PARIS PETRIDIS | The Void and the Country

23.01.12 - 29.02.12

“Downtown Cairo”, 2009, Digital Chromogenic Fujicolor Crystal Archive Print, 74,5 X 89 cm, Ed. of 5


The photographs which are included in Paris Petridis’ exhibition entitled “The Void and the Country”, were realised over four monthly visits to Egypt between February 2009 and March 2011. These series of photos started out as a documentation of the Greek diaspora.

The photographer will quickly realise the proximity of the lived experience of the wider Eastern Mediterannean region’s residents. An experience which comprises elements such as the cuisine, the music, the obvious architectural chaos, the use of an ignorant-to-history populism in the dominant “political discourse”, the lack of trust towards the central institutions of the “welfare state” and the assignment of the individual’s supportive role to the family, the evident similarity in the landscape and the climatic conditions and the resemblance of the codes used in personal communication. A common lived experience recorded at the cultural dna of the people of the area, which creates many common behavioral characteristics.

Hence, Petridis’ interest for Egypt picked up autobiographical traces along the way, to end up utterly absorbed by the unprecedented debasement being forced on life and space by an aggressive globalized political economy.

The vacancy in the pictures is a visual metaphor for this abandonment: a country devoid of its people.

Unavoidably, the series of photos presented here is the first-hand but fleeting impressions of a passer-by. The quest for the real Homeland of the resident of the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, as Greek poet Constantine Cavafy would refer to it.

Tourists are insensitive, Canetti once wrote. Right, but travelers?

Exhibition duration: 23 January – 29 February 2012

image gallery