“Glass Cage Dream” is the first solo exhibition by Stelios Kallinikou at Eins gallery and features a new series of photographs and prints. This new series of works by Kallinikou captures – not only – the exotic animals as the object (or the theme) of the work itself, more importantly, it comments on the future of photography in an increasing age of digitisation.
The following words are taken from Haris Pellapaisiotis’ exhibition text, “The Disappearance of Things”:
“The printed still-image, long thought-off as the outcome of an encounter between the person behind the camera and something that materially exists in the world, is now overtaken by the production of images that are configured through a range of new reproductive digital and technological practices. This technological shift does not simply indicate the obsolescence of an older technology by another more expedient way of making photographs, but also signals the disappearance of a way of thinking about photography. Photography has long been thought of as a form of the prosthesis of vision connected to the mind that had sought to maintain continuity between natural perception and technology.
Photography is a spatial, performative, and relational practice whereby to photograph is to position oneself within an ecology of connecting elements that co-exist in actual space and time. Photography can performatively function as a tool that connects the human body to a practice that utilises imagery and visualisation at the point of contact with the physical, spatial, natural, and socio-political environment.
To photograph is to reconnect with the object in front of the camera in a way that rethinks that relationship. The task of the photographer is to find ways to translate the encounter with the object in some way that reveals meaning without erring towards rhetorical definitions.
Looking at the range of prints with exotic animals, which at first glance indicate the theme of Kallinikou’s work, it occurs to me that hidden beneath their striking presence lurks a larger concern that expresses the fragility of the photographic image, but also the negation of the photographic experience.
In the age of digitalisation, what is fast disappearing is the space generated between photographer and object and subsequently the space for thinking that is created between image and viewer. No longer having the need to be physically situated in relation to the object, the photographer becomes dislocated in space and time as the photographer’s own sense of somatic awareness, in relation to the object, disappears from experience. Kallinikou’s deliberate venture to make each image less legible through a process of printing and reprinting, sometimes from digitally corrupted files till they create the effect he seeks, seems to reference a wider metaphor that takes us back to the photographic outcome as an encounter with the object.
Kallinikou continues to seek the element of surprise, wonder, and revelation, however not in the depiction of extraordinary new encounters with his outside environment, but in the digital production of images. For this body of work, he is thinking about his relation to photography as it makes the transition from one technology to another and in that process, he is inviting the viewer to step back, to find the space to hold dialogue with the work and to rethink with him the possible disappearance of things.”
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