Artist statement

Photography represents for me a highly creative, never-ending mind game, where novelties are created under flexible rules and flexible objectives. Success or failure within that context is less important than the process itself. On the whole, I consider art making an expression of self-definition, self-fulfillment and freedom to play.

Although creation is a process in flux, the core drivers of my work are the ‘anticipation of a discovery’ and the ‘need for experimental versioning’. Through an urge for discovery, I have adopted modes of working from that of a flâneur to that of a precautions retoucheur, doing everything in postproduction. ‘Experimental versioning’ is indeed one of the reasons I became an artist. Within this realm, I am allowed to create art, pose peaceful objections to ideas, master narratives, vernacular iconography and position myself in the spatiotemporal coincidence of the here, the now, the future and the everlasting.

I currently work in digital, however the traditions of fine art b/w and color analog photography still inform my practice. My portfolios Seafront Views, Specimens of American Suburbia No Place Architecture, Unmanned and Inanimate and World of Immaterial Objects, I favor finding my subjects in the immediate environment, as opposed to constructing a reality in the studio. Residing in different countries and taking pleasure from wandering suburban areas are the reasons for developing a strong ‘sense of place’ and for questioning it though my creative processes. In Specimens of American Suburbia, which delves with Place Identity and Photographic Representation, I focus on suburban places and architectural structures, which I encounter by accident. As a matter of fact, I never plan, or hardly ever go back to the same place for a retake.

While shooting in Greece, the US, the UAE, France, or elsewhere, I leave out information that can reveal the place’s origin. I intend to show that these areas can exist ‘anywhere and nowhere’. Under this condition, their identity becomes fluid, as they are no longer attached to a map, but inhabit a non-geographically designated place. An ‘anonymous’ place designated by the use of the medium, in the context of post- New Topographics landscape photography. The aggregation of multiple out-of-context places, however, in a portfolio elevates this anywhere/nowhere approach into ‘somewhere’. This ‘somewhere’ is neither urban or suburban nor real or unreal. It is a place, where skies are always blue, where one can find many colorful architectural curiosities. These, in turn, hail the viewer to visually and mentally interact with the work and alter the places into what I like to call ‘adversely possessed hyp-urbias’.

There are no people appearing in them, but somehow they do through the traces they leave behind. To push the envelope further on this, by not capturing people I don’t mean to create a deadpan view of the world. On the contrary, I intensify human presence, as people subliminally appear not only through remnant material objects, but also through the coincidence of my encounter with this or that place, my will-to-create a version of what I saw, the place itself, and the historical context about the place.

I continue capturing dystopian landscapes; that is ambivalent in terms of place identity and photographic representation. I am looking to elaborate on the notions of photography and place identity by tracing their relation to current western trends of artistic iconography, human geography, psychology, and architecture.

RMIT Gallery’s inaugural online exhibition The new (ab)normal provides a real-time snapshot of how artists are responding to their new working conditions and circumstances during the COVID-19 global health crisis.

Curated by Helen Rayment, RMIT Galleries Curator, and Dr Tammy Wong Hulbert, Lecturer of Arts Management (specialising in curating), the exhibition is presented in partnership with RMIT’s School of Art with creative responses from more than 40 School of Art staff, HDR students, and industry partners.

The project honours the value of the work of those who teach and study at RMIT at this time of deep disruption. They have been invited to contribute both written and visual artworks reflecting the impact of their locked down experience.

What does the life of an artist look like at this time; is work created at home, or is there still access to a studio?  Are there children to educate too? What does an ordinary day look like in this new territory?  These creative responses reflect the reality of this period, giving us an insight into the personal, emotional and transformative.

The new (ab)normal provides us with a timely insight into how art can unite us, and that although we may be physically distant, our social connections remain strong and are perhaps even strengthened under these challenging circumstances.

Artists: Sogan Alamdarfard, Rushdi Anwar, Robert Baines, Sofi Basseghi, Kay Mei Ling Beadman, Alison Bennett, Pie Bolton, Susan Buchanan, S. Chandrasekaran, Christy Chow, Kris Coad, Jennifer Conroy-Smith, Simon Crosbie, Mig Dann, Rhett D’Costa, Phil Edwards, Yiannis Galanopoulos, Yue Gu, Andrew Gunnell, Guang Hui Huang, Pennie Jagiello, Priyanka Jain, Tassia Joannides, Varuni Kanagasundaram, Martin Kay, Lan Lan, Kit Man Leong, Ye Liu, Peng Liu, Daniel Marks, Christine McFetridge, Jerome De Perlinghi, Robyn Phelan, Milenko Prvacki, Marlaina Read, Steven Rendall, J. Rosenbaum, Benjamin Sheppard, Fleur Summers, Cordelia Tam, Lesley Turnbull, Lan Wang, Peter Westwood, Jude Worters, Theresa Yang