Summer in Greece

Inspiration for the Summer in Greece series came during the summer of 2007 on the north coast of Crete. During long strolls with my Hasselblad in hand, I watched and photographed. Beaches overcrowded with umbrellas and sun-beds, people sunbathing unaware of my presence, a penguin shower and a couple of oversized amphoras -grotesque monuments to mass tourism-, David Beckham smiling out of a towel. And the Greek flag waving over it all.

My approach to the optical extravaganza of the tourist season -a feast of colours where kitsch and folklore gracefully mix- combines two apparently different techniques of viewing. I am at the same time an observer and a “flâneur”: sometimes I observe the crowd from a safety distance, other times I wander through the bathers and become part of the crowd so as to become invisible.

In my photographs, people are present, yet they seem to be absent. Absorbed in their effort to fully experience the pleasures of a temporary Paradise, having given in to the total relaxation of their packaged holidays they don’t see anything else. Most of them don’t even look at the lens. It seems that the performance happens despite the photographer and unbeknown to the actors; it is an unintentional mise-en-scene.  Far from being just a documentary project, this body of work is also a composition and a proposition: it combines selected elements of the real while suggesting a variety of ways to perceive it.



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