KOSMAS PAVLIDIS. MATERIALITY AND TEMPORALITY WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE
by Lina Manousogiannaki



© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Reconstruction'

In 2004 Kosmas Pavlidis created Stereosis, a school about photography, based in Thessaloniki, Greece. «The whole thing started off as a personal need to have a space where I can work on my photographic projects.» Since then a lot of students have graduated from Stereosis and Pavlidis is really happy that he has managed to create a space for people who are interested in learning photography on all of the levels. Pavlidis sees photography as a whole, technically, aesthetically, philosophically. «Photography to me is a process. A series of acts which begin with the purchase of a camera, the film, the shoot and keep evolving until there is a final print, out of the dark room. All of these on a technical level; the conceptual part of constructing a project is the parallel activity of a series; and thus photography keeps evolving on both levels. Mastering the two is what makes photography an art.»


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Reconstruction'


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Reconstruction'


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Reconstruction'

Pavlidis is a timid artist, I would dare to say. Even though he has been active in the photographic world for almost 20 years, only recently he decided to upload some of his long term projects. We met through skype on a Sunday morning to discuss his work.
Pavlidis’s first work is called 'Reconstruction'. Passionate about mythology and folk stories, he wonders around the surroundings of his city, Thessaloniki, in quest of objects which awaken in him such stories. «I have been touring the surroundings of the city for years; through editing the tons of material I have gathered throughout my walks, I observed that I have an obsession with statues, mythology and death. I find them timeless. 'Reconstruction' to me is homage to famous Greek film maker Theo Aggelopoulos. It is an attempt to reconstruct stories, or even small details that have deeply touched me.» Pavlidis does not expect the reader to interpret his work in the same way he does, he feels it is rather impossible to fully understand the concept behind something because of the fluidity of the situation. He is interested in the decay and the decadence, he is in quest of the deconstruction within the object itself and I dare to say that he has a sense of playfulness in the images he creates.


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Reconstruction'


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Reconstruction'

His most recent work entitled 'Installations and other human gestures' is a project he has been working on for the last two years. The process is the same; he wonders the city’s surroundings’ in quest of situations that interest him. However, this project is more anthropocentric. Pavlidis has been observing what he calls “human installations” in the landscape; symbols of modern material culture; a chair in an abandoned factory, a television amidst a designated garbage area and much more. «I would say it is a personal need to observe and understand the manipulation of the urban landscape in decadent conditions.» Apart from the urban landscape, Pavlidis also collects random objects he comes across, small “archaeological” finds, symbols of modernity and proof of materiality and temporality. «Any photographic project is a vital organism, which keeps evolving and grows. Even though each image is independent, a combination of rendered space and given item can function as proof of this particular evolution.»


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Installations and other human gstures'


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Installations and other human gstures'


© Kosmas Pavlidis from the series 'Installations and other human gstures'

Pavlidis is currently interested in expanding the urban limits of his explorations and for the future he would like to work on a project on boundaries and landscape as well as natural restrictions, with the observation of the human element and its role.

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LINKS
Kosmas Pavlidis 
urbanautica Greece