LoosenArt Mag / Gallery

Kosmas Pavlidis

Posted on June 17 2020

Born and raised in Thessaloniki (b. 1978), with his work Pavlidis tries to go back in time, portraying and retracing his childhood memories. ...

 

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“My photographic projects wish to delve deeply into the notion of parallel realities and open the door into the hidden reality that stands in plain sight; or in other words, unfold “a Faraway Nearby”. - K. P.

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Among professionals and amateurs, the conception of photography as a medium able to open doors of parallel realities is rather ordinary. Instead, being capable of capturing people, artifacts as well as “landscapes in a transitional state” is something remarkable. And this is exactly what the photograph Kosmas Pavlidis does, taking pictures in a way that is difficult to detect where reality ends and fiction begins. 

Born and raised in Thessaloniki (b. 1978), with his work Pavlidis tries to go back in time, portraying and retracing his childhood memories. Those years are reflected in well-balanced and yet paradoxical compositions, showing the rich identity of a land like Greece, where history, culture, sea life and a urban lifestyle go side by side. Since, for him, “photography is a documentation that illustrates a fragment of reality paired with metaphor and narrative”, one needs to pay attention to every detail, every scene accurately staged by the photographer. In the following interview, Kosmas Pavlidis, who is also exhibition curator, co-founder and director of the school of contemporary photography Stereosis (Thessaloniki), will tell us more about himself and his work. Taking us readers by the hand, he will guide us through the process leading the photographer from the first idea to the shooting session.

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Author Silvia Colombo

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L.A.: Kosmas, how do you choose what or who to photograph, what are you looking to capture?

Kosmas Pavlidis: My photographic wandering is an exploration of a landscape in a transitional state, my acquaintance with people who have chosen to retreat from society and live off the grids and a hunt of the traces they leave behind. My journey along the byways is an attempt to follow a specific route, become a part of it and understand its ways; besides being a literal journey, my photographic explorations have always been a journey inwards as well.
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L.A.: What kind of relationship you have with your subjects? What's your degree of involvement with what you are shooting?
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Kosmas Pavlidis: My project consists of three different types of subjects: artifacts, landscapes and people. I have selected artifacts that are part of an uncanny and inscrutable world and I captured them on a stand, as important findings or museum exhibits. I was fascinated by the new shaping of the landscape and I attempted to present the new architecture of the land. As for the portraits, I placed the people I met in front of a white cloth, giving them the role of the lead actor in my story. I like to think that my degree of involvement was low; my surroundings and my subjects have not been tampered with. I simply made an effort to reshape the landscape, underlining the conflict between reality and fiction.

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Kosmas Pavlidis, Untitled #3 │ Buy it
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L.A.: How does this project relate to other work or project you have done?
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Kosmas Pavlidis: My photographic projects wish to delve deeply into the notion of parallel realities and open the door into the hidden reality that stands in plain sight; or in other words, unfold “a Faraway Nearby”.
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L.A.: How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
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Kosmas Pavlidis: A big part of my photographic work revolves around the location scouting. I keep notes about the time and place of each photograph, I study the light and I create a mental preview of the final image, which is a very important step in my photographic procedure. Up to this point, the photograph is just a fragment in my mind, and then I return to the location to capture it on film.
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L.A.: How long you work on a single image?
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Kosmas Pavlidis: Carrying a heavy plate large-format camera, the process becomes very time-consuming, but at the same time it allows me to thoughtfully frame my subjects and keep my distance from any early emotional attachment. Gradually, the early thought matures and the final image is a well-structured thought rather than an abstract idea.
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Kosmas Pavlidis, Untitled #5 │ Buy it
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L.A.: What do you hope people see, feel or understand when they look at your images?
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Kosmas Pavlidis: What intrigues me the most about photography is the conflict between reality and fiction. I want my pictures to be seen as observations of a real world paired with something that seems invented and to encourage the viewer to unfold his own personal narrative.
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L.A.: Do you have a favorite shot in this series? If so, which one and why?
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Kosmas Pavlidis: My favorite shot in this project is a portrait of a young man who lives in a car by the sea at the foothills of mount Olympus. I visited him on numerous occasions, became good friends with him and he trusted me with his personal story of escape. He stood proudly in front of the white cloth, looking directly into the sun, allowing me to take his portrait.
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Kosmas Pavlidis, Untitled #4 │ Buy it
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Kosmas Pavlidis, Untitled #2 │ Buy it
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Kosmas Pavlidis, Untitled #1 │ Buy it
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Kosmas Pavlidis©
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BUY IT NOW View Kosmas Pavlidis on Gallery
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