We interviewed Greek photographer Alexis Vasilikos on PhotoArtMag almost one and a half year back. Alexis is going to have his first solo show ‘Here Is All There Is’ at CAN gallery, Athens during 17th of March to 28th of April, 2016. Detailed information about exhibition is available at gallery’s website.
Alexis Vasilikos (b.1977) studied Art History and Photography in Bologna, Italy and Athens, Greece. He has been working as a fine art photographer since 1995. He has exhibited in Athens, Thessaloniki, London, New York, Austin (Texas), De Moines (Iowa), etc. His work has been published in numerous print and online publications. Since 2012 he is the co-editor together with Jerome Montagne of PHASES magazine, an online publication that focuses on contemporary international photography.
In his first solo show at CAN gallery entitled ‘Here Is All There Is’ Alexis presents a selection of pictures shot between 1995 and 2015. Years removed from where and when each photograph was initially captured his work falls into an exhaustive editing process where among a large number of images only a few survive. Editing is a crucial part of the artist’s practice and his oeuvre also includes some extensively manipulated images and digital collages. The current edit of the 36 images exhibited is a signifier of the average number of shots taken with a classic 35mm film camera.
This strict editing process is exactly what sets Alexis apart from the idea of the flâneur or a street photographer who wonders the world and awaits for his subjects to reveal themselves to him. For Alexis, a single photograph is rather a carrier of energy than meaning. Through the editing process the groupings, the positioning and ordering, his photographs come to life and obtain a more specific narrative. This idea of the séance has close affinities to avant-garde cinema rather than photography and sets the tone for a theme in each grouping. There is no necessary beginning or an end and the spectators are invited to mentally create their own edits of an open, endless story.
At the same time there is a “democracy of gaze” amongst his pictures where even the most banal subjects are represented with the same complexity, seriousness and weight as the most sublime. This idea of humbleness is also carried on the exhibition space. At a time when big signifies better, Alexis opposes himself to this popular belief and to much that is expected from photography today and presents us with a series of relatively small prints - an idea central to the kind of intimacy he wants to create between the viewer and his work.
With a true eagerness towards beauty but far removed from any kind of incredible nostalgia that you will often see in so much of contemporary practice the artist captures moments that signify precisely what the title of the show describes. A sense of being “present”. Beyond the popular, social mechanics of a Tumblr or Instagram-inspired gaze, or the aesthetics and ideas of narrative photography, Alexis seeks the profound in the everyday and the mundane and creates images that function as a kind of a meditative tableau. A spiritual transmitter of energy and feeling.
All photos © Alexis Vasilikos : Website