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In between memories and the future October 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Stanko Abadzic’s photos of Prague are exhibited at the Artower until October 18

Originally a biennial festival, the Month of Photography was launched in 1987 by the Hellenic Centre of Photography. Its main goal was to promote Greek photography, as well as the art galleries that supported the event by offering their space free of charge. At the event’s prime, over 50 exhibitions would be hosted in public spaces such as the Zappeion Mansion and the Athens Municipality’s Cultural Centre.

But financial problems dogged the Month of Photography’s development, and after a modest appearance in 1991 it ceased its operation altogether, only to make a comeback as an annual event six years later. As of November 2008, the Month of Photography will take the form of an international biennale.

between_memories_and_future.jpg  This transition is implied in Between Memories and the Future, the title of the 14th International Month of Photography, already underway with over 30 shows around Athens. The choice of title by the Hellenic Centre of Photography’s Director, Stavros Moressopoulos, also suggests an encounter between old and new, tradition and innovation, the past and the future.

The nostalgic mood that every end, and new beginning, brings is captured in two shows: the Voyage in Greece exhibition, at Ersis Gallery, until October 2, which pays tribute to the Camera International photo publication of 1989 by bringing together the work of 15 contemporary and 5 older photographers; and New Greek Photographers- The Early Years, at Ios Arts Space, until October 9, which revisits photos that were first displayed in the 1987, 1989 and 1991 Months of Photography.

A crash course to this year’s show, Welcome, at the Athens “Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport, until December 31, features 35 photos from all the 25 galleries hosting exhibitions. Late US photographer Francesco Scavullo has immortalised established stars from the realms of fashion, beauty, music, theatre and film, at the Herakleidon Museum, until December 2, while British photographer Aravella Plouviez’s Deviant Women, at the Mavromichali 55, until November 2, questions stereotypes and social norms. Liberty Polyzou’s Portraits, at the Artower Erato Gallery, until October 18, combines the photographer’s pictures of distinguished 20th century artists with her own portraits taken by her models.

Another portraitist, French photographer Didier Ben Loupou, at the Cats & Marbles, until November 10, presents pictures of the old Jerusalem city’s residents,- their faces reflecting the violence and pain that come with war.

Architecture, topography and city life are recurrent themes in several shows. In his epic work Nights on Beyoglu at the Artower-Clio Gallery, until October 18, Turkish photographer Timurtas Onan has come up with nocturnal snapshots of city life in the Istanbul neighbourhood of Beyoglu. Atmospheric photos of Prague, taken in black-and-white by Croatia’s Stanko Abadzic between 1998 and 2002, are displayed in the Artower’s Laboratory until October 18, while Nikos Pilos takes a walk through 15th century hammams in Cairo and Istanbul, at Lili Frangaki Art and Design, until October 10.

Other highlights include the photo shows that focus on the historic landmarks of New York City, at the Hellenic American Union Galleries, until November 3, the crumbling buildings of the Belleville neighbourhood in Paris, at the French Institute Bistrot, until October 22, and the war-torn Darfur in western Sudan, at the Artower Ourania Gallery, until October 18.

Parallel events include an all-day commemorative celebrations, at the French Institute, October 10, complete with educational programmes, lectures, screenings and happenings, and A Photographer’s Ethics, at the French Institute Auditorium, October 31, a joint event of screenings and discussions led by photographers Yannis Behrakis (Reuters), Nikos Pilos (Zuma Press) and Lefteris Pitarakis (Associated Press).

The 14th International Month of Photography’s full programme is available from the Hellenic Centre of Photography, 15 Tsami Karatassou Street, tel 210 9210545, or on the net at > www.hcp.gr

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