Pho­tog­ra­phers cre­ate ‘un­of­fi­cial his­tory’ of Greek debt cri­sis

Kathimerini English - - Focus - HARRY VAN VERSENDAAL

“De­pres­sion Era,” a show of 250 photographs that opens to­day at the Pireos Street an­nex of the Be­naki Mu­seum, doc­u­ments the far-reach­ing im­pact of Greece’s bru­tal eco­nomic cri­sis on the coun­try’s ur­ban and so­cial fab­ric.

The works pre­sented in the ex­hi­bi­tion, which also fea­tures a few video in­stal­la­tions and a big col­lage com­pris­ing cutouts from print me­dia re­lated to the cri­sis, are by the De­pres­sion Era Project, a col­lec­tive of more than 35 lo­cal pho­tog­ra­phers, writ­ers, cu­ra­tors, de­sign­ers and re­searchers. The pho­tos were shot over the past four years.

The show, which runs through Jan­uary 11, in­cludes works by Panos Kokkinias, Spyros Staveris, Pav­los Fysakis, Dim­itris Micha­lakis, Eirini Vourloumis and Yian­nis Theodor­opou­los, and has been cu­rated by Pet­ros Babasikas, Pav­los Fysakis, Yor­gos Pri­nos, Dim­itris Tsoumplekas and Pasqua Vor­gia.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day, or­ga­niz­ers said that the project aims to doc­u­ment the so­cial, his­tor­i­cal and eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion cur­rently un­der way in the debtwracked na­tion as a way of cre­at­ing an “un­of­fi­cial his­tory” of re­cent de­vel­op­ments. Among the ob­jec­tives set out by the col­lec­tive is to ques­tion the main­stream belief in progress and hu­man im­prove­ment.

While per­sonal styles may dif­fer, a sense of gloom, de­feat and dis­con­ti­nu­ity runs through most of the 250 images on the walls of the Be­naki. A non­de­script dystopian cityscape, a half-fin­ished home, a cen­tral Athens street scarred by a rowdy protest rally, a sub­ur­ban villa be­hind a closed metal gate, con­trasted against oc­ca­sional flash­backs to the 2004 Olympic eu­pho­ria and the days of ir­ra­tional ex­u­ber­ance.

“The project was in­spired by the need to forge a new nar­ra­tive amid all the noise cre­ated by the Greek cri­sis,” Fysakis, who mas­ter­minded the project, told jour­nal­ists.

Parts of the project have al­ready been show­cased at the Bozar Cen­ter for Fine Arts in Brussels, at the Mois de la Photo in Paris, the Pho­toBi­en­nale of the Thes­sa­loniki Mu­seum of Pho­tog­ra­phy, and the Ebros theater squat in Athens.

The De­pres­sion Era col­lec­tive and the KOLEKTIV8 non­profit group which sup­ports it were founded in 2011. The cur­rent project is funded by the Stavros Niar­chos Foun­da­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.