This begins a series of posts that examine the work of participants and instructors that have featured in the ASX/VOID workshops from 2019 and will now be used to illustrate the Nearest Truth Workshops taking place in Athens in November of 2021.
Nearest Truth is a podcast devoted to photography and culture at large. Started by ASX content editor Brad Feruehlm in 2020, the “podcast” or archive of conversations has passed its 200th episode in just over a year. Everyone from artists such as Raymond Meeks, Roger Ballen, Lisa Barnard, and, Chloe Dewe Mathews to museum officials such as MoMA Chief Curator Clément Chéroux and Fotomuseum Winterthur Director Nadine Wiesbach have been interviewed along with publishers Michael Mack of MACK and Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi of Chose Commune have been interviewed in long format. The site functions as an archive more than a podcast with an aim of keeping an oral history of photography for the times.
Nearest Truth is also opening independent workshops in the autumn of 2021 to expand the reach of photographic education. Most workshops will be held in Athens, Greece. Nearest Truth Workshops intend to work with the highest placed individuals in photography. There will be an emphasis on multiple-artist workshops. The intention is to mix 2 or more instructors per workshop to give an optimum learning environment. There will be a concentration on the photobook and there will be some interesting plans regarding this in 2022.
Our first workshop will feature a 4 artist line-up with American artist Adrianna Ault, Tim Carpenter, Gregory Halpern, and Raymond Meeks. This workshop begins on November 1st with a finishing date of November 6th. It is a six-day workshop with a series of Zoom conversations leading up to the physical meeting in Athens. There are early bird prices for every workshop. The number of participants varies depending on the number of instructors. The intention is to help participants develop both existing and new bodies or work through sharing methodology and in-person reviews of work. Every participant receives equal access to each instructor with a secondary team of professionals available for consultation.
We will begin featuring a delayed spotlight on participants from the VOID/ASX workshops from 2019-2020 to give the artists exposure while also using their work as an example of projects developed through the workshops. These same initiatives are embedded in the Nearest Truth Workshops. We will continue to examine both written and recorded histories of the artists involved in our workshops for both ASX and Nearest Truth going forward. Feel free to visit the Nearest Truth Workshops website to find out more and thank you for your interest in the Nearest Truth Podcast/Archive.
Participant Highlight: Efi Haliori (GR)
Efi Haliori was a participant in the Todd Hido workshop held between ASX/VOID in Athens in November 2019. We had the fortunate opportunity to work with Efi on her practice in the rich city of Athens. The brilliant thing about these workshops is that often, we find that the participants selected are already well-placed in galleries and high-end commercial work. They are professionals working in our community that simply wish to hone up on some new skills and glean insight that can help their already in-motion professional career. Far from being a cadre of amateurs or neophyte camera enthusiasts, the participants of workshops often already have gallery representation and have exhibited widely. Such is the case of Efi.
Her work concerns materiality, time, and landscape. There is a spectral element in a number of her worths that begs questions of memory and trace. In the work that she developed during the VOID/ASX workshops, Efi focused on making work in the Panathenaic Stadium. No stranger to classical architecture, the city of Athens brags of an inordinate amount of historical and contemporary architectural delights. The Panathenaic Stadium is one of the highlights. Rarely seen at night and in a burst of light from the flash of a camera, Efi transformed the environment into something phantasmagoric and ritual in nature. Using a model for some of the work, the artist created a series of highly unsettling compositions of architecture. The figure of the model appears seldomly.
In the workshop, Efi and the instructors began to develop the work into something uncanny. We considered fabricating new monuments from her flash-spoilt images. The bleached-out and nearly monochromatic series of images became new studies of architecture. historical references from ancient Greece to Speer’s Cathedral of Light in Nuremberg in 1933 were discussed as were a number of ways in which the work could be read within the loose terminology of “The Cinematic”. The results are quite eerie and gossamer-like. Though different from a number of Efi’s projects shown in the Christina Androulidaki Gallery in Athens, the work provided the artist with a new possibility for seeing her own work. It also allowed to experiment and work loosely with the camera. Workshops should be seen more as a laboratory as a way to expand work and experiment. Please check out Efi’s work!