NIKOS MARKOU | Topos - Nuances of Space

21.01.11 - 05.03.11

"03.01.2009", 2009, Inkjet print on fine art paper, 99 X 120 cm, Ed. of 5

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Beyond the obvious fascination that landscape generates to Markou, there is also a continuous interest for man through the places he creates or surround him and his desire to evoke a sense of “semi-objectivity” in his works. Markou’s Topos studies the concept of natural and manufactured. Almost always, there is an artificial grid behind that which appears natural in his pictures. But these two elements are never distinct. They intertwine to create strange colour images of artificial – natural landscapes that hover between the two categories in order to create an entirely new category, a nuance in space.

Working with an almost translucent, subtle way Markou’s photographs create spaces that introduce to us a kind of suspicion about the world that surrounds us, without however the use of any theatrical, dramatic or surrealist elements. The way he frames his subjects, is straightforward and unembellished, in order to turn his subjects into huge window-like frames that overlook towards nature. By this means he creates a series of monumental spaces that have been put up on the wall for the visitor to observe, which however do not intend to recreate images of unique natural beauty and harmony, nor to surprise us by the means of something unexpected, but have been composed in order to create a new totality, where, as Simmel argues, the balance between the universal and the particular is established by a masterful use of detail.

What appears as a bare hill, actually contains hundreds of tiny details made of rocks, green and stones that compose one more "landscape within the landscape”, pushing us to continuously re-interpret the image the more we approach it. Likewise, in a harsh and rigorous picture between two cypresses, one can barely make out a small bird sat on a branch. That detail is an example of an element that reverses any initial reading of the picture by adding to it a surprising twist to its narrative. Finally, images like the two men who swim in dirty water, the ivy-wrapped tree that grows in two opposite directions, or the rocky landscape with the road, are also places. Not of a specific and identifiable countryside, but natural - artificial landscapes of an internal gaze, where harmonious images are composed of chaotic elements and pictures of apparent "totality" are internally overturned by a range of details.

The works of Nikos Markou’s latest show in AD gallery derive from his recent solo show entitled TOPOS – NUANCES OF SPACE held in the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography in the spring of 2010 and were produced by the Museum in the context of the Photo Biennale.

The exhibition lasts until the 5th of March 2011. 

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