Monday, December 17, 2012

Athens Photo Festival 2012 (II)

Athens Photo Festival 2012
-part II-

This is the second part about Athens Photo Festival. You can find the first part here.

Anders Petersen / City Diary

I’m a kind of diary photographer. I try not to take pictures as I see them, but as I feel them. I’m interested in imperfection.”
Anders Petersen

Since the 1960s Anders Petersen has been documenting life beyond the margins of polite society, a world including people in the street, prostitutes, transvestites, alcoholics, night-time lovers, inmates in Swedish prisons and adult conflict. Petersen photographs his subjects with a candid somewhat detached eye, and is able to disclose unpleasant realities with a sense of bewilderment and currency.

City Diary is a series of photos showing Petersen’s ongoing photographic engagement with life in the shadows in cities including Stockholm, Tokyo and St. Petersburg.

Christian Vium / Clandestine

I did not die – I was not living either!
Try to imagine, if you can imagine,
me there, deprived of life and death at once.’  Dante Aligheri, Inferno, Canto XXXIV:25-27

Clandestine is a story about life and death. It is the story of men who risk everything in order to provide a better future for their families.

The project Clandestine is an ongoing documentary project about clandestine migration from West Africa to Europe. It is a photographic account of the long and perilous journey, undertaken by young african men, through the vast expanses of the Sahara, across the hostile waves of the ocean and into a foreign continent, Europe.

Nicola Lo Calzo / Morgante

Morgante tells the story of people sharing a common denominator: being dwarfs. During the XVIth century in Firenze, one of Cosimo I de Medici’s favorite court dwarfs among his five was Braccio di Bartolo. Ironically nicknamed “Morgante” in reference to Luigi Pulci’s eponym poem which narrates the adventures of a giant, he was represented in the taste of the contemporary “monstrum” iconography. Portrayed in a painting by Bronzino as well as in a sculpture by Giambologna, the dwarf Morgante is shown deprived from his individuality and humanity. Throughout the centuries, appearing as an idea, an archetype, the figure of Morgante progressively became the scope through which, the “human family” saw its own diversity.

Stephen Dupont / Raskols – The Gangs of Papua New Guinea

Curator: Sam Barzilay

Crime in Papua New Guinea’s capital Port Moresby, in Oceania, is rampant. The city is plagued by a 60 percent unemployment rate and chronic poverty hence its reputation as being one of the most dangerous places in the world. According to the Economist, the city is the least livable city on earth. Much of the violent crime is committed by young gang members known as “Raskols”.

Giacomo Brunelli / The animals

Giacomo Brunelli has been looking hard at animals. His focus is not on the framed and caged exotica of zoos but on the ordinary animals that remain with us to some extent: horses, dogs, cats, chickens, pigeons. He shows us a fox, looking sharply at the camera and poised to flee, and there are numerous birds, a snake and several toads, but this wildness is small and fragile, living in the familiar liminal space where manmade and natural meet and overlap. His animals inhabit farmyards, cobbled streets and the facades of stone buildings. There are no tigers here.Brunelli’s animals are often composed only of suggestive fragments. His spare black and white images are attuned to the nuances of a moving mane, a silhouetted whisker, a highlighted, almost illuminated wing.

Greek Reality / Vangelis Georgas, Louisa Gouliamaki, Aris Messinis, Myrto Papadopoulos, Angelos Tzortzinis

Today Greece is experiencing a great crisis –probably the greatest ever; not only a financial crisis, but also a social and a cultural one. Signs of recent violent clashes that marked the Greek society are still apparent in the prevailing atmosphere of the city of Athens.

The photographs in this exhibition, show outbursts of violence, destruction, mass gatherings, embattled police-squads, beatings, “Molotov cocktails”, burning buildings and reveal a condition that causes distress and embarrassment for the new reality and the foreseeable future of Greek society. Apart from all that, the pictures nettle the viewer’s emotions & will and convert them into a theatre of the absurd.

Ester Vonplon / Waiting out the rain

Rahovec / Orahovac, Kosovo – Spring

For hours we played soccer in the fields outside the town. And the walks, taken aimlessly throughout the hilly landscape. On these walks the children told me stories, the stories of the masked men, the men that fell on the town, the ones who fell on them in the night.

Sometimes, after, the women of the family would invite me for a cup of coffee in their home. And drinking mocca from the cups, reading fortunes from the coffee grounds left behind… We laughed, we danced, we sang. I still visit this same Roma family which lives as a minority in a serbian enclave of a town protected by UN-KFOR troops. But this state, newly founded in 2010 didn’t improve the situation of the minorities in this country; for them it is still not cause for celebration.

The people like the ones on my photos are perhaps like the millions whose lives are shaped by this contemporary struggle for existence. The exercise of their powers is limited, for their children and themselves to secure any livelihood… They fight just to survive. But in their eyes is not despair but the power of life itself.

For me those photos stand for the power of human existence itself, an everlasting mystery that fascinates me as an artist. They go beyond place and time of creation. Moving so to speak, between the passage of time, the document… The picture itself.

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