Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.
Flamingos by Stelios Kallinikou

The Lines and The Flamingos

Oct 06, 2017 - Nikolas Ventourakis

Between 2013 and 2016 I was working on what became my body of work: “Defining Lines”. It is a project about landscape, space, cyberspace, borders. I worked at and near the British Sovereign Area of Akrotiri in Cyprus, a semi-autonomous region belonging to the UK. The last relic of the colonial occupation of the island by the British Empire. I had been spending most of my time on the area near Lady’s Mile, a beach that lies within the UK space, which is a popular destination for families with kids. At the time the project I was working on had a different focus point – the internet, augmented reality, GoogleMaps, the actual border line did not play a crucial role in it. When two things happened. First of all a happy accident. It is usual for me to use my phone to make field notes. I take pictures with my iPhone,which are geotagged so that I can trace locations in the future. One day I was taking pictures of a boulder and after I made one shot from one angle, I moved about two meters the other way and took a second photo. Amazingly the two images were shown to have been taken in different countries. One in the UK and one in Cyprus. That event led to the transformation of what I was working on before into ‘Defining Lines’. The second event was a bit similar to the situation I described on my first blog post. A good friend, Cypriot artist Stelios Kallinikou, was, unbeknown to me, working concurrently on a project of his own at the same area. Stelios is living in Nicosia, but is originally from Limassol and he grew up next to the BSA. We got in touch and started discussing our projects and how each one of us developed them. We exhibited together in a group show at the House of Cyprus that we initiated, and we kept exchanging ideas and comments in an on and off manner. After two years he produced a self published book that you can find at his artist run space Thkio Ppalies. It’s called Flamingo Theater. For this post I asked Stelios to choose one picture from the series to publish. He chose to my astonishment the “Flamingos”. The Flamingos are quintessential to the place, both due to their importance in the natural reserve, but also due to the political implications – the local RAF force is using it as it’s squadron name. Yet, in all the time that I was there, I chose to ignore them. They have been completely absent from my work. Their concurrent centre stage in Stelio’s work prepares, perhaps, the ground for a fascinating discourse on narratives and image making in an artistic context.

 

Stelios Kallinikou (b.1985) is an artist living and working in Nicosia, Cyprus. He is the cofounder, together with Peter Eramian, of the artist run space Thkio Ppalies. He has exhibited in numerous shows including more recently a solo show at the Point Centre for Contemporary Art, and was selected for The Equilibrists group show organised by DESTE Foundation and the NEW MUSEUM at Benaki Museum, Athens.