“Environments Fertile” Thessaloniki

Photography Center of Thessaloniki, in co operation with the Photography Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (Istanbul/Turkey) is organizing the group photography exhibition “Environments Fertile”. In the context of the festival ‘Aspects of Balkan Photography -2016′

5 – 22/2/2016  Exhibition place ‘ΤΑΒΥΑ’, Thessaloniki/ Greece

3 – 30/6/2016  Exhibition Place:”The Red House – Center for culture and debate”, Sofia/ Bulgaria, in the context of 7th edition of the Month of Photography 2016

Participants are: Aleka Tsironi, Ismini Goula, Lilly Zoumpouli, Eva Geromichalou, Nikoletta Aggelidou, Thanasis Athanasiadis, Marina Provatidou, Elena Ganda, Murat Han Er, Arif Emrah Orak, Mert Çagil Turkay, Kenan Ozcan, Elcin Acun.

Curator: Thanassis Raptis

Hard Times
This video is the product of a search for personal through ordinary and everyday events. In the video, while remaining unaffected by external forces, the body’s inert and a temporal state creates a motion within itself. In a similar fashion, forces outside the body do not occur as they naturally should. As a result of this interplay, we are faced with a surreal situation which merges with the self-portrait and attempts to manifest a personal perception.
Elcin Acun

Born in 1982, in İzmir. Graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Academy Photography Department in 2009. While creating conceptual photography projects she works as research assistant in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Photography Department and lives in Istanbul.


SOFT FALLS           The When I fall photo series by Ismini Goula

In Albert Camus’ novel The Fall, the main character, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, takes a night stroll around the floating city of Amsterdam and hears a woman fall into the water. He fails to rescue her; he barely sees her, he barely captures her figure from afar, before she disappears under this wet blanket. The fall continues to occupy Clamence’s mind and the end of the book finds him pondering and ambivalent about what would have happened if he had been given a second chance to rescue her.

Ismini Goula’s photo series When I fall is reminiscent of the splashing sound of a woman diving in obscure waters; images of a recurring memory, at the same time unchanged and different, clear and altered. Time freezes in incidents, objects, faces hiding more than they reveal, welcoming the glance of the viewer in a landscape of exploration and potential, in a spectrum landscape.

In When I fall, time freezes, but nothing stands still. The photographic frame becomes a hazy oasis, a fluid chora, where the past is projected on the future, and meaning –as searched by Camus’ main character- turns into a sequence of riddles and queries. Grays and soft colours open up to a horizon as spacious as a sculpture or a fresco painting.

Very often, when I look at Ismini’s photos, another artist comes to mind; an artist that did not live so far away from the realm of silent time: the Dutch painter Saenredam, who painted grayish, white-washed church interiors; empty spaces filled with promises of a presence. An eclectic analogy, both visual and conceptual, is also evident in the photographic space of When I fall, which is empty and, at the same time, densely filled with human breaths –in this case, our encounter is just a veil away.

Ismini Goula I was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. Since my early 20s photography has captured my interest and drives my creativity. I started to work intensively with the medium, in order to express my personal ideas about the world that surrounds me. I have attended photography seminars, workshops and several times my work was nominated for various awards. I have exhibited in diverse group exhibitions in galleries and public spaces in Greece and abroad. In the winter of 2009 I moved to Berlin to continue my education in photography. I got a master in photo-editing and a diploma in photography. I made some books, some more exhibitions and have met some wonderful people through this process. My photography focuses mainly in the portraiture of people, in the subjective environments that surrounds them but it is also about urban inner landscapes and emotions that I am longing for. It is an unceasing search for the essence of the individual and the contrast between what seems to be and what it could become.

“Whole” is a reaction against the image of the idealized body form brought from the Ancient Greek into our modern lives through mass media. It tries to create images of flesh, which does not necessarily have to have organic completeness. It does not have a dream of a body form that is perfect and flawless in which, a piece of it cannot be removed or added to it. In reverse, it demonstrates that any subtraction or addition redefines the whole.
Elcin Acun


My work’ s theme is self-documentation.
I photograph people of my environment at certain times when
I feel that this moment needs to be captured.
However, there are cases where I stage a photograph in order to portray what I need to express at that time of my life.
I find interest in portraits and depicting situations that I share with others.
In order for me to photograph something or someone, there has to be a sense of connection.
Creating an atmosphere between them and me so that the final outcome will display parts of us.
A mix of selves into one image.
The element of nude in the photographs is intense.
Considering the body as well as the soul, I believe that when people are exposing their naked body in my pictures, they are exposing an inner part of themselves.
Returning to an innocence where we feel comfortable of displaying a self and its own shadows as something natural.
I tend to interpret personal feelings by depicting non-human subjects.
Though no matter the subject I always feel that my work
is about expressing certain emotions.

Lily Zoumpouli (1994, Thessaloniki) started doing photography seminars with the photographic team Stereosis(2010-12). Attended two series of seminars with photographer Stratos Kalafatis
on Studio Tessera(2012). Took part in two workshops with photographers Jacob Aue Sobol (2012)
and Anders Petersen(2014).
Today she is studying Fine Art, Print & Time Based Media Course on the University of The Arts London (UAL) Wimbledon College.
She has taken part in many group exhibition both in Greece and out broad.
On 2011 she had a solo exhibition on MIET’s library displaying the work that got published by Agra publisher.
On 2015 she took part in the Young Greek Photographers exhibition at Mpenaki Museum as part of the Athens Photo Festival.

Nikolleta Aggelidou’ s photos depict a woman’s body full of intimacy and innocence as if it is the highlight of a girl’s play that walks the tightrope of the adulthood’s ceremony.

Nikoletta Aggelidou  (1996, Thessaloniki) has participated as a student in the Student Photography Exhibition organized by Photography Center of Thessaloniki  and has been awarded. She is studying in Fine Arts University of Thessaloniki. She has participated in photography and painting  exhibitions.


Eva Geromihalou photographs familiar faces creating women portraits that don’t lose their innocence and forwardness that characterise the young age of the photographer and model.

Eva Geromichalou Vei  (1996, Thessaloniki) has participated as a student in the Student Photography Exhibition organized by Photography Center of Thessaloniki and in the exhibition called “When the wolf is not here” organized by French Institute of Thessaloniki and has been awarded (2013). She has also taken part in the group exhibitions “Cheap Photo” and “Having their say” (2014). Lastly, she participated in the parallel programme Identalterity of the 5th Biennale of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki and in “Open September”, an exhibition for young artists taken place in Vault Theater in Athens (2015).

Anger is the most delicious food of the self. Will-power disappear when the self satisfied. Weak body takes anger initially using hiding and embedding.
Embedding and mystery push the anger against first in his body and after the other bodies.
A body full of anger now has lost its true meaning. Based on the use of body as protest, created images showing embedding, fear and hiding instincts.
Mert Çağıl TÜRKAY 

Born in 1987 in Istanbul. Graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University,
Photography Department and continues his master degree education. Participated in
many international exhibitions and projects such “International Print Triennial /
Interfaces”, “Realm- Eyes On / Monat der fotografie Wien” and “Mamut Art Project”.
Produces photography, installation and video art projects. Male bodies are
predominantly used as a protest in his photographs. The body became the immediate
object of his works that could be used in a variety of ways, as raw material that could
be manipulated and destroyed at will, and as a medium of potentially expressive qualities that could be systematically formed and investigated. Works as research assistant in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Photography Department and lives in Istanbul.


The phenomenon of life is identical with the freedom of movement and dance constitutes the most direct expression of human body.
On the other hand, the mask, separates an actor from a non-actor, a role from a non- role, as representative of “another” character.
An actor’ s mask is used in order to facilitate his/her communication with the “other”.
Then dance conveys with passion its messages through its “impersonal” mask.
Dance must touch its audience, carry it away and pass its messages in its subconsciουness through body movement.

Thanasis Athanasiadis (1955, Thessaloniki) is an amateur photographer.
Active worked with photography since 1999 at Photography Center of Thessaloniki.
He is also the founding member of the Photography Group ‘’P31’’.
He has participated in 30 group exhibitions in Greece and 1 international at Serbia (ecological reality)
He also participated in many cultular events al over the Greece

3rd Page News
The project concerns things that are found in all of our homes —rope, saws, knives, etc. These are “homemade” murders. Reading the news of the 3rd page is like looking through the “rear window”. Howewer, the terrible things we read in the newspaper that happen to other people are not as far away from us as we think. We afraid what is outside the door, but our home can turn into a crime scene.
Arif Emrah Orak

Born in 1983 in İstanbul. Graduated from MSGSÜ, Department of Photography in 2012. He has attended in numerous national and international exhibitions. Such as; “Le Monde a Travers un Trou D’epingle, 2008”, “Fictions, 2008”, “3rd Page News, 2012”. Currently works and lives in Istanbul.


Marina Provatidou expresses the agony of simple everyday people, in their struggle to survive,  desperation obviously written on their faces, through the heartbreaking cry “Mummy”. Her starting point is the delirium of a woman who blames her mother for her unhappiness.  The tension gradually climaxes, with the appearance of the producer herself in the video, up to the final almost nightmarish exit.

Marina Provatidou (1978, Thessaloniki/Greece) has graduated from the University fine Arts in Athens in 2008 and from the department of printmaking in 2015. She is attending a Master of science degree in Photography at the ATEI of Athens. She has taken part in more than fifty group exhibitions in Greece and several abroad. Her work involves various social issues. She exhibited her work in the 2012 Biennale Berlin. A great number of her photographs have appeared on the official web site of the Berlin Biennale. The theme was the political situation and the protesters in Athens 2011. She has been awarded the third place in the Greek Biennale of the University of fine arts. She has also received an award from the National War Museum. Her work is also included in annual group exhibitions in the Athens subway
Human situation are usually the central theme of her work. Furthermore she has created illustrations for many publications of Poems.

 At this moment, that the first astonishment and wonder have faded, but the affective does not quieten,
the thought stays the same; the immigrants, the refugees, the persecuted are coming, …
to experience and to mess with the borders of tolerance, of humanism, of our democracy.
The times of ignorance have past irrevocably and we are obliged to decide on which side we will stand…

Aleka Tsironi

Born and bred in Thessaloniki, I have been involved with photography systematically  since 2006. My photos and texts have been published in magazines, press and the web. I have participated in several photo exhibitions in Greece and abroad  and I have organized two personal exhibitions. Member of the Photography Center of Thessaloniki.


“Myself” The undeniable coexisting of selfishness and power is outstanding on the video. A stance of the power which has the policy of having everything is symbolized. It could be seen a criticism on power based on the refusal to accept idealize.
Murat Han ER

Born in 1981 in Erzurum. Lives and works in Erzurum and Istanbul. He has earned his PhD from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Photography Department. He has attended in numerous national and international exhibitions. He uses video, digital photography and alternative photographic printing techniques in his
works; brings everyday-ordinary materials into photographic notion, making up persistent meanings between content and form.

Modern day individuals are alienated from situations, spaces, objects that they themselves have created, and even themselves. In my photographs, people are without identity. They exist not with their societal roles, but with their emotions, and they gain salience through their inquiry process. Formative elements like digital manipulation of images, their re-creation through the same textures, utilisation of kitsch items, circular shapes and plain backgrounds all contribute to conveying the concept of alienation

Born in 1983. Graduated from MSGSÜ, Department of Photography, following his education on Economics. His work were shaped by the following concepts such as gender, existance and individualism. Currently he continues his photographic works on architectural and visual documentations in collaboration with various institutions in Istanbul.


Sharing the whole adventure of losing her breast after cancer diagnosis of a beloved person, and having as granted the power of her soul and her lust for life, photographing her was a procedure of casting our demons away, a psychotherapy for both of us.  By being sarcastic to the intense print of the mutilated breast on her body, we exorcize the fear of death and we praise the life. Beyond that, it was a challenge both and an agony for me to try to express all these through my photos.
Elena Ganda was born and live in Thessalonliki, used to love Photography deeply since her youth, in 2008 she became more active attending seminars, lessons, participating in photo festivals and other activities regarding Photography. She is member of Photography Center of Thessaloniki, the Photography group “The klik-ers” and the Photography Club Φ. She has participated in one individual and a lot of group exhibitions.



ΤΑΒΥΑ – 14G, Melenikou str. 14Γ (opposite to the University) Thessaloniki/Greece

Opening: On Friday 5th of February, 2016, 8pm

5 – 21/2/2016. Open from 10am –  2am


Environments fertile

An exhibition place has a reproducing function: it is used in order to express a specific ideology and to support a preset narration. Therefore, an exhibition arrangement reflects the curator’s intentions regarding presenting narration in a specific showing row which indicates the line which visitors are expected to follow. Every exhibition has a story or more to tell, the one the creators want to.

This language looks a lot like the cinema’s, as visiting an exhibition simulates to watching a film, with the only difference that instead of the camera it is the visitor who moves around . While moving around in the space, with the specific presentation of the exhibits, and as the scenes and sequences are unfolding in front of him, the visitor constructs the decoding of the narration he wishes or is able to.

In spite of the fact that the place of the present exhibition hosts-let us say- conventional kinds of art (photographs and video art) it could be characterized as an environment art, because the element of discussion between the works of each specific room has been entered on purpose, in a potential fertile dialogue. The critical factor is the visitor of the exhibition, as he will have to compose a meaning from and through all these. These artistic environments, the more they give meaning the more they produce knowledge.

As far as the selection is concerned, the aim was the tension with gentleness for the desired effect, the creation of a new universe using the materials that were generously offered by the artists. It was inevitable for me to serve a personal vision, a rather self-centered obsession, an almost autistic persistence. We don’t like the world which surrounds us, let us create another one, our own, to fit in and make us feel like being home.

The identification of contemporary man with the wandering emigrant or refugee who struggles to survive of Aleka Tsironi , contradicts to the autistic self confirmation of the “me and no one else” video of Murat Han Er.

The dreamy surroundings with the “all weather” woman body at Elcin Acum’s video becomes the canvas for the development ofIsmini Goula’s images which look like coming out from a tale.

The innocent girly bodies that the 20 years old young photographers Lily Zoumbouli, Eva Geromichalou and Nikoleta Angelidou take, become the counterweight to the heavy like stone, mature bodies of Elcin Acun.

The theatrical portraits of Thanassis Athanasiadis converse with the absolutely calculated and strictly organized portraits of Mert Çagil Turkay.

The intensity emerged by the almost frightening call “mama” through Marina Provatidou’s video, spreads through and almost elevates the staged schizophrenia of Arif Emrah Orak’s photographs.

The hard images of the mutilated, naked woman’s body which breathe out the fear of death and at the same time the hope for life of Elena Ganda, coexist with the men’s bodies with skillful and full of flair cuts of Kenan Ozcan.

The meanings further are let open to these environments and may they will be proved fertile..!

Thanassis Raptis, Photographer                                                                                                                                                                           Curator