Nikos Kessanlis: Untitled (2004)

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«Untitled» was added to the Foundation’s collection in 2004

Believing in the role and the importance of photomechanical reproduction, Nikos Kessanlis (1930-2004) has shaped a distinctive mode of expression and a new iconography, based on the use of modern technology. Thus, he has contributed significantly to photography’s acceptance as high art, at least as art is defined by museums and galleries. “Untitled” (2004) is a typical example of Kessanlis’ visual practice. It belongs to the “Phantasmagorias” (Phantasmagories) series. With pictures referencing the shadow theatre or the shadows of sense experience from the cave of Plato’s Republic, Phantasmagorias of Identity pose questions pertaining to our relationship with reality. And while photography as a recording medium might have given an answer to the fundamental theoretical issue of the relation of the image to the original, by demonstrating its objectivity and by functioning as a storehouse of time and memory, this is not the case with Kessanlis’ photographic iconography. Here, there is no emphasis on the metaphysical dimension of photography, nor on its ability to force the original out of the forefront.


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