians will also participate.
• 3-days cinema festival which will present ecological films and documentaries.
• Performances of traditional "Shadow Theatre" and training workshop on this specific technique.
• Exhibition (stands and festival events) of the main environmental NGOs of Greece.
• Events on environmental education organised by the Environmental Education Group "VIDRA".
• Mountaineering (climbing in Mt. Siniatsiko) and hiking activities, in co-operation with scientists who will present the fauna and flora of the area.
• Lectures and slides presentations on natural environment (rare animals and birds that inhabit the area), on history and other issues, ecological or not.
• Acquaintance with the local products (cheese, pies, etc.) as well as with organic food items.

There will also be events of the Taste4Arts European programme which is dedicated to food safety, a very topical issue.

Σάββατο, 24 Μαΐου 2008

International Meeting of Photography Centres in Almeria (Andalucia/Spain)

Photography Center Of Thessaloniki participates to the First International Meeting of Photography Centres

in Almeria (Andalucia/Spain)

The primary aim of the First International Meeting of Photography Centres is to share knowledge and experiences among 20 photography centres from all over the world. The event, a pioneering project in Andalusia, Spain and the world, will be hosted by the Andalusian Centre of Photography, which belongs to the Andalusian Department of Culture (Junta de Andalucía).

Vassilis Karkatselis and Thanassis Raptis represent Photography Center Of Thessaloniki in the Meeting, which will be held in the Mediterranean city of Almería (Spain) on 30-31 May and 1 June 2008, at the Andalusian Photography Centre’s facilities and the Almería Museum.

Approaches: First International Meeting of Photography Centres, consisting in a photography exhibition and a publications exhibit, as well as a presentation of a publication of the same name will take place during the event. This parallel activity will remain open to the public at the Andalusian Centre of Photography until 13 July 2008.

Official languages will be Spanish and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided.

Participating countries:

Australia (Australian Centre For Photography); Brasil (Instituto Moreira Salles); Canadá (Canadian Museum Of Contemporary Photography. National Gallery Of Canada); Colombia (Fotomuseo. Museo Nacional De La Fotografía De Colombia); Cuba (Fototeca De Cuba); Egypt (Contemporary Image Collective - Cic); Slovakia (Central European House Of Photography); España (Centro Andaluz De La Fotografía); France (Montpellier Photovision); Greece (Photography Center Of Thessaloniki); England (Photofusion); Israel (The Open Museum Of Photography Of Tel Hai); Líbano (Arab Image Foundation); México (Centro De La Imagen - Ciudad De México); Perú (Centro De La Imagen - Lima); Portugal (Museu Da Imagem); Russia (Moscow House Of Photography); South Africa (Bensusan Museum Of Photography. Museumafrica); Switzerland (Musée De L'elysée); Venezuela (Centro Nacional de La Fotografía De Venezuela).

The photographers selected to represent the Photography Centre of Thessaloniki

The photographers selected to represent the Photography Centre of Thessaloniki during the 1st Meeting of Photography Centres in Almera, have plenty of common characteristics and many differences.

The first condition was the transferability of the work; it couldn’t be an installation, or a massive work, but a flat work which could be transferred by the supervisor of the exhibition without the presence of its creator being necessary. Secondly, these works should show off the mood for play and pleasure which characterises the photographers working for the Photography Centre of Thessaloniki, to demonstrate the need for research and coexistence with the other side, and to display the non predominance or non adherence to one aspect of photography.

All of them are active members of a public debate in Greek society on the new form and the new content of photography. They are first line creators of what we call Contemporary Greek Photography Stage, interested in experimenting, and they have something interesting to offer both to the audience and to the photographers. Each of them represents a different kind of reflection and attitude towards photography. They are all (5) interested not to produce nice images, but images with spirit underlining the thoughts and the content.

Eythimis Mouratidis uses photography as a mean to comment on the changes covered by the exaggerating exposure and publicity, presents the face of a man in everyday life, the photograph after Rottela, after decoupage. He invents the accidental, but not at all by accident. Photographer’s goal is to write down the hidden implications of his fellows' acts.

Vassilis Karkatselis, in the specific project, deals with the capacities of the photo frame to include or exclude any totality of real world. His photography is on the verge of minimal with main axe the palimpsest walls. On the time of the photo frame is always presented the result of the coexistence of another graffiti action with the story of the sublayer, of a wall.

Thanassis Raptis, with traditional prints, but contemporary printing, composes a political photography which deals with the absence of the contemporary creator from social life, sometimes even from the same piece of art. The multiple takes on the same photo paper annul the unidimensional view of the world, annul the perspective of Renaissance and the camera, and annul the supposed fundamental principle of photography about the critical moment.

Stavros Dagtzidis with his work comments on the limits of intervention or the co-creation of the audience of a piece of art. What are the limits of the freedom of the audience to explain according to its opinion the presented work, what are the limits of its creative transformation by the descendant artists? To what extent are we allowed to look at a work without taking into account the framework of its creation?

Ismini Goula is a new photographer, and, as a young person, is charmed (or is she protesting against it?) by the colossal commercials (almost pieces of art) that cover (or coexist in a marvellous way) the equally colossal skyscrapers, which in sequence cover the horizon. One photography in another photography, a frame in another frame, a message in another message, the location towards another location, the question resulting from the answer.



Τετάρτη, 30 Απριλίου 2008

Time Portraits - Photobiennale 2008


Photography Centre of Thessaloniki participates in the concurrent programme of the 1st PhotoBiennale of the Photography Museum of Thessaloniki with the group photography exhibition "Time Portraits".

Artists: Diego Goldberg (ARG), Vassilis Karkatselis (GR), JK Keller (USA), Raj Nair (IND), Thanassis Pallas, Thodoris Tziatzios, Giorgos Chatzakis(GR)

Curator: Thanassis Raptis

Place: VLASSIS ART.COM Gallery

Duration: 15/04-15/05

Co-organization: VLASSIS ART.COM / Photography Centre of Thessaloniki

Photographic projects dealing with the issue of time through portraiture
are presented in this group exhibition, “Time Portraits”. It is about an
original production that attempts to explore some of the new
components in the art of photography as addressed by artists in the first
decade of the 21st century: new technological developments, new potentials
in accessing photography, and a global network at home to be used by everyone,
are the tools that stimulate changes in the creators’ means of expression.
Famous, celebrated Greek and foreign artists present,

each in his own way, how they face time and the traces left by the passage of time.

The exhibition is an original production attempting to explore some of the new components in the art of photography in the way this is dealt with by new artists in the first decade of the new century: new technological advancements, new possibilities when accessing photography and a world-wide network at home for use by everyone are the tools bringing about an alteration in the language of expression of the creators.

The Photography Centre of Thessaloniki has chosen works representative of these trends by well-respected artists, both Greek and foreign, who each on their own way deals with time and its passing and the markings it leaves not only on the body but also on the mind and the soul of man. The works are made up of visual constructions and installations, interactive multimedia presentations, video showings and of late internet-based visual explorations.

Diego Goldberg in his work “The Arrow of Time” presents pictures of himself and his family taken during the time spanning from 1976 to the present day while Raj Nair having stated the influence of Goldberg on him has been taking pictures of his family for the past seven years. We tracked down the photographers through the Stumblevideo website.

JK Keller in ''Living My Life Faster: 8 years of JK's Daily Photo Project'' takes pictures of himself everyday on the same spot for 8 consecutive years and projects these pictures like a movie with a rapid alternation of the images accompanied by music. The alternations in his facial expressions are impressive. We picked this photographer from the YouTube website.

Vassilis Karkatselis presents 600 portraits from the field of photography or plucked from obscurity. Our friends are a part of our own reality and so are their photographs. But whose reality is the fleeting projection of an image on the wall?

Yiorgos Chadjakis and Thodoris Tziatzios present their photographs in 3D video form using the techniques and aesthetics of the Matrix movies (the so-called “time slice” effect. The opinion that photography freezes or rather condenses time is quite prevalent. In this work, the moment is stretched to the “mythical” time of 8 seconds.

Thanasis Pallas presents the work “IMAGE” (The Image That Sees- Multimedia installation). The Spectator approaches an Image-Screen realizing that the Image represents his digital mirror-image and that within unfolding events faces such as his own appear.

Thanasis Raptis
Photographer- Curator of the exhibition “Time Portraits

Πέμπτη, 27 Μαρτίου 2008

Green Spaces

Prizes of the International Photography Contest

Few days ago was completed the selection process of the prizes for the international photography contest with the subject: “Green Spaces”. In the contest participated 80 photographers. The jury panel gave 3 prizes and 4 praises and was selected 70 photographies of 45 photographers, that are going to be presented in a dig photography exhibition, which will take place in the former Paulou Mela Camp in Stavroupoli – Thessaloniki, during the manifestations for the International Day of the Environment. The inauguration ceremony of the exhibition will be held in 4 June. The jury panel, which was consisted of three members: Mr. Dimitrios Paschalidis, Vice-Mayor of the Stavroupoli Municipality in charge of Cultural Affairs, Mr. Yannis Tsalikidis, Professor of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Agronomy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and one accomplished photographer from the Photography Center of Thessaloniki, Mr Efthimios Ioannidis selected the following photographs.

1st prize

Aleka Tsironi from Thes/niki “Thessaloniki – 05/2007”

2nd prize

Dr. Teodor Radu Pantea from Roumania

Christo’s World 2”

3rd prize

Giotopoulos Vaggelis from Preveza “flappings “

1st praise

Robert Semnic

from Serbia

«Gracile Concrete»

2nd praise

Olga Tzimou

from Athens

«paint the town green»

3rd praise

Konstantinidis Michalis from Serres “Sidirokastro”

4th praise

Giavis Konstantinos from Athens “Athens”



Παρασκευή, 1 Φεβρουαρίου 2008

“Axios – Ludias – Aliakmonas Deltas: an uknown treasure”

International Photography Contest
Subject: “Axios – Ludias – Aliakmonas Deltas: an uknown treasure”
The Authority for the Management of the Protected Area of Axios – Ludias – Aliakmonas Deltas and the Photography Center of Thessaloniki, aiming at highlighting the mentioned protected area and raising environmental awereness on its ecological values, proclaim an international photography competition with the subject “Axios – Ludias – Aliakmonas Deltas: an uknown treasure”.
The photographers are invited to visit and photograph the area which extends to 320 sq.klms and consists of the Axios and Aliakmonas Deltas, the Gallikos and Ludias Estuaries, the Kalohori Lagoon and the Kitros Saltmarsh. The area is protected by European legislation (is a member of the Natura 2000 network) and international conventions (Ramsar Convention). Its wetldands provide the locals with irreplaceable natural resources and the fauna and flaura with a hospitable haven. More than 200 species of birds can be observed here, many of which rare or threatened.
No technical, colour or other limitations are set by the organizing committee, the contestants are invited to impress with their personal look.
Terms of the contest.
● Participation in the contest is free. Any professional or amateur photographer may submit photographs, with no discrimination whatsoever.
● Any interested individual may enter the contest with a portfolio, single photographs or a series of photographs.
● All images should be submitted (by post or in person) only at the following address:
Foreas Diahirisis Delta Axiou – Ludia - Aliakmona
Halastra ,57300
Thessaloniki, Greece
(To the attention of: Photography Contest)
Submission deadline: 31-08-2008 (postmark)
● The jury panel shall consist of representatives of the Authority of Management and of the Photography Center, and of one accomplished photographer.
● The judgement of the jury panel shall be final. No objection or other claim shall be accepted.
● Each photograph must be printed on paper size of at least 20×25 cm. At the back of each photograph (even if it is part of a series) the following information should be written: title of the photograph (if any); location where the photograph was taken; the photographer’s full name, address, phone number and e-mail address (if any). Also, for the needs of the catalogue, the photographs should be sent in digital archives of the same size, in resolution 300 dpi.
● Languages: Greek, English
● The submitted material shall not be returned.
● The images to be selected by the jury panel shall become the main part of a large photography exhibition that will be initially
presented in the city of Thessaloniki and subsequently in other locations inside and outside Greece. The first exhibition of the photographs shall begin in the first week of October 2008.
● The expenses for the exhibition of the images shall be borne by the organizer.
● At least 60 of the prize-winning photographs of the exhibition shall be included in a luxurious catalogue / album, which shall be sent to all prize-winning photographers.
● 13 of the photographs shall be included in a 2008 calendar to be published by the Authority of Management of the Protected Area of Axios – Ludias – Aliakmonas Deltas.
● Additional prizes shall be announced very shortly. The prizes shall be awarded at a special ceremony.
● The contest results shall be announced on the internet and made known to all participants.
● The copyright of the catalogue and calendar belongs to the Botanical Garden of Stavroupoli. The copyright of the individual photographs belongs to the photographers.
● All works may be used to publicize the contest and its goals in any medium and in any manner. The contest participants are not entitled to any remuneration whatsoever.
● Participation in the contest means the unconditional acceptance of all terms referred above.

Authority for the Management of the Protected Area of Axios – Ludias – Aliakmonas Deltas -
Photography Center of Thessaloniki