CULTURE

Photography venue with Soul

A new space that fills a void in the field of photography was welcomed by photographers and a small yet enthusiastic crowd committed to the medium. The gallery focuses exclusively on photography and is the first of its kind in Greece to do so. It is a small and charming space located in the heart of the city’s historic center, on Evripidou Street. However, while Lightroom shares the same space as the Soul bar-restaurant, it bears no resemblence to those art bars that use photography as a mere background. The dividing partitions between the restaurant and the gallery are distinct. The gallery’s program includes solo and group exhibitions, the presentation of photography albums, lectures and seminars. Its objective is to highlight new developments in the field and to give exposure to young or little-known photographers. Because it is located on the same premises as the bar, its hours of operation are unusual for an art gallery: It opens at 9 p.m. and runs to 3 a.m. Casual The idea is to create an alternative space for photography that, partly because of its hours of operation and the relaxed atmosphere of the bar, will help create a more lived-in experience of photography. «I have been thinking of creating an art space exclusively for photography for the past five years,» Renata Konstantinou, owner of Lightroom, told Kathimerini. Just over 30, Konstantinou loves photography herself and believes that creating a «hangout» for photography was necessary. «Most galleries show very little photography. It is within my objectives to show the work of already established artists but also of young emerging artists who have plenty of talent but are simply blocked because they have nowhere to show their work,» commented Konstantinou. Lightroom’s inaugural exhibition was titled «Society» and presented the work of Spyros Staveris and Gerasimos Domenicos. Their photographs attempted a very interesting, alternative view on the social life of Athens. «Where We Live,» the title of the exhibition currently on display at Lightroom, includes cityscapes of Athens by 17 artists. The focus is on one’s personal relationship with the city as most of the photographs evoke individual memories and a nostalgic mood. Works & reproductions «It is my intention to fund all the productions that I make. The photographers will not pay a single euro of the production fees. It is not that I pretend to be the good fairy. I simply believe that I can manage, as long as the photographers I work with place their trust in me. I have thought of various ways for promoting and communicating each exhibition. For instance, besides the original works which are offered for sale, there will be reproductions, all printed on high-quality paper, framed and available at affordable prices,» explained Konstantinou. «The number of people interested in photography may still be limited in Greece but it can easily increase. Greek photographers are excellent in what they do and have produced very imaginative works. Now, there is a space for this work to be shown to the public.» Lightroom, 65 Evripidou, Psyrri. Open 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.