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Used photographs 1985-2013

16 April 2013 / 22:04:30  GRReporter
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"Used photographs" is a photographic exhibition by Kostis Antoniadis that the Benaki Museum in Athens will house from 18 April to 26 May this year. It presents photographs of urban and natural landscapes, portraits and abstractions collected in the period 1985-2013. They express fragmentary images of the city that explore the feelings, the desires and the experiences of the photographer over the years. The exhibition is divided into eleven parts that reflect the various stages of Antoniadis’ work.

"Used photographs" I, (1985-1986)

The first section of the exhibition includes photographs that show the history of Athens in the period when it was chosen as European Capital of Culture. Antoniadis submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Culture to create an exhibition of modern Greek photography in the relevant period by presenting it on large billboards around the city instead of closing it up in a gallery. 28 years ago, the government officials from the Ministry of Culture did not accept his idea but he still completed the project, albeit in a different form. The photographs are of medium and large size, the white blank canvas on the background of the Athenian beaches prevailing as a metaphor for his exhibition unrealized in 1986.

"Photoset" (1989)

The section "Photoset" consists of six different parts and presents a mix of photographs in the context of generally accepted social stereotypes. The themes are walk, gossip, visit, reverence, prayer, alms.

"Used photographs" II (1989)

The focus is on models, mainly young people, against the old ruined buildings in Athens. The figures fit in the space in an unusual way and Antoniadis copies the structure of known historical works of art to create his compositions. Thus, "Used photographs" takes on not only a conceptual but also a literal meaning.

"Four pictures" (1991)

This section includes four full-length and life-size portraits with references to Orthodox iconography. Modern is combined with classical orthodoxy to seek a new expression of spirituality.

"Corridor" (1991)

"Corridor" is inspired by the Greek neoclassical friezes, covering the inside of the Propylaea at the University of Athens. This section presents 16 young men and women against the background of the eternal classic Greek friezes.

"Truths and lies" (1991-2013)

This section consists of three parts, which present the photographer in person. The first section "Black photos" (1991) includes family photographs from the analogue era that Antoniadis has copied and enlarged, without processing the original material. "Notebooks" (1995) presents digital photographs of his parents posing or captured without posing, of his brother and himself. The author devotes the last part of this section to "Family ghosts" (2012), which are in a style inspired by the 19th century.

"Secrets" (2012-2013)

Here Antoniadis presents the bodies of young models bearing the stamp of minimalism and nudity on the background of authentic manuscripts. The contrast between modern and old and faded is a deliberate effect.

"Collection" (2012)

"Collection" focuses on glass plates from the personal collection of the photographer, in combination with portraits and models. These are digitally faded studio photographs.

"Male and female characters" (2012)

A studio session has transformed the characters from classical tragedies, operas, theatre plays into faces of models. Busts of familiar characters such as Shakespeare's Othello and Euripides’ Helen are looking at the modern world from the photographs.

"Maps" (1998)

Landscapes are dominant in the photographs in this section, expressing a feeling of remoteness. Kilometres of roads, local stories, numbers, plates and other items are in the focus of the lens, telling the story of inanimate objects and forgotten desires.

"American nights" (2010-2011)

Antoniadis uses the day for night technique, in which a blue filter creates a feeling of dusk in the middle of the day. The title is taken from François Truffaut’s film "La Nuit américaine (1973), which focuses on how films give life to the artificial, even the false. With the help of the digital technology, the photographer has changed the colour depth and the brightness of the landscapes captured on the islands of Naxos and Tinos and the Mani peninsula.

The exhibition will be presented at the Benaki Museum on 138, Piraeus Street in Athens. Ticket price is five euro and 2.5 euro for pensioners, students and young children. The museum is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tags: Nine musesExhibitionGalleryBenaki MuseumAthens
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