Video Killed The Radio Star; From Camcorders To SLRs, It’s Only Just Begun… Page 2
Constantinos Sideris is a Greek photographer living in Nicosia, Cyprus, whose work tends to be dominated by architectural, interior/exterior, and “geometrical” photography. His classy-looking website features two personal projects that he calls “Lyricism of Parallel Realities” and “d3LIRIUM.” That first is a collection of still life images that help dispel all of the myths and clichés about what still life photographs should look like and embraces light, shadow, and shape in what could be called an extraterrestrial way. In “d3LIRIUM” he turns off the color and moves into a Hitchcockian world with visual references to films such as Rear Window, Psycho, and Rope. This is not the kinder, gentler Sideris, but one who looks at the dark side of life with some creepy (although not deliciously so) images.
All of which is contrapuntal to his colorful and decidedly sunny exterior architectural images. The “Geometry” gallery contains echoes of “Lyricism of Parallel Realities” applied to larger spaces mostly in monochrome and always interesting in an Escher-lite way. In his “Old Town” gallery Sideris embraces the history, texture, and warmth (in color anyway) of the architecture of Nicosia, producing what reminds me of a Cypriot version of Clarence John Laughlin’s “Ghost of the Mississippi”—translated many thousands of miles away. A clever technician, Sideris is visually excited by shapes that he applies to images of his world as well as parts of his own inner space.
Newsha Tavakolian has been working as a photographer for the Iranian press since she was 16 and her images have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, and The New York Times. Her photo essays contained in “Portfolios” give a unique insight into a world that few of us get to see. This ranges from “Tehran Capital of nose jobs” that far from being as whimsical as its title might make you believe contains an inside look at a society that is far different than what you might think, illustrated with sensitive and even heartbreaking images showing women on a quest for that illusive human quality of beauty. “Girl Power” is another eye-opener showing Iranian women, some in burkhas, physically demonstrating against police, contrasted with images of Middle Eastern women that could have been made on Rodeo Drive, bounced off another powerful image of a woman holding an AK-47 like she knows how to use it.
These powerful black and white photographs showing there is no monolithic cultural or social milieu in the Middle East will amaze many people as they did me. The touching and poignant color photographs in “The day I became a woman” follow the day in the life of young girls in what appears to be similar to Quinceanera or first communion. There is little or no caption information so the images must speak for themselves, not a bad thing, making essays such as “Kosi River of Sorrow” enigmatic as they are engaging in the best National Geographic tradition. In black and white essays such as “Blind Iranian war vet lives a sighted life,” she takes you into territory haunted by the ghost of W. Eugene Smith and it is here that Tavakolian shows she is ready, willing, and talented enough to carry on that tradition. Tavakolian’s site is powered by liveBooks (www.livebooks.com).