Postcards from Athens 2010-2016
Postcards from Athens is a project, whose title derives from the popular hashtag #postcardsfrom(location), that often accompanies colourfull and fancy posts of travelers on instagram and other web platforms. The work is based on a big archive of black and white photos, shot in the Greek capital between 2010 and 2016. They depict broken people in a broken city, capturing the marks of the economic and social turmoil that the crisis has inflicted on their bodies. The photographs are taken with a mobile phone, with the use of an application that resembles the medium-format aesthetic. The form is chosen to highlight the unmediated, sharp and indicative instances of a city in decay, its deteriorating public spaces and its people surrendered to the passivity of an all-encompassing crisis.
In 2016, a selection of 45 photos was self-published. The small publication does justice to the initial scope of the project: small handmade prints in the size of postcards, available at a reasonable price, in order to fund the making of more prints once each edition sells out.
The work as a whole wishes to defy the gallery ‘common laws’ of expensive large-scale photography and prints, yet its distribution goes a step further to undermine and infiltrate this paradigm: small batches of postcards are disposed onto the shelves of gallery and museum shops in London and Athens, without permission, allowing visitors to pick them for free. This way, images that have been rejected in past photography open calls either on the basis of the medium (mobile camera) or that they depict "aestetisized/beautified harsh and raw instances", make it into the establishment and into the hands of "art lovers". Interestingly enough, in shops where non-barocoded postcards are sold, the Athenian postcards are sold to customers on the regular price, allowing the institution to make money on them (i.e. The Photographers Gallery, London).
The work was first shown as part of a multi-faceted project at the Slade School of Fine Art MA/MFA Graduate Degree Show 2016. It was later on included in several book fairs in the UK and shortlisted & granted the Peoples' Choice Award at Brighton Photo Fringe 2016.