Museum Alex Mylona – Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art presents the exhibition Christos Chrissopoulos My mother’s silence, curated by Denys Zacharopoulos. The exhibition, which is supported by Nefeli Editions, will open on Saturday February 14, at 12.00, at Museum Alex Mylona in Thisio and will run until April 26, 2015.
Nefeli Editions has published the bilingual album featuring Christos Chrissopoulos’s photographic works My mother’s silence, which was presented first, as part of The Symptom Projects, at Delmouzos House, in Amfissa, in October 2014. The exhibition was curated by Apostolis Artinos. The exhibition will also travel to France, as part of the Printemps Balkanique Festival, in Caen, curated by Laurent Porée.
In Athens, Christos Chrissopoulos will include for the first time to My mother's silence at the Museum Alex Mylonas-MMCA, his video Knitting the thread of time [HD video, 7.20min, 2014], which complements the photographic narrative of the project and was shot by Christos Chrissopoulos during his visit to the family home, in the winter of 2014. As he says: "Looking closely at the weaving of my mother’s knitting, examining each millimeter of thread I realize that is not a piece of matter, but a piece of time she spent concentrated in the path of the yarn. A depiction of dead time”. After visiting the exhibition in Amfissa, director Yiannis Misouridis created a video – study under the title “Etude”, on the selectivity of gaze, which will be shown at Museum Alex Mylona exhibition.
Writer Christos Chrissopoulos (Athens 1968, Academy of Athens Prize, Laure Bataillon Prize) introduces himself as a photographer, with a work that is intimate and intricate. Twenty four images and one video piece with a dark blue tint. A narration exploring how memory, biography and our innermost sense of selfhood are formed within the passage of time.
“I believe that my own personal relationship with photography is defined by a need to reconstitute memory. It is my own way to relate to the world, to other people around me, and to my own inner life. But since I also have a deeply rooted connection to writing, I feel that I am constantly oscillating between these two different aspects of my double identity: writer/photographer. For me, literature is a method of defamiliarization. Through writing, I explore my disjunction to the world. Photography, on the other hand, is a way to explore my acceptance of the world. In the end, photography is probably an effort to come to terms with life in general. Probably this is why it became important for me a bit later in life, later than writing, at my forties. At a time when everything around me becomes a bit more intimate. Even my writing…” says Christos Chrissopoulos.
According to Apostolis Artinos, the curator of Chrissopoulos’ first exhibition in Amfissa “The edge of a piece of furniture, the dull light of a lamp shade, the luster of porcelain, the crystal liquor set, two apples in a fruit bowl, the medicine box of the elderly mother, her framed picture at a young age, this motionless time of silence... a speechless witness of an emotional engagement that nails its subject to the context that surrounds it. [...] Only the camera lens can shape the existence of this world, can highlight its objective side. When the gaze is content in its topological downfall and semantic extinction”.
“The museum is proud to present this exhibition by the internationally active author and photographer Christos Chrissopoulos” notes Denys Zacharopoulos, curator of the exhibition and Artistic Director of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and goes on to add: "What I consider important in this series of photographs and also different in respect to Chrissopoulos’s entire photographic work, is the use of the blue filter, which acts as a filter for memory, by removing any anecdotal element and by giving to the viewer a mnemotechic approach, similar to the rhythm of the verse as used in poetry. Thus allowing us to activate our own memory, even if we don’t recognize the specific people or objects. These photographs are particularly moving, but like every poetic work also very austere, measured and simple. They are neither color nor black and white, but activate an edge, where the relationship between colors and words is equivocal, therefore requiring the viewer to read or to perceive them in his own way”.
The following two events will take place during the exhibition:
On Saturday, March 14, Christos Chrissopoulos will present his slideshow series titled LOOK20 and will talk about the relationship between literature and photography, as well as the notion of space, as a literal, artistic and psychological domain.
On Saturday, April 25, Christos Chrissopoulos will collaborate with poet and performer Vasilis Amanatidis on a performance combining My mother’s Silence video piece, with Amanatidis’ poetic work μ_other poem (Nefeli Editions). A discussion will follow on parental relationships and the way they relate to their individual works.
Christos Chrissopoulos (1968) has published 13 books of different kinds (fiction, essay, chronicle) and also works with photography. He has been awarded the Athens Academy Award (2008) and the French awards Prix Laure Bataillon (2014) and Prix Ravachol (2013). He is a member of the European Cultural Parliament (ECP) and the European Society of Authors (ESA), as well as an Iowa Writer's Program fellow (IWP). In 2014, the French-German channel ARTE did a featurette on him. He has collaborated with many performers and artists in Greece and especially abroad (Alain Guerry, Shifty Tongue, Post-Media Lab, Vassiliea Stylianidou, Orchestra of small things ... etc). He has also given lectures and participated in dozens of festivals across Europe and the US. His books have been translated into twelve languages. His work LOOK20 (which will be presented on 14/3 at the museum) is currently hosted on the web site A place for the arts. The project My mother's silence has been recently featured in international magazines such as Phases, Mutant Space, Banana.