THE VEIN COLLECTIVE

THE VEIN COLLECTIVE 

interview by the Roughouse

25th of July 2018

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The Vein Collective was founded in Greece and regroups the work of Greek photographers Elizabeth Rovit, Ilias Georgiadis, Manos Chrisovergis and Panos Kefalos. The collective plans future cooperation with other photographers from around the world around the themes of intimacy, introversion and personal documentation.

What is your emotional relationship with your own work and how has this link evolved through the years?

ILIAS Georgiadis

It depends a lot on the specific mentality/state of mind and consciousness i am in, each time. I think that what you say as “emotional relationship” for me has to do more with what i am trying to get when i experience my work when i am preparing a show or during a presentation where i try to place myself in the position of a viewer. Metaphorically, it feels like i am examining my hands with an old, dusty magnifier. But also, to be more realistic, in those situations its very hard for me not to thing/remember the stories i lived when i was making “Over|State” and sometimes this could be beautiful but also painful. Slowly, and through the years, this link is more and more expandable, meaning that as the time goes by, you see aspects of your work that you didn’t know they exist in the first place, and i think that you get a more solid view of the complete process you followed, choices you did. Those things could help you on new work that may want to do.

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ELIZABETH ROVIT
Photography allows me and encourages me to see the world from a different perspective by revealing my own truth. My images are a visual narrative of my inner self. Through the years I managed to confront personal issues that I wanted to keep hidden before and this is what I consider the most valuable bond between me and my work.
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manos chrisovergis
When I look at my older work I see myself in different situations. Some times I dont like my younger self because of mistakes I ve done. The same applies to photography. There are some portraits of people that have dissappointed me but I like the way I took their portaits. As every relationship it leaves you good and bad marks but the difference here is that you can decide if you want to keep the photo or not. It is the same thing when you find beauty in something that contains also pain. As I grow older I become less enthousiastic but dont lose my apetite, I started having trust issues but I try to laugh more and not taking everything serious.
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panos kefalos

In my life, photography started as an inner impulse and without knowing too much, I started and continued instinctively. As the years go passing by, living with this feeling, I realise that it’s a desire for communication. The connection between me and photography has always been personal as well as honest.

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What is your connection (both artistically and personally) with the other members of the vein collective?

ILIAS Georgiadis

We know each other personally, but i think its more important that we admire and get inspired by each other’s work for a long time. We share common influences, references and i think that pretty much we all speak each others language.

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ELIZABETH ROVIT
Vein collective aims to bring together photographers whose work is a result of personal experiences and I believe this is our main connection. We reveal our relation with the world around us and by exploring the self through photography, we deliver our emotions. I met Panos a few years ago, in 2011, when we were studying photography in the same school and we are together since then. Manos is a friend of ours and the person who united us in this collective. As for Ilias, I’ve met him through photography and now we have the chance to get to know each other better.
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manos chrisovergis
Before we started the collective we knew each other. When I saw Panos Kefalos's work in Athens Photo Festival I added him through facebook and told him to go for a coffee. I really liked his view of photography because we both love harshness and we get close to our subjects. He make me felt less lonely in the greek photographic “scene”. I met Elisabeth through Panos and liked her work because of the way she uses the color. She is also very good at organizing, something that helps us a lot. I've got in touch with Ilias when I saw his work on facebook and liked the powerful silence that his pictures carry (I always wanted to be silent but I could not).
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panos kefalos

What connects me with the members of the Vein collective, I believe is the need for a personal exploration through photography, we may differ visually, but what matters is that even if we’re crossing a different path we all find a common meeting point. Elizabeth and I are together for a long time, Manos is a friend of mine and the one who had the idea about the collective and Ilias is also a friend.

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What is specific to your work in this collective which cannot be found in the other members
work?

ILIAS Georgiadis

I cannot answer that but what i can say is that obviously each one has its own experiences, memories, and personality. And to that extent, this creates a valuable and beautiful diversity. But this happens on a basic-linear way of understanding the works. If you go one step deeper you could see that we all share something important and that is,the basis n the way we create, communicate who we are and what we do, and how we see and understand the world.

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ELIZABETH ROVIT
Each member has a very unique style, different from one another. My work mostly focuses on personal feelings and events of my everyday life and deals with the exploration about my existence.
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manos chrisovergis
I think that my photography is mostly focused on sensualism, sexuality,harshness and decay. It is violent and tender at the same time.
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panos kefalos

I cannot mention or spot what is specific in my work that cannot be found in the other members’ work, because as I mentioned before, we all follow our own path. I can talk about how I approach photography up until now. “I try to let my instincts do my work for me, hoping to uncover something ancient and buried deep in my memory. A past event that I needed to recollect, or that I need to experience again in the future.”

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How do you feed from other photographer’s work (not the ones from the vein collective) and to what extent?

ILIAS Georgiadis

I think its very important to get inspired by other photographer’s work. Its the same as a writer that is reading books, a filmmaker watching films etc.

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ELIZABETH ROVIT
I appreciate photographers who do not hesitate to expose feelings, imperfections or personal stories. When the hesitation about all these is gone, then you can set yourself free and honesty comes out of your work. This is what I’m trying to do in my own work too.
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manos chrisovergis

I think that it is the same thing happening when you meet someone. A way to learn more about yourself is to listen to someone else carefully

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panos kefalos

I’m learning from well-known photographers’ work and other forms of art, it is something helpful for me.The important thing is to find your own voice.

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The word “intimacy” is often used in the Vein collective communication, how do you relate to this term?

ILIAS Georgiadis

I think ‘intimacy” for each one of us is more of a context or a condition that we need in order to create pictures, and to be able to express ourselves in the most meaningful way. Its a communication between personal spaces that makes you feel connected to everything, or everybody.

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ELIZABETH ROVIT

Intimacy refers to someone’s personal space, it’s a dive into your own or someone else’s immediate surroundings and it often takes the form of a visual diary. My own work is related to that term because it has the form of a visual diary as well.

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manos chrisovergis

For me intimacy is connected with obsession. You get closer to something when you can't sleep at night because of it. You get closer to it when you cant stop thinking about it. You get closer when you search everywhere for it. It is also when you search for it everytime you are afraid. It is also when you feel like home. It is also when you search for it to cure your wounds. It is also a situation where you cant deceive and tell lies.

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panos kefalos

Intimacy is related to our personal world, for me it is about what makes me feel familiar or other times the exact opposite.This is what I’m thinking about this term.

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How would you define your personal ethic in relating to the people and the situations you shoot?

ILIAS Georgiadis

I believe that the very true nature of photography has to do with taking something from someone and making it a part of yourself. Even though in my work i always create a condition for other people to trust me so they could share their stories, every time i am making pictures-every time- i am experiencing this primordial “guilt” of stealing something from someone. Thats why i am always trying to give something back in every way possible.

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ELIZABETH ROVIT

Most of the people I photograph are close to me, I rarely shoot strangers and when I do, I want to meet them first. I do not invade someone’s space.

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manos chrisovergis

I am trying to respect,meet, learn about them. As a photographer I want to create “the situation” by taking part in it and not by observing, so communicating with the others is very important.

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panos kefalos

I could never take a picture of people without their knowledge or if I didn’t have a talk with them first. What I’m trying to do is building relationships with them. It isn’t easy to photograph people. There are times in my life that I’m open to photograph people and other times that I’m not, but the connection always matters to me and up until now this connection usually starts with a stranger.

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How do you foresee the Vein collective’s evolution in the near and far future?

ILIAS Georgiadis

In the near future, it will be beautiful if we could make some shows, so to communicate our works together i think the impact of this could be really strong. In the far future, i think that it will be fulfilling if someone could get inspired from what we did.

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ELIZABETH ROVIT

We are open to collaborate with other photographers from Greece and abroad. It will be interesting to see how our photography can be connected with other photographers’ work from different places. Exhibitions and publications would be definitely something we would like to make in the future as a collective.

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manos chrisovergis

I hope that we may learn from each other, have fun, exhibit,publish, enlist interesting photographers,travel, educate ourselves and keep our creativity active.

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panos kefalos

We would like to add some new members in the future from other countries too and also we’d like to pursue some presentations about the collective, screenings, group exhibition and a publication or a zine would be a good result as well.

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