These pictures are the outcome of a three-year photographic wandering of two photographers –Vassilis Konstantinou and Babis Kougemitros– in their places of origin: the provinces of Achaia and Arcadia respectively. In the context of this wandering, the photographers direct their gaze and lens to things simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, focusing on the intermediate zones between the past and the present, the old and the new –zones still coexisting in the countryside.
This is a photographic endeavour of remapping not only the familiar landscapes of childhood memories –landscapes now in a state of radical transition– but also of the people dwelling in them and cultivating the earth. In Peloponnese, this southern part of Greece (which is also the southern border of Europe), the interesting thing lies in the co-existence –at times harmonic, at times full of tensions– of native people, economic migrants and internal immigrants – that is, young people who left the big cities to experiment with different ways of life. The place and the cultivation of the land is what binds these people on one level, and yet builds new borders and boundaries between them, on another: borders and boundaries symbolic and imaginary, hence imperceptible. Their co-existence marks the emergence of a place different and uncharted; a bizarre landscape neither beautiful nor ugly, in a process of deep transformation and reshaping –a liminal landscape.
Using the special characteristics of this southern part of Europe as their background, the two photographers capture a moment of the complex everyday life of these people and landscapes, informing the viewer about their specificities and the identity of all the small and insignificant things which construct their reality, while remaining unseen.
Through their different versions of artistic documentary, Babis Kougemitros and Vassilis Konstantinou designate their places of origin in the south border of Europe without pursuing a “typical” representation of the latter –only attempts of interpretation, often in a fragmentary and contradictory fashion.
Vassilis Konstantinou was born in 1979 in Athens where he currently lives. He studied Physical Education and Sport Science in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His involvement with photography started in 2007. Since then he has attended the following seminars conducted by Platon Rivellis “Introduction to Art Photography” (annual), “Photography Critique” and “Portfolio Critique”. Since 2015 he is studying Photography and Audiovisual Arts in the Technological Institute of Athens. Slide shows of his work have been presented at Benaki Museum at Piraeus Street three times (2009, 2010, 2013). In July 2012 he participated in the group exhibition “Greek Photographic Forms” during the 1st International Santorini Biennale in May 2013 he participated in the 2nd International Festival of Art and Creation in Zakynthos and in May 2014 in the group exhibition ”The seas” in gallery Box (Athens).
Babis Kougemitros was born in Athens in 1975. Ηe studied Political Science & International Relations in Panteion University and Photography in the Technological Educational Institute of Athens. He participated in Plato Rivelli’s photo course and his photos have been exhibited at Photocircle Group Exhibitions. His personal exhibition “Edgelands” (2012) and group exhibition “City Edges” (2013) have been presented in Athens Photo Festival. Part of his portfolio has been occasionally presented in Athens Benaki Museum.