Through the centuries, Greece has been indelibly linked to the sea – it runs through the history of the land and the life of its inhabitants; it has never stopped inspiring artists and poets. Following the invention of photography in the mid-19th century and to this date, countless photographic images depicting Greek seascapes have been added to the painted representations of the same topic.
The exhibition will showcase approximately 350 photographs divided into 5 chronological groups: the second half of the 19th century; the first decades of the 20th century; the Interwar Years; post World War II; the age after the fall of the junta to the present day.
The photographs were selected by Fanny Konstantinou and Aliki Tsirgialou (curators of the Benaki Museum Photographic Archives), as well as Kostis Antoniadis (professor of photography at the Department of Photography and Audiovisual Arts of the Athens Technical Educational Institute) after systematically combing through archives and private collections, both in Greece and abroad.
The evaluation criteria for each selection were, on the one hand, purely the photographic interest displayed in relation to the evolution of the medium and prevailing artistic trends in the course of the history of photography; and, on the other hand, where the photograph is positioned relative to the historical, ideological and aesthetic spirit of its age. Even though the material treated in the images was not definitive in their selection, the wealth of visual material gathered, offers visitors the opportunity to follow the relationship people had with the sea; the way of life in coastal and island communities; the development of sea-going vessels; as well as sailing around the Greek islands from the very first tourists to the age of mass tourism.
The exhibition is one of the events running parallel to Oracle, The Annual International Conference for Photography Curators and is organised in the framework of the Athens Photo Festival 2013.