Yiannis Galanakis studied at the Physics Department of the Aristotle
University of Thessaloniki and works in public secondary education
Since 2012 he has been dealing with the digital processing and
composition of his photographs.
He has presented his work in group and individual art exhibitions
as well as in international festivals or competitions of contemporary
He has published the poetry collections “Fake news” (Pigi Versions,
2020) and the "ζύγια@δεινά.com" (Gavriilidis Versions, 2018).
2023 Among the winners in Artavita's 2022
ARTIST OFTHE YEAR competition.
2022 Finalist in Artavita online contest, July 2022
5th Chania International Photo Festival
(Cip Festival), Group Exhibition
2021 4th Chania International Photo Festival
(Cip Festival), Group Exhibition
2015 “Itinerant Images”, S.G Art Gallery, Lycabettus, Athens,
2014 “Castles in the air”, Mare Gallery, Chania, Group
2002 “Chania Creators”, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania,
2002 “The ego is another, the ego as a stake”, Villa
Koundourou, Chania, Solo Exhibition
REVIEW OF LENS CULTURE
(JUNE 2020, for my submission in "Critics’ Choice 2020")
APATHY, A NEW BRAVE CLIMATE
NOTE OF YIANNIS GALANAKIS
The proposed works are digitally processed compositions from my photos of recent
years with sufficiently high-resolution for prints of 60x90cm or 70x105cm.
I would exhibit these images by using one of these options:
- On black lightboxes with LEDS
- Print GICLEE FINE ART on PHOTO RAG SATINE, PHOTO RAG, PHOTO MATTE or
on FIBRE PEARL paper (framed)
- ChromaLuxe Metal Print
- Print GICLEE FINE ART on FINE ART CANVAS MATTE
Chania, Crete, Greece
STATEMENT OF THE REWIER
Hello Yiannis. I chose your portfolio, titled, “APATHY, A NEW BRAVE CLIMATE” to review because it’s visually and conceptually interesting. I have taken some time to study the group of photos, looking for visual clues that point to what you are trying to accomplish with your photography practice. You are obviously a highly skilled photographer. You provided an insightful statement that says, “It is now indisputable that we live in a time of transition, high uncertainty and rapid changes on a planetary scale. These changes happen so fast that we fail to monitor them or to be informed validly and basically, let alone check them out and stand up to them critically for the co-formation of a sustainable future for everyone. On the contrary, the modern information traffic storm- with the help of the fake news and what is so -called "valid" misinformation - has caused the syndrome of a mass indifference or apathy with highly disturbing or and dystopic consequences.”
Based on what I see, I think you composed your tableaus to create expressive, artistic, narrative experiences for the viewer. Looking through the portfolios I feel like there is a unified approach in your image-making that tells the story of our time, of isolated characters that forage and fight their way through life. To help tell their stories, you use dramatic lighting, image composites, dystopian landscapes, and a powerful sense of contrast. You go on to say, “Using images-fragments of such a dystopian future, this section of projects comes to denounce this very passivity, our non-participation in deciding on our lives. The irony in the title, which evokes associations of another denial expectation, it's no coincidence: because, what is at stake, beyond our need for decent living is that we also need to continue to admire in our alienated world. But without giving the floor to new superstitions and new, or renovated fanaticism.”
When I look at these photos, the first word that comes to mind when I see them is, “Drama”! At the same time, the level of theatricality and emotion the subjects communicate. I would say that you are finding success in making tableaus of these post-apocalyptic scenes! I think the experience you offer your subjects helps you create photos with emotional depth and feeling. Your photos are unique, artistic, and expressive, where each photo tells a story about the characters in the frame. The compositions communicate through moody lighting, surreal landscapes, contrast and detail.
An interesting quality of your work is how it crosses the lines between storytelling, image composite, and fine art. Your images strike me as illustrating a lot of ideas having to do with the relationship between reality and imagination. These tableau images also express your ideas, how you and your communicative scenes find a place within the world of surrealism. I see the photos as studies of alluring expressions of photography and the imagination. You create gritty, intimate portraits where all of the characters seem to be hopeless and isolated in the frame. The dark, textured landscapes are engaging, personal, and fearsome. As the series goes on, I see the subjects expressing a variety of emotions – yet none of them suggests a hopeful outcome. There is a sense of loss, confrontation, and defiance.
The story takes the viewer through evocative emotional states, all of varied expressions of curiosity and conflict with the viewer. At the same time the subjects appear to be thoughtful and introspective. Your use of highly textured, dark atmospheres helps add a sense of dreamlike visions. I will also point out that in none of the photos are these human subjects looking at and acknowledging the viewer. The viewer becomes an observer, looking in from the outside. For me, the images are powerful in a group and they are also powerful as individual photos.
Your use of a wide angle of view, editing, the positioning of the subjects, and the way the landscapes fill the frame is very purposeful. The position of each subject in the frame creates tension with its edges (especially in photos 1, 3, 5, and 10 which creates a relationship with the subjects and the edge of the frame). And within the designs each subject is performing his/her role. It is clear the personas you capture in the photos are very important characters in your life story!
Since these images are all evocative, they talk about how the viewer may experience these alluring mental states as part of their own identity and are. In fact, both the subject in the photos and the viewer are performing their defined identities. The performances in the photos are authentic, intense and dramatic. The quality of light and tonal contrast, when combined with implied directional, natural lighting supports a sense of drama. In the photographic imagery your use of light helps you make the subjects look like they are real, multi-dimensional people. Part of the magic of these images is what you have chosen to include in the frame and all the elements in the surrounding environment you deliberately leave out. Everything in the design of these images seems deliberate.
My first observation/suggestion is about presentation. I can imagine these photos printed large, to inspire feelings of awe by creating a sense of scale for the viewer. Large-scale presentation could prompt the viewer to feel small when confronted by the ideas of standing in front of these confrontational, textural images. Viewers would feel confronted with unexpected perspectives and that could inspire creative interpretations.
My next observation/suggestion also has to do with presentation. I suggest that the photos would be effective in a book. I think your ideas, combined with the photos will make a more cohesive and challenging presentation. Also, with a book, the viewer can hold the images, making the interaction more personal and intimate. You could also use the title of the series as the title for the book!
Your images are very dynamic. They are full of stories about human survival in times that seem without hope. Your images prove that being creative with your images is very exciting and who knows where it will lead. Also, don’t feel like you need to be married to the photography world. My advice is that you enter juried art exhibitions and/or show your work within art communities. I think that your images would do well in an “art” environment. Your photos really do cross a lot of boundaries, which is highly encouraged in the art world. I suggest you keep an eye on www.callforentry.org for themed calls for artists.
Your images and your project are very expressive and powerful. They are full of strong, expressive stories about the human will to survive! I would strongly encourage you to keep pursuing your ideas. It seems like you take a lot of inspiration from your process, the places and people you photograph. But, look at lots of portfolios that will inspire you to make more photos. First, I suggest you look at the work of Gerald Slota for his creative techniques. Also, look at the creative tableaus of Gregory Crewdson. I very much enjoyed looking at your photos and I appreciate the way your images are masterfully considered and carefully designed. I hope this review is helpful. I look forward to seeing what you will do next!
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