“Ιnventory” is the suggestive title of Pericles Alkidis’ new work – an oblique reference to the forensic practices he employs almost three decades now in dealing with his family biography. The past, as A. Kuhn has pointed out, is like the scene of a crime: if the deed itself is irrecoverable, its traces may still remain. And, indeed, Alkidis treats his family’s past as a crime case, himself being an obsessed detective who obstinately tries to keep the investigation open: he organizes reconstructions of the events, pursues clues, follows leads and lines of enquiry, examines data, classifies and re-classifies material, unfolds family dramas, uncovers secrets. At every turn, as further questions are raised, there is always something else to look into. Inevitably, as in any crime case, the private becomes public. The Alkidis family became for Greek photography as infamous as the families of Sally Man, Ralph-Eugene Meatyard and Richard Billigham, whose works redefined the stakes for documenting one’s one kin.
“Ιnventory”, by framing and presenting material of intense emotional and personal significance, presents obscure images that broach our fear of ageing and death. Alkidis comprises objects found in his mother’s drawers after her recent death, some portraits of her, his own comments, plus moving descriptions of her last years, ultimately forming yet another chapter in his family’s autobiography which, most certainly, will not be the last one. For, while crime cases are every so often resolved, memory work is potentially interminable.
Athens Photo Festival 2015
Periklis Alkidis (GR)
Duration: 3 June – 31 July, 2015
Venue: Benaki Museum, Pireos St. Annex