Nikolas Ventourakis Shortlisted For The Bar Tur Photobook Award 2015
16 dec 2015 by art:i:curate team
art:i:curate artist Nikolas Ventourakis has been shortlisted for The Bar Tur Photobook Award 2015.
Nikolas was shortlisted for his photographic project Defining Lines which is focused on the areas in and around the Western Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri on the island of Cyprus. The Area, which is one of the two British Sovereign Territories created in 1960, is autonomous and has as head of the state the British Monarch. There are no border barriers, no custom posts between most of the Area lands and the Republic. Normal civilian day to day life takes place along the peninsula and right next to and inside the border. It is hard to tell if you have crossed into UK land. Using modern technology and such devices as iPhones and services like Google Maps the border becomes apparent and real. These borders are open at all times. They separate the land at all times.
'To make work about borders is to work in a context where evidence, particularly photographic evidence plays an important role. We are familiar with news images that show migrants as victims or criminals. Passport photographs are taken as proof of identity. The story of traumatic occurrences in a person's life must be repeated again and again as evidence of their right to be in Europe. At the same time there are only a few projects that deal with the reality of the Border itself, the inanimate often invisible line that exists only after Sovereign powers decide to create it. Disagreements on the exact location or validity of borders lead to diplomatic tensions often even to war.
I have visited the area over short periods of time during the last few years and made images along the border lines as revealed by Google Maps or from within the area designated as UK ground. I do not give an indication of the exact points, as I do not try to make a documentary about the location, but rather I am focusing on creating a visual world that might intrigue the viewer with the absurdity of the situation and perhaps even make him question the some of the prevailing perceptions of borders.'
Now in its second year, the Bar Tur Photobook Award 2015 is an significant annual award offering an emerging photographer the opportunity to work with The Photographers’ Gallery and independent UK based publisher Here Press, to produce their first book to a value of £20,000.
The award was given to Jack Latham at a special ceremony that took place at The Photographers’ Gallery on Tuesday 1st of December 2015 and the winning project will be published in Autumn 2016. All shortilsted artists will receive £1,000 each towards the realisation of their proposed photobook project.
Leaving Utopia - Billboard 2, 2013, c-type print, edition of 5, 101.6 × 121.9 cm, courtesy of the artist.
Nikolas Ventourakis is a London-based artist. He holds a MA in Photography from Central Saint Martins - University of the Arts London, London (2013). He is the recipient of the Deutsche Bank Award in Photography in 2013 and a Celeste Prize finalist of the same year. He is currently a visiting artist and Fulbright artist fellow at the California Institute of the Arts (2014/15). In 2014, he was exhibited at the Photographer’s Gallery in London as part of the exhibition 'Fresh Faced Wild Eyed'.
Last August, Nikolas Ventourakis' Motocross and Radars was one of the first works to be successfully funded through the art:i:curate art crowd funding platform. Find out more about how to become a patron of arts.