Slke Storjohann and Kathrine Nielsen – a photographers duo from Hamburg – participated in FaveLAB’s programme One+One last May in Athens. They talk about ther experience capturing the essence of SE Europe’s restless capital!
Your favorite place/spot through Athens?
That’s a hard question and we have no definitive answer.
We were drawn to the variety and transitions between the quarters.
Exarchia, our home during the residency is a good example for this.
Standing in the streets looking at a pleasantly bustling neighborhood
in one direction and a dark and deteriorating one in the other.
But to give a more straightforward answer, the Ancient Agora is
exciting. Even though it’s a tourist attraction you feel like you can
truly discover things and have your own experience. Walking around
the Agora is inspiring, beautiful and calming.
Why are industrial sites visually attractive?
Good question -on the road to Elefsina we had an urge to get out of
the bus. The intrusion of humans into nature becomes very apparent in
industrial sites. Structurally they are Landmarks and because you are not allowed in
there is also the appeal of the forbidden and inaccessible. The
imagination is also animated by the basic structures, forms and
colors. In our case these sites contrast the liveliness of the inner city
and the beauty of ancient Greece.
What does Athens have to give to the unconventional photographer?
Due to the diversity of neighborhoods, the many spatial and temporal layers of the city as well as the openness of the people, there are many points of contact for photographers.
You can feel the city changing and there isn’t ‘the picture’ of the city
yet that you have to face. We felt very free.
How did you find your residency?
We had an intense and productive time. The excursions and
discussions were interesting, diverse and inspired our work. Through
the cultural program and our exhibition/intervention we were
challenged to think about our work in historical and political context.
We got to know Athens and left with insight and new questions on
times past and present.