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Plato Rivellis By Ana Maia March 9, 2013

Posted by usbngo in Older Posts.

Plato Rivellis

Photography Exhibition

Piraeus Bank Conference Center

1st – 24th March 2013


Plato Rivellis is a greek photographer, teacher and theoretician of Photography. He was born in Athens in 1945.

The Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation organized on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of March a Seminar of 20 hours, guided by Rivellis, regarding the subject of Photography, comprising debates, analyses, projections and critique.

This exhibition is composed of dozens of photos that regard different subjects. This photographer is focused on the aesthetical/pure side photography, meaning he sees each photo is seen as a means of expression itself.

ImagePlato Rivellis – 01 23 Sicily

By paraphrasing this author, his view becomes clear:

“My aesthetic proposals are attempts to reconcile what I see with what I feel and believe. My photographs, the ones I take and the ones I support, hate messages and illustrated concepts. I believe in subtraction and hope for transcendence. But I do not aim at anything. Photography has the gift of its poverty. It is an immaterial image that is reproduced indefinitely and identically in many different ways and by many different means. This is what I attempt to highlight and preserve. I try to avoid anything that would supposedly make it more valuable than it really is.”

“I don’t have anything to say in any picture. My only interest in photography is to see what something looks like as a photograph. I have no preconceptions.”

ImagePlato Rivellis – 07 32 Syros

“Thinking – let’s not forget – is much easier than photography, it is fully compatible with ignorance, and, most importantly, much more accessible to third parties.”

This author is influenced by classic photographers such as Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Harry Callahan, Diane Arbus, and he bases his expression on the belief that a photograph has a worth itself as a means of expression, independent from a context given by the same or any other media. According to Rivellis, the photograph should be free from thought, as pure as it can be a simple expression with no message.

Looking at his exhibition, besides the notorious lack of space for all the photos, there seemed also to be a lack of an intention from the author. This exhibition, due to the lack of a subject in itself, rises immediately the question of what is or what is not Photography.

ImagePiraeus Bank Conference Center

The vision of Rivellis contrasts with a contemporary vision of Photography and its role as an artistic expression, which nowadays leads more and more to the existence of a thesis, a line of thought that conducted the artist and leads the viewer towards a certain reading/message. The way we see video/cinema might have influenced this path, creating a need of connection even between still images. The way we produce meaningful communication is linked with the connections we form between images and between audio.

Examples like this: http://static.publico.pt/docs/sociedade/regressoacabanelas/ are growing more and more common. In this we have an audiovisual document, based on photography, based in the connection there is between images and how they create meanings and play with the concept of temporality. (In this project, a photographer returns 20 years after to the same school and portrays the same people in the same places/positions.) The use of photography is prominent in this project, as it is in Rivellis’ photographs, which are mere photography with no mixture of other media. Some call this new trend Para-Photography, a photography which cannot survive on its own, needing words to support it.


Adriano Miranda – Cabanelas

These two antagonistic visions over the same subject (Photography) have the power of pulling out these questions: What is photography and its’ role in society nowadays? Can we compartmentalise Photography and separate it according to its use or aesthetics? What is pure photography and what should it transmit? What is art? Where does meaning and thesis fit in that concept? Does the combination of different media create a new media or a different compartment inside one already existent?



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