Scenes from an island
Bergmancenter Fårö June 24 - September 30
Midway in life, I found myself standing on the barren shores, a wild and rocky pile of land facing the Baltic sea. It was a strange uncompromising attraction. I saw my mother’s Swedish origin a stone’s throw away and father’s Cretan heritage merge into this one landscape.
I returned over and over again. At first it was only the landscape that I photographed. With time I populated the images, staging scenarios in various locations. There are interiors and exteriors; landscape sans figures and landscape with figures transitioning through it. Bodies in motion contrasted to the desolate topography and its dramaturgy — mountains that have eroded, the earth, the water and the air. A contemplation on evanescence and transience; body, movement and the surrounding elements.
In 2002 my relationship was slowly falling apart. While trying to save our relationship it became obvious the break had become inevitable. As a way of documenting our last days together, I started making one photograph every night. The camera shutter was left opened for 3 to 8 hours every night in front of our bed in a darkened bedroom, and as the beginning morning light arrived the exposure was interrupted. It is a private journal, documenting time and memory, where present meets past.
Growing up in Sweden, I often felt torn between cultures: Sweden, Greece and Austria (where I was born). My father left early to start a new life in his native Greece. In 2007 he passed away in cancer, leaving behind an olive grove up in the hills in Crete. Could I live in what had been given to me, in what had come to symbolize my cultural heritage and roots?
As an experiment I traveled to Crete to spend entire nights in the grove. Essentially a diary the work is part of an ongoing photographic investigation of metaphors for impermanence, transience and a search for an authentic home. My body asleep in the hammock, dissolves and re-materializes through night-long exposures, all while the surrounding grove is fixed. The work examines the urge of hiding away from distractions of modern world and a longing of “going back” to a simple and authentic coexistence with nature, A relationship that is could be harmonious, yet ambiguous, contradictory and exclusive. The ritual of the body performing in front of the camera for entire nights, the documents expose the vulnerability of surface and physical aspects of man and nature.