© Myrto Kyriazakou

© Myrto Kyriazakou


Clara Acuna-Garcia
, Stella Baraklianou,
Myrto Kyriazakou

This exhibition shows the inter-linked work of three photographers who have previously exhibited together. These three works address the concept of the city and the individual, and the way in which each of these concepts affects and shapes the other.

Although this is quite a popular subject nowadays, these three photographers have managed to avoid all known documentary traditions and clichés, experimenting with new ways of addressing the issue of image making and consuming in contemporary society. Clara Acuna-Garcia, Stella Baraklianou and Myrto Kyriazakou have used photography not only as a tool to create images, but as an artistic medium itself, managing to go beyond the simple portrayal of everyday life and breaking with the rhetoric of the so-called staged photography.

Clara Acuna-Garcia's images investigate the transformation suffered by the individual when immersed in a flowing crowd. Are we able to embrace fully the possibilities of liberation offered to us by mingling with the mass? The crowd gives us the chance to disappear as individuals, to escape from ourselves, to play out our fantasies: strangers must remain strangers, encounters ephemeral and meetings should only take place in the realm of fantasy for the organic flow of the crowd never to be interrupted.

Myrto Kyriazakou chooses a different but similar public space: that of the forced public interactions that take place in the London underground. In her work "Dialogues", Myrto exposes some of those brief encounters of the socially aware individual. As in any daily situation, when confronted with the photographer, the subject reacts in different ways, whether by hiding behind a newspaper, looking uncomfortable, or throwing a pose. This transforms the photographer into some sort of "director" forcing people to act out their public selves in the mise-en-scene of public life.

The intimate character of Stella Baraklianou's work stands out when shown alongside Clara's and Myrto's. In her work "Interval", Stella focuses on the most private space of the individual, that of his or her home. It is here where one would expect to find moments of intimacy and relaxation, but she is telling us that very often this is not the case. Stella's images clearly underline moments of detachment and lack of motivation, showing characters that appear displaced in their own environment. We find these moments to be more evident in couple relationships, where the expectation of something may linger and its temporal experience may be seen as an interval, a closed loop in life's normal continuum.

"In the works of these three artists, we find the metropolis addressed, but it certainly looks different from those practices that want to represent it as an objective state. Instead of a looking at things, what we are offered here is a means to interrogate the sense of life in the city. You are asked to join this project, to see what you can see, to see if what we are going through can be seen". (from the Introduction to the exhibition catalogue by David Bate)

August 27 - September 6, 2003
Hours: Weds-Sat, 11 am - 5 pm

Century Gallery
1-15 Cremer Street
UK-London E2 8HD
E-Mail info@centurygallery.org.uk