Training the camera lens on time

THESSALONIKI – Time as regards history, moments in the memories of family, the memory of events, personal time as well as places determined by time are just a few of the themes of the 34+1 exhibition at the 19th International Photography Meeting. The event’s central theme takes a wider and deeper look at the idea of time through the art of photography. Next year, the International Photography Meeting will become the Photobiennale 2008. Works by more than 100 artists from 26 countries are going on display in 28 art spaces around the city, with time acting as a collective, historical narrative (i.e. «Spyros Melentzis: The Resistance in the Mountains 1942-1944») or the history of a specific theme (an exhibition of photos of cars from the 1944-1964 period), notes Vangelis Ioakimidis, the director of the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography. In other instances, time is reflected in the memory of a short, yet important story (children’s portraits from the Nikos Politis collection, 1880-1950) as well as the comparison between presence and absence (deserted tobacco stores or empty parliamentary halls). Highlights of this year’s event include a retrospective exhibition on Hungarian photographer Andre Kertesz, «Le double d’une vie» (Mirror of a Lifetime), at the Museum of Photography, as well as «Entre deux» (Between the Two) at the Museum of Byzantine Culture, where the «Premiere Heure» collection highlights historical and contemporary works by 20 artists from 1900 to the present. Apart from these two major shows, other exhibitions include «Chronicles of the Absurd,» a group show at Warehouse C at the Thessaloniki port complex, «Timeless Portraits» at the Action Field Kodra, four shows at the Macedonia Museum of Contemporary Art (including Maria Papadimitriou’s «Two or Three Things I Know of Him» and Annelies Strba’s «Shades of Times») and dozens of other points of view from a plethora of artists at museums, institutions, foreign cultural centers and galleries. The displays are complemented by a series of parallel events (music, film and video) and the establishment of the CEDEFOP/PhotoMuseum Award (accompanied by a prize of 5,000 euros). The winning piece will be chosen from among 150 European participants on the subject of work and education. Meetings between Greek and foreign artists and 20 photography specialists have been scheduled in the Portfolio Reviews section. «Our aim is not the ‘exporting’ of local production, but the distribution of photography to international photography festivals,» said Ioakimidis. Also on the program of events is «Photojournalism and Mass Media,» a pilot program in which seven photographic and news agencies along with 10 publications (mainly newspaper supplements) choose a photographic essay they have published in the last two years. The selections will be screened in a film project at Warehouse C.

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