12/1 -19/2/2015, Casa Bianca/Thessaloniki/Greece
Over a five-day workshop in a small village in Greece and under the guidance of Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol, 21 emerging photographers interrogated their ideas of what ‘Home’ looks and feels like.
Organised by the Photography Centre of Thessaloniki
Curated by Jacob Aue Sobol and Sun Hee Engelstoft.
Participants are: Manos Chrissovergis, Michalis Kalaitzakis, Lilly Zoumpouli, Ariadni Pediotaki, Andreas Paradissopoulos, Eleni Onasoglou, Thanassis Karatzas, Panagiotis Skalkotos, Christos Vatalachos, Dareos Khalili, Panos Arvanitakis, Dimitra Chatzipavlou, Thanassis Raptis, Efthimis Mouratidis, Vassilis Karkatselis, Dimitris Simeonidis, Nikos Kotzampasakis, Sakis Dazanis, Maria Kappatou, Georgia Panakia, Loucas Vassilikos.
When I started this project in Lafkos village, I thought this was almost impossible to be done. The people were total strangers to all of us but thank God they were so hospitable and they accepted us in their homes and in their lives for the short term of the workshop. This way, entering in their homes and in their lives, we tried to find elements of our life, our vision of the world and finally our HOME. Jacob, during the workshop, pushed all of us to our edge. Being on the edge it is the time to free your mind and make a leap of faith.
It was then more clear what HOME meant to us, there in a faraway place that we have never been before in our lives, than doing this project close to our real home. Most of us, we believe that HOME is a place that we sleep at nights, that we have our personal belongings, a place that protect us. Now I believe that HOME is my memories, my feelings, my fears and my hopes but also the place inside my mind that makes me feel nice, secure and warm, the place where my friends are, the place where I can make new friends.
Welcome to my HOME
Andreas Paradise andreas-paradise.com/
Subtraction of color, interruption of a linear continuum of instants,discontinuance of existence, annihilation of place.
My photographic word is a journey back in time, to my earliest memories, to an endless exertion of keeping time frozen, toward a future that looks like it ends up in the beginning.
My inspiration comes from stills of life, forms and past time gazes which slip by. Whatever motivates me leads me mechanically in replicating a vicious circle for an experiential reminiscence of the past and revival of emotions.
“We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life”Nikos Kazantzakis, The Saviours of God: Spiritual Exercises, 1923.
Eleni Onasoglou elenionasoglouphotography.gr/
Workshop at Lafkos village in June 2013, by Jacob Aue Sobol under the title HOME gave me the motivation to go further with this project including photographs of my family, my hometown and photographs I take while making lonely trips driving my car in the country, which is my favorite thing to do when a have the time.
Nikos Kotzampasakis www.kotzampasakis.net/
It’s about places that recall memories from my childhood
that have been transformed in my adulthood.
It’s about people I am fond of.
About their uncertainty. My uncertainty.
The intimacy, the unknown and the vanity.
The loneliness and the hope for change.
The stoicism and vulnerability with which we accept what happens around us.
After a lot of experimentations, on June of 2013 during the workshop with Jacob I was lucky enough to come close to what photography is for me.
I want to create images that tell a story, that they look like a film frame.
I select people that I feel close to and places that reflect human absence in a way that can be connected with the portraits and create a story.
Panos Arvanitakis panosarvanitakis.com/
What I try to achieve through my photos is an attempt to re-develop the world and through it to show my own reality, the way I understand whatever surrounds me through everyday’s life and sometimes through the lives of others. My work is a view at life through time and place, through the man and the city he lives in.
The basic principle of my work is the observation of the world through my personal perception and away from an epidermal and realistic approach. Color is one of the key elements of reality, of everyday’s life. The absence of color in most of my photographic projects, allows the viewer to enter the world that I create and to seek deeper than the obvious.
Photography for me is to invent my own language through my lens, a way to express myself. Dealing with photography started because of this need, the need to express thoughts related to myself and those around me and the camera is the means to achieve this. It is a tool with which I impress expressions, feelings, thoughts and fears not only mine but also of my subjects on whom I choose to focus my lens. Among the concepts that I deal with is the family, human portraits, and the dipole of the memory and remembrance. The works of family and individual portraits focuses on the depiction of emotional states (pain, fear, longing, sadness, innocence) as well as of my personal concerns
Lucas Vassilikos lukasvasilikos.com
The idea of home is a primitive one; it concerns everyone whether consciously or unconsciously. For me home is a concord between myself and places and people where I feel safe. When I feel safe I am at home. No matter how far I am from my literal home.
Photography comes in my life, most of the times, when I cannot handle reality, when I don’t feel safe. It comes as a medium/way to reconnect myself, to help me comprehend, to help me accept or hide from reality, to make me feel safer. And a few times it comes as a proof of an experience.
This project is an attempt to represent Home, or the absence of it.
Ariadni Pediotaki flickrock.com/anadelta
I deal mainly with people choosing religious issues and political realities. The projects I do are the result of a literature study on any matter that concerns me, trying to evolve anything preexists. Mostly my photos are cerebral. After the workshop in Lafkos and my contact with Sobol, I started trying to see my feelings – through the images I create.
My latest project refers to psychologically disturbed individuals in psychiatric clinics and the attempt they do with their rehabilitation groups. It’s my view on my own “HOME”, for my country and for that this time is going on here.
Michalis Kalaitzakis www.mixaliskalaitzakis.com
What is a home? Is it the place where you live or a shelter for your feelings and emotions? And how does it look like? Is it an apartment or is it as Hugo said, a home looks just like the person who inhabits it?
In a bidirectional journey between emotions and experiences, these photos are an amalgamation of the photographer’s own view and reality.
In this clearly personal and many times painful procedure, sometimes the photo captures the photographer and all is left is the examination of the result.
Efthimis Mouratidis efthimismouratidis.weebly.com/
At the workshop, Vassilis Karkatselis started collecting nice photographs, always according to the daily thematic schedule that the teacher had placed. As he says, he let himself to the challenge of guidance and game, of turning the lens and the interest of his existence to subjects that he didn’t interested about, until then.
In an environment with no other responsibilities and obligations, the collection of images looked like an – under judgment- pleasant monologue. Till the last day, when the target changed, when it was understood that the final presentation of each photographer’s harvest should be a story like a novel, a narration with beginning, action, middle and end. That was the point which gave the totally different character of his choice of the 45 images for the final Lafkos portfolio.
Eleonora Pantazi karkatselis.weebly.com/projects.html
Our home is where we feel that we are swimming in familiar waters. Either with our nearby persons, or with strangers, the feelings are thesame… Home can be out of apparently familiar places, even prima facie improper ones. I photograph better, when I feel like my home. I photographed situations, which would oblige other people to run away. I saw what does ‘home’ mean for other photographers and my mouth fell open! Eventually our home is ourself and our projection to others and that’s what makes us unique!
Thanassis Raptis raptisth.webs.com/apps/photos/
Home is a term that exists in between every present and past, every presence and absence of a place, a person, a feeling, a moment.
Ιt’s when you lose yourself in a way that makes you aware of who you are. It’ s the sense that carry under your skin
and not what was already there.
A place that you keep feeling nostalgic of even
if you have not found it yet.
The constant search for a destination.
The chaos in which you choose to wonder.
Lily Zoumpouli lilyzoumpouli.com/
I capture images from the everyday life, images that contain rawness, life,intimacy,erotism. Most of them were taken during the last five years. When I take photos I am trying to be close to my subject, even if I dont have already “met” it – in fact photography for me is a way to approach people, to gain new experiences, to know myself better. I prefer taking part into the experience of taking pictures than observing from a distance.Some photos depict objects and plants but most of all I love taking portraits of people into their own places.
Manos Chrisovergis www.mchrisov.gr/
Photography is a part of my daily life. Everyday life offers us surprises that turn into interesting images through the photographic frame. This obsession to discover and to emphasize the trivial is the aim of my photographic thinking.
So the photography window remains “open” all day keeping my motivation.
The idea of “HOME” could be related to a traveller, the sea and even a parking lot or a garbage dump and is a project that is going on continuously since its presence and power is given.
Sakis Dazanis sakisdazanis.com/
“Home” is an imaginary journey from nowhere to everywhere.
Each instant, a dérivé, an expedition, a tiny miracle.
Looking, means, Touching.
the edge of the leaves on a naked shoulder
the rain on a bus window
a bunch of wildflowers
I touch each and everything that drags away with it the threads of souls and I weave narratives of love, loneliness, isolation, abandonment, joy, sorrow, delight, emotion, life’
Georgia Panakia www.flickr.com/photos/-molly-/
Photography allows me to define meanings somewhat differently than what i am used to in the practical vocabulary that i use like all of us in our everyday lives. The house is defined spatially and most of the time according to familiar “coordinates” such as objects, people and many more. But, carrying your body and thoughts day by day and having the possibility to express yourself through moments that can fit inside a rectangular space i came to understand that my home is not at all connected to the things that i use daily, in fact it is not related to anything that i “use”. The home for me is our sexuality, our skin and the instant touch that hides in the end of our each move. At any time you share your eroticism and host the feeling of your lover it’s like your body transforms into a place that is ready to receive.
Dimitra Chatzipavlou www.flickr.com/photos/60328209@N05/
Home is where the mind rests.
Whatever makes you remember your identity..
When you forgive yourself for loosing it,and reminiscing your true existence..
Home is where the soul belongs..
and your spirit demands to return..
Maria Kappatou www.flickr.com/photos/mariakappatou/
Photography is the way that I can express all I feel and think in my everyday life. I think that the idea of Home is not a simple one ; It is tied to who you really are, true emotions, true circumstances. Τhis project is a starting point for me to find it.
Photography serves as a means of communication in my never-ending journey of acquiring intimacy. My work is about the silence that precedes the storm, the subtle stare, the burning sexual desire and the imaginary love. Through portraiture I approach my subject and steal a fraction of its personality. I, consequently, reimagine it and present it as my own. In that sense, I like to think of my work as a form of self-portraiture.
What is home, really? Don’t we all, consciously or subconsciously, try to answer that in our personal journeys? Is it a condition? A state of mind? Is it our own, personal freedom? Well, the question alone is more important than the answer. Jacob Aue Sobol helped me unlock my instinct and let my intuition take control. That is the one precious contribution his workshop made in my practice.
As long as you’re searching you’re in the right track. This project is a self-portrait, a projection of myself in a personal, metaphorical fairy-tale that strives to connect with a viewer, maybe more. Who knows? As long as we all try to define our own home.
Dareos Khalili http://www.dareoskhalili.com/ http://cargocollective.com/dareoskhalili
The workshop at Lafkos triggered the beginning of a joint effort. What is the meaning of home to each one? So I followed my “photographic” path. To me home is the feelings of joy and sadness, the agony shown on the face, on the body. The lines of the buildings, the geometry that surrounds us, even the alienation from people we see every day.
Home, is not a space, a place or something materialistic. Is an idea, an environment , a state. Is where a naked self of yours is a part of a place in time.
Thanassis Karatzas www.flickr.com/photos/54741102@N05/
where is home? is it the place where we were born, walked for the first time, grew up, fell in love, dreamed looking out of the window, stayed for studies?
a place that drowns you, cheers you up, depresses you, relaxes you. a place where friends gather around filling it with laughter and smiles. a hug, sleep tight, dinner with the family.
Panagiotis Skalkotos flickrock.com/pskalkotos
Home is a place of memories. It is where we have our roots. It is a place we keep returning to. If we want to learn more about ourselves and the world we live in, this is where we look – in our own backyard. The place where our personality is shaped and dreams are build.
Two years ago I began my own Home project.
I found two pictures that inspired me. The first taken three years ago of my twin brother putting his hand on my grandmothers forehead as she was dying, and the other of Sabine’s sister giving birth in Greenland back in 2002. For me the obvious existential character of these two images started off this project called Home. And so, since April 2011 I have been photographing friends, partners and acquaintances, but also encounters with strangers that I felt a connection with, and who invited me inside their apartments or houses.
In my workshop in Lafkos I gave the artist the same assignment or inspiration. Photograph your Home in a village you don’t know and where you have never been before. Show me what Home means to you. Not how it looks like but how it feels. The project turned out amazing.
In the process the artists did not only use their camera to take pictures, but also as an instrument to create intimacy and closeness in a poetic and direct way. In spite of photography’s seemingly concrete form they exposed layers in people that are not immediately visible, but nonetheless shape who we are and give meaning to our lives.
This is their Home.
Jacob Aue Sobol
Photography Centre of Thessaloniki is a non-profit organization running for the last twenty years in Thessaloniki, Greece, Balkans, Europe and lately across the world.
In Greece, Photography Centre of Thessaloniki all these years became known especially due to the long struggle for artistic photography and of course, through the exhibitions and other events (street happenings, school guided tours, intervention with articles on press and others).
Since mid 2000 decade, the activities of Photography Centre of Thessaloniki are expanded across world through its involvement, as founder member, to Photofestival Union and World Union of Photography Centres.
The participation of Photography CentreThessaloniki in these international constitutions-networks is significant, as Greek Photography and Greek theoretical view about photography is placed at the same level with all the cooperating ones.
Photography Centre of Thessaloniki has also become known in the Balkans during the last fifteen years, due to the development of collaborations and exchanges with individual photographers, but also with all the important institutions and festivals (museums, universities, galleries, photography centres, and photography festivals) that foster the photography in the Balkans through events under the name “Aspects of Balkan Photography”.
Photography Centre of Thessaloniki in its new form exists to establish an international forum for exchanges and quests through image and photography form.
In order to succeed it:
Depends on the general principal of artistic photography education, simultaneously to the audience and the photographers.
Supports by all means photography as art, part of a wide field of interaction between arts and society.
Works for the development of a powerful dialogue about art and photography, what they deal about and how they are expressed about any kind of crossing opinions, techniques, characteristic expressions and contexts.
Organizes exhibitions (individual and mostly group thematic ones) of Greek artists wherever they are invited to, (multi-art and interactive, if possible), aiming to the prominence of Greek artists and their work in Greece as well as abroad.
Produces mixed exhibitions (of Greeks and foreigners ) aiming to exchange experiences, get acquainted with today’s contemporary European spirit and create individual and collective bonds, which further in the future they will release Greek Photography to international horizons.
20.01.2015, 17.00′ – 20.00′, Masterclass, at City Hall of Thessaloniki. Free entrance.
21.01.2015, 16.00′ – 20.00′ Portfolio Reviews at ‘P31′ Gallery, 31, Papamarkou str, Athonos square/ Thessaloniki. Please contact for priority.
(Jacob Aue Sobol answered to Thanassis Raptis’ questions for the art magazine ‘Film Noir’)
How did you chose “Ηome”, as work topic in Lafkos workshop?
Two years before I had started my own Home project. I found two pictures that inspired me. The first taken three years ago of my twin brother putting his hand on my grandmothers forehead as she was dying, and the other of Sabine’s sister giving birth in Greenland back in 2002. For me the obvious existential character of these two images started off this project called Home. Since 2011 I have been photographing friends, partners and acquaintances, but also encounters with strangers that I felt a connection with, and who invited me inside their apartments or houses.
In my workshop in Lafkos I gave the artist the same assignment or inspiration: Photograph your Home in a village you don’t know and where you have never been before. Show me what Home means to you. Not how it looks, but how it feels. Why? Because Home is where we have our roots. It is a place we keep returning to. If we want to learn more about ourselves and the world we live in, this is where we look – in our own backyard. The place where our personality is shaped and dreams are build.
Which were the special features that the group of Greek photographers of the workshop had, comparing with audiences around the world?
I think the Greek photographers had many things in commen with photographers of other workshops I have done around the world, which is the wish to use photography as a tool to express your inner life and the intimate relation to your surroundings. But at the same time I felt closer to this group than many others, because of the degree of tension and vulnerbility I felt within the group. It made me feel safe, it made me feel at home. I identified with and got inspired my the passion, chaos, irrationality, anxiety and love the group was expressing and putting into their work.
Which difficulties did you meet in continuing the project after the workshop and in organizing the exhibition?
Being physical apart from the people you are working with is always a challenge. You loose the closeness and intimacy that you felt, when you were together as a a group. But I did my best to connect with the work again, to spend time with it and try to feel and understand the voice of each photographer. On the other hand the distance can give you an other perspective of things, and to bring in Sun Hee as editor was also a way to put fresh eyes on work that I already felt as being a part of. Her view gave the selection and the exhibition a new life and a new strength.
Last years you are in demand and you work worldwide. What else do you schedule for 2015;
I have a lot of plans for 2015. First of all I will publish two new books “The Gomez-Brito Family”, which is my early work from Guatemala when I lived with an indigenous family in the mountains. The other book is Arrivals and Departures a travel by land from my childhood home in a suburb to Copenhagen and all the way to the East Coast of Russia, Mongolia and Northern China. Its is the first book of the quatrologi Arrivals and Departures East, West, North and South. I will also have a number of exhibitions – until now planned in Milano, Paris, Sète, Sao Paolo, Seoul and New York.