MISE EN ABYME – VASILIS VRETTOS

Mise en Abyme (The Self within The Self) is the photographic exhibition of Vasilis Vrettos, edited by Iris Kritikou, that takes place in the former Tsaousoglou furniture factory as part of the 2015 Athens and Epidaurus Festival.

The artist has asked a number of individuals to stage their own portrait and by doing so, he gives us the opportunity to see how people manage their image when provided with full control over their exposure.

The majority of the participants decided to have their workplace or a work related area be the photo scenery and are followed by those who where photographed at their home or with loved ones.  Some decided to appear as imaginary characters while others wanted to illustrate a message to the outer world, most of the times experiential.

Giannis Kalavrianos (writer-director) was photographed at Street Workout Athens, in the Fokianos athletic park of the Kallimarmaro area.  He is dressed in a football outfit leaning on the goal line of a football court eating all sorts of junk food.  The photograph is taken behind the goal’s net.  The message is clear and manifold.  As beautiful as sports and athleticism may be, it is constantly being tarnished by scandals and corruption.  Athletes are being found doped every day and the fans fight each other on the streets.  Yes, a lot of people pretending to be part of sports feed athleticism with junk food at the expense of our children and our society.

Eva Manidaki (stage designer) was photographed at the industrial materials shop of Reppas brothers in Kakourgodikiou str of Monastiraki area.  The scenery is formed by an array of  shelves fully loaded with products.  One of those products in line is not a box, like all others, but Eva Manidaki’s head.  For most people that work in the line production their every day and life is like that shelf, all aligned and positioned in the right spot doing the same thing every day.  Once in a while someone stands out.

Giorgos Glastras (actor) was photographed at the sculpture workshop of Apostolos Fanakidis as a sculpture that is being carved.  The most ingenious staging of all.  There is nothing more that can be said other than the image itself.

The time has come, to ask you the very thing that I asked myself before going to the exhibition.
How would you stage your self if being in a similar condition?
Would you want to be seen as who you really are? as who you pretend to be? or as who you would like to be? Do you even have an answer to this question?
What is more important to you? work? family? neither? both?
Think about it.

Chris

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