Text by Joanna Vasdeki
Dimitra Papageorgiou: An analog diary
Life is fast today, life is digital, life is smart. Memories follow that pace, they survive behind screens; our past can be so easily stored and recovered any minute (really?!). Selfies don’t need the ‘other’, thus no interaction needed – how fast and convenient! At no other time in the history of photography has our everyday life been so easily and frequently depicted.
It is perhaps even becoming a cliche to ask ‘how many of the pictures that we take have we actually printed?’ but it is also a warning. Once, wandering through the woods, I met a lady, I told her I was a photographer and she said: “I have three sons, for the oldest one I have dozens of photo albums from when he was little, for the middle one I have three and for the youngest one I have none”.
Dimitra Papageorgiou is a young Greek photographer who started taking pictures as a hobby, with her black & white analog film but, as our times mandate, she swiftly switched over to the digital medium. Gradually, however, something unspoken brought her back to the analog. Her everyday moments, her memories, her self-portraits, boring or exciting, photogenic or photo-phobic, pretty or ugly, all have started shaping her analog reality, one that she loves to depict and eventually print. The seemingly insignificant moment turns into a memory that remains.
Recording one’s life is undoubtedly not new in the history of art, it is probably even passé. What could be new, in the ‘millennials’ era, is a return to the beauty of the non-digital, the non-fast, the non-smart, especially when that derives from the work of one of those millennials. Papageorgiou has managed to maintain a weird, yet fresh, balance between the ‘analog’ and the ‘digital’, the unimportant and the significant, the engrossing and the void, the simple and the complex. What is also very interesting is that in her digital works, her pictures are really clear, sharp, with perfect focus and lighting, whereas in the ‘Diary’ series she deliberately selects the unfocused, the bizarrely lit, and the characteristic colors attained with film… But isn’t life and the memory of it just like that? A wonderful combination!
Her ‘diary’ is a work in progress, just as life is. She might take even better pictures, as her life evolves, or she might choose to stop and forget the analog. But the prints will remain…