CULTURE

Photos old and new enliven Thessaloniki

Snapshots, landscapes, portraits from the past and present, scenes from daily life and extraordinary photomontages will be adorning the city of Thessaloniki for the next two months as Photosynkyria enters its 18th year. The annual international event, organized by the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography in collaboration with numerous other cultural bodies, will feature 74 artists in 29 exhibitions at 22 different venues. The theme this year, selected by Iraklis Papaioannou, is «The Photographic Document: Aspects and Transformations.» At a recent press conference, the curator explained that the theme was selected due «to the fact that documenting events seems to have been the destiny of photography ever since its birth, because of its ability to depict the external aspect of the world with incredible precision and descriptive force.» In contrast to this theory, the event also includes a section titled «Post.Doc,» in which artists from around the world use technology to alter, or simply tweak, the external aspect of the world. The advent of digital technology, says Papaioannou, has «over the past few years, thrown into something of a crisis the conventional faith in photography’s ability to serve as a direct reflection of reality.» Photosynkyria 2006 also aims to highlight the medium’s historical dimension with a retrospective on Greek photographer Voula Papaioannou (a Benaki Museum production), a selection of works by Aris Papatzikas, a display of photographs from the Public Power Corporation’s archive, an exhibition of works by Nikos Kouloukouris on the social dimension of Cycladic architecture in the 1960s and a journey through Thessaloniki in the 1970s with photographs by Stergios Tsioumas. To help foreign visitors to the city find their way around the event, the organizer’s will be putting out a daily, bilingual English-Greek newspaper for the duration of the event, which will be distributed free of charge throughout the city and is available online at the Photography Museum’s website. For information, visit www.thmphoto.gr.