Poetics, Materialities, Performances: Greek Photographic Books 2000-2023



Costis Antoniadis, Alexandros Avramidis, Manolis Baboussis, Ilias Bourgiotis, Dimitra Dede, John Demos, Nikos Economopoulos, Petros Efstathiadis, Pavlos Fysakis, Aikaterini Gegisian, Alexandros Georgiou, Aris Georgiou, Haris Kakarouhas, Stratos Kalafatis, Katerina Kaloudi, Alexandros Katsis, Demetris Koilalous, Panos Kokkinias, Yannis Kontos, Maria Louka, Natassa Markidou, Nikos Markou, Despina Meimaroglou, Persephone Michou, Katerina Moschou, Lia Nalbantidou, Effie Paleologou, Nikos Panayotopoulos, Yiannis Pantelidis, Roula Patra, Avraam Pavlidis, Paris Petridis, Penelope Petsini, Nikos Pilos, Platon Rivellis, Andreas Schοinas, Panagiotis Sotiropoulos, Spyros Staveris, Yiannis Theodoropoulos, Marinos Tsagkarakis, Dimitris Tsoumplekas, Eirini Vourloumis, Tassos Vrettos, Yorgos Yatromanolakis, Yiorgis Yerolymbos, Zak / Zackie Oh, Lily Zoumpouli

Curated by

Alexandra Moschovi

Assistant Curator: Maria Kechagioglou

Coproduction: MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and State Museum of Contemporary Art Collections

Opening: Thursday, 19 October, 20:00

At the dawn of the new century, we are witnessing the renaissance and democratisation of the photographic book in Greece. The exhibition Poetics, Materialities, Performances: Greek Photographic Books 2020-2023 documents this evolution and explores its characteristics. Several factors have influenced this development. The advent of new digital technologies enabled cost-efficient production, self-publishing, and international dissemination. The relatively delayed institutionalisation of photography as an art form on par with painting and sculpture within the Greek art scene, played an equally significant role, resulting in a notable increase in museum publications.

Furthermore, as photographic books respond to and reflect diverse pictorial approaches and trends, this curatorial proposition seeks to offer a concise overview of contemporary photographic practices. To this end, the selection is cross-generational and includes books that retrospectively cover a broader context of practice dating back to the 1970s. It encompasses monographs that may focus on a specific topic, publications presenting one or more bodies of work, curated retrospectives of a practitioner’s oeuvre, as well as expanded exhibition publications and self-published books. The books on display present a kaleidoscope of photographic practices, ranging from landscape, street, studio, directorial, and diaristic photography to social documentary, conflict photography, and re-articulations of “the photographic,” which often arise from the intersection of photography with various other media, such as digital media and painting. They also address a wide array of topics: identities, the Greek crisis, history and collective memory, the interplay between nature and culture, communities, societal issues, politics.

The title of the exhibition indicates three methodological approaches to the materials. Poetics, that is, the storytelling mechanisms, the editing and sequencing of the photographs, the dialectical juxtaposition of text, images, and graphic design, plays a pivotal role in this exploration. Equally significant are the materiality and objecthood of these publications, including their size and format, the paper thickness and texture, all of which are integral parts of their narrative and haptic experience. Lastly, the exhibition highlights how photographic books perform as visual and textual propositions and as cultural experiences, and examines the impact these performances have on audiences and the histories of Greek photography.

The purpose of a book is to be leafed through and read. In line with this principle, the exhibition is designed as an interactive display that invites touch and contemplation. Here, visitors are not passive spectators but active participants whose individuality determines the ways the books are handled and their journey of multiple associations.


Alexandra Moschovi is an academic scholar, art critic, and curator seeking to situate photographic practices within broader art historical, museological, and visual culture debates. Moschovi has published widely on modern/contemporary photography and the interface of photography, digital technologies, the museum, and the archive. She co-authored the volume Greece through Photographs (Melissa Publishing House, 2007/09), co-edited the anthology The Versatile Image: Photography, Digital Technologies and the Internet (Leuven University Press, 2013), and is the author of the monograph A Gust of Photo-Philia: Photography in the Art Museum (Leuven University Press, 2020). Curatorial projects include the exhibitions Realities and Plausibilities (Xippas Gallery, 2009) and Portrayals of History: Voula Papaioannou-Dimitris Harissiadis 1940-1960, Works from the Benaki Museum Photographic Archives (with M. Skoufias, Thessaloniki Photography Museum, 2017). Moschovi is a Professor of Photography/Curating at the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, University of Sunderland.

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