W1D / Cynthia Tzitzis
3rd-26th November 2015
The Hellenic Centre, Friends Room
16-18 Pddington Street London, W1U5AS
Cynthia Tzitzis is taking photos of her friends.
W1D is the postcode of Greek Street in London. It took the name after a Greek church that was built in 1677. Using this code name, the exhibition tells the story of 31 Greek professionals who live and work in London. People who came in this city to study and eventually decided to stay, people who came because of love, people who came because of the Greek recession. Mainly young people who came to the UK the last few years in search of a better future and left Greece behind, like she did. In a way. Because, by inhabiting prosperous new fields, these young people keep carrying Greece’s debris with them, by creating easy to carry memory tool cases, by making associations not so obvious to the bare eye, by making new friends who could have been part of the childhood they left behind, by inventing places in between, by simulating and comparing flavours and scents, habits and experiences. The 31 acquaintances and friends of the photographer, who were chosen by her for different important reasons, compose this chapter and set a pause to it. They generously offer to Tzitzis’ lens the small fertile gardens of ‘now’ that they had to create and inhabit while at the same time, they were leaving ‘there’ behind. And they allowed the photographer’s penetrative glance to focus and capture all those elements that they love and all those that they are in an eloquent, unadorned and articulate manner. By choosing the space and setting the angle of the shot, Cynthia Tzitzis brings the ‘faces’ on her lens –literally and metaphorically- in a direct confrontation with the viewer who is allowed a temporary intrusion into their lives. By composing the Materia prima of the image, framing this image with surgical precision and clarity, translucently inserting the subjects and objects that it is consisted of, determining either the ‘together’ or the ‘solitary’ of the protagonists, organising the microcosm of her models with absolute limpidity and image-making dexterity, implying their personal and professional identity, deconstructing and reconstructing all the stories that they left behind them and by outlining the coordinates which set the current time of their expeditious British biorhythm, Cynthia Tzitzis creates a bespoke and exceptionally eloquent register of people who act consciously while feeling nostalgic but mainly while knowing and interpreting the past, seizing the present and anticipating the future with an optimistic self-awareness.
In her own words Cynthia says : In 2012, I moved to London. These three years that I have been here, I met with amazing people from all over the world and had the pleasure to work with them in different projects. The more people I met, the more stories I heard. I also got to meet and eventually be friends with a lot of people who came from Greece, same as me. So many people, so many tales waiting to be told.In October 2014, I started thinking of what I would like to do as my first solo exhibition and that is when I decided to tell other people’s story through a series of colored portraits. It took me almost a whole year to set everything into orbit and working constantly on this project. It was and still is a great honor for me not only to have the privilege to be trusted with their stories but also to be able to call these people, my friends.