All participants will have a 10m2 exhibition space, a 25 days long presentation time frame and they are going to showcase either one work or an in situ installation. The purpose of these short exhibitions is to work closely with selected artists that, besides their importance to the program of Callirrhoë, play a significant role in the contemporary art scene either in Greece or internationally. Nikolas Ventourakis and his work „The sound is never instantaneous to the flash“ will be the first presentation of the series.
The artist explores within the medium of photography the ambiguity of the image and the relation (in-)between generations. With [discontinued] instant film Ventourakis seeks to capture conclusive portraits of individuals grouped together. How does the collective narrative shape the personal narrative and the other way around?
The time period shown starts essentially with Ventourakis year of birth in 1981 and depicts 30 portraits of artists born in the following decade until 1991/1992.
While the portrait is being taken, Ventourakis is out of sight, hidden behind the object which captures the time. The portrayed artists in front see only themselves in the big lens, reflecting a sense of a generation, their very own story. The spectator looking at the image is confronted with implications of an expired instant film, a fading insight of what appears to represent belonging. The depicted image is not only a documentation of time but leaves space for the imaginary, the constructed narrative behind each individual portrait. How would we position ourselves in front of the lens? Nowadays, within the flood of digital imagery taking an instant film appears like stopping the immensity of time. We hold on for a brief moment and see ourselves. Taking a portrait is more than depicting individuals, it is about the fascination of the self and self-identity, which is inherently human. William James distinguishes the self in the context of consciousness between the “I” and the “me”. The “I” is understood as the recognizing subject, which is aware of the objective “me”. Within the process of taking the instant film, the artist sees their reflection in the lens of the camera and is aware of themselves from an outside perspective, always taking into consideration that Ventourakis is present but not visible.
Ventourakis started the series by taking his portrait himself.
Experiencing not only the sensation of recognizing oneself but also the used materials. The question arises of how do we perceive ourselves and how do others perceive us? Entering the exhibition, first the spectator is confronted with only Ventourakis self-portrait. He situates himself as a form of origin, not only because of the chosen period but also as the artist using himself to try out a new approach within his practice. Just like during the process of taking the instant film, one’s sight is blocked at first. A wall separates the photographer and the images of the 30 portraited artists, like the camera did before. Moving forward, as a spectator we don’t see our reflection in the lens of the camera but in the eyes of the portraited. Who do we lay eyes upon now, who would it have been in the 1980ies and who is it going to be in 2060? The transiency of materiality and body becomes visible in form of the expired instant film.
Exhibition: The sound is never instantaneous to the flash, Nikolas Ventourakis
Exhibition Duration: 15.03 – 18.04.2023
Address and contact:
Kallirrois 122, Athens 117 41, Greece
Callirrhoë. Located close to the Acropolis of Athens, Callirrhoë is an independent exhibition space for contemporary art. It connects and reflects art and society by offering a platform for artists, thinkers and everyone interested in participating in the relevant discourses of the here and now. Living in an era of change, there is a plethora of terms that are taken for granted. Questions like who they are; who we are; and who gets to be the narrator of our times; are resurfacing. Living in alienation and marginalization- terms which are differently conceived by each person- is definitely not an easy task to undertake. The scheduled activities are going to revolve around these issues and aim at reinforcing our understanding of how society is affected by art, how art enhances a collective way of thinking and how memory could be formed through it. Founded in November 2020, Callirrhoë is run by Olympia Tzortzi.