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At the end of Europe

10 December 2011 / 18:12:47  GRReporter
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How is the European identity determined? What are its borders and what do they determine until their end? In an attempt to find answers to these questions photographer Pavlos Fysakis went in 2006 following the trails of the four geographic ends of Europe: Gavdos Island - the southernmost point (Greece), the Finnmark area - the most northern point (Norway), the Ural Mountains - the easternmost point (Russia) and the town of Sintra - the westernmost point (Portugal). The journey lasted two years and in addition to the geographical pursuits it also contains aesthetic ones.

The result of these searches is presented in the exhibition «Land Ends. Pavlos Fysakis», which will be opened on Tuesday 13th December, at the Benaki Museum (the building on "Piraeus" St.) and will be open to visitors until 29th January 2012

Through this exhibition we are not only travelling to unusual and faraway places, but also meet "the people from the ends" in their daily lives: the «strange» Russian scientists and artists who left their country to settle on the island of Gavdos, Rafik who lives in Kurmanovo near one of the most radioactive places on the planet, Dima, who is a contemporary worker in the former gulag in Vorkuta, Rune, a fisherman in the North Sea, and Maria Joao from Sintra, who explains to us that the word "sodade" means the «feelings of loneliness, which arise when one looks at the endless ocean and wishes for someone to come  and visit him».

The exhibition, which includes 24 photographs, is a coproduction of the Museum of Photography in Thessaloniki, the Embassy of Norway and the Norwegian Institute in Athens.

As the art critic Laura Serrano notes in her book, "Pavlos Fysakis’ work reflects a new way of documenting and researching, and is part of a new kind of photojournalism that is far from topical issues in order to pay attention to the stories of everyday life. Linking the evidence and the story with a personal perspective, expressed through colour, Fysakis takes part in the re-discovery of the traveller’s and landscape photography and away from the clichés of postcards or of the great classic reportage."

The poetic, silent and often surreal photographs of Fysakis are a series, which was awarded in 2008 by a 24-member jury from all around the world at the PhotoBiennale in Thessaloniki. In 2010, the eponymous bilingual edition titled «Land Ends. Pavlos Fysakis »was awarded as the best Greek photographic album.

Part of the series was presented at the International Festival in the French city of Arles (in the summer of 2008) and at the Month of Photography in Paris (in October 2008). In 2010 the series was presented at the PhotoBiennale, organized by the Museum of Photography in Thessaloniki and at the Crete Museum of Contemporary Art in the city of Rethymno. In 2011 it took part in the Festival «Circulation (s)» in Paris. Works from the series are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Photography in Thessaloniki and in private collections.

Tags: Photographic exhibition Pavlos Fysakis Land Ends Benaki museum
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