Yiorgos Kordakis' photographs of beach life around the globe were one of those familiar, but often too few, bright moments in our tour of the weekend's openings in the Marais. Kordakis' photographs of the seaside are taken with a Polaroid camera, scanned, enlarged and printed with an inkjet printer. The effect of the resultant blur is mystery.
More impressive than the comparison of how different cultures spend their time at the beach, which is the content of these images, is the effect of their technique. Whether they be taken in India, America, Romania or Greece, Kordakis' photographs are striking because they are unsettling: they are far removed from the beaches on which we see ourselves when we are stuck in the office on a cold rainy day in Paris. The blur of the image often obscures the horizon line between a peopled beach and a typically over exposed, thus whited-out sky. This reduces the human figures to figurines in the distance, abstract colored components of an otherwise empty composition. For me, the emptiness of the composition, the haze of the horizon line, and the detachment of the human figures translates to challenge my illusions the perfect beach getaway. Nevertheless, the mystery makes them haunting and the sense of color and composition beckons us to look again at these photographs.
This young Greek artist is definitely someone to watch. While the photographs in Global Summer can tend to be a little repetitive, they are mysterious and questioning, showing the potential for complex interrogation of the world and the possibilities of the medium of photography.
(Images top-bottom: Yiorgos Kordakis, Global Summer #1, 2007, Inkjet print; Yiorgos Kordakis, Global Summer #7, 2007, Inkjet print; Yiorgos Kordakis, Global Summer #3, 2005, Inkjet print. All images courtesy of the Artist & Galerie Karsten Greve, @Yiorgos Kordakis.)