There were once two friends!They met in New York City in the mid-1980s. The era of sex, drugs and … post-expressionist punk rock!One was studying economics & cinematography, and the other was working on Wall Street.They met again many years later, one evening at the opening of an exhibition of works by Mark Hadjipateras.Takis, the producer and cinematographer had rediscovered the magic of photography on recent solitary walks by the sea.Theodore, the Wall Street Golden Boy had ‘quit the game’ and was working as a photographer. He had obviously grown tired of his colleagues at the temple of wealth.I present to you the two friends and photographers of this show: Takis Veremis and Theodore Xenos.Two different sensitive takes in a single exhibition that is slightly subversive, beyond the strict ‘clichés’ of a gallery. And why not!According to Susan Sontag, “the photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world picturesque.”Looking at their photographs, one sees two different approaches.Theodore Xenos photographs urban homes or run-down and abandoned spaces, defunct, absent of human presence. He engages with the space, sometimes in an austere, Doric form, and in other instances in an exaggerated ‘gothic’ architecture, always using colour.In contrast, Takis Veremis captures a strong human presence and elements of nature. Black-and-white photographs, approaches in the present tense, with natural lighting. The light playing on the sea or on the wet wind shield creates altered perceptions, imparting added content to the image.
SANCTUARIES EXHIBITION NOTE ON VEREMIS
writes Thodoris Koutsogiannopoulos, movie critic
The series of photographs on the topic of, and gazing at, the sea, by a native Arcadian who has spent a lengthy part of his life in the film industry, is full of creatively intriguing irony.
Takis Veremis’ sea “sanctuary” could not have been founded under more appropriate circumstances: during lockdown, at a critical juncture of his life, isolating and rearranging things and people. Not a member of any photographers’ “club”, he picked up his lens at the instant he most needed to. And decided to “work” a few meters from his house, starting to converse with the dream of escape. So it would appear at first glance.
But that is not exactly what I see in his photo narrative, denuded of all summer colors.
Takis does not sail off, nor tame the waves; he does not succumb to the temptation to dive deep into the waters, nor does he yearn to take a flight into the ethereal skies. He stands still on the shores, at a safe and respectful distance, in awe before the mirage.
Each photograph focuses on the distant horizon, where the terminus of his gaze touches the luminous skies. Letting only a solitary rocky islet interrupt the recollection, a solid and ancient mass, the detritus of memory. Slowly, he encounters humanity, stranger and familiar persons, who in turn seek solace and a discreet connection.
Over the years, I have been meeting with Takis mainly in cities–in Athens, in Thessaloniki, and at festivals around Europe.
I find him new now, so far and yet so near, as Vim would say, at the shore. And I am not surprised by the originality of his invitation. He is not leaving. He seeks and wishes to return, and he is doing it with his entire being.
Media Sponsor: KROMA magazine
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