Byronic Heroes - Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale 2021
Curation: Syrago TsiaraInformation
Duration: 18/12/2021 - 20/02/2022
Opening Hours: TU | WE | FR | SA | SU > 10:00-18:00, TH > 12:00-20:00
Venue: MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art
In the frame: Protovoulia 1821-2021
The MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art in the Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale 2021 presents Lydia Venieri's Byronic Heroes in Protovoulia 1821-2021
Lydia Venieri’s innovative work fits beautifully into millennia-old traditions representing visually the heroes and heroines of a society in the context of their own monuments and achievements. But she does not use canvas or mosaics or stone. Her media are contemporary and highly creative. And her work has an added dimension through the fact that her heroes are themselves the creations of an authentic 19th-century hero – George Gordon Noel ByronLord Byron’s poetry is strong in rhythm, music and imagery, and Lydia brings his heroes and heroines to life with an original vision. Many of her backgrounds for these heroes are derived from real period representations of Greek and Ottoman sites. But she has transformed them into vibrant stage sets. Within these evocative settings, she carefully places her cast: children and young adults in colorful garb, photographed with their fresh, personal interpretations of the heroes. The overall impact is a vivid amplification and enhancement of Byron’s forceful imagery through Lydia’s unique lens. Lord Byron’s own heroism and sacrifice is well remembered in Greece. There his sometime scandalous notoriety is forgotten or ignored. He is a genuine hero, coming to Greece ready to give his life for the freedom of its people. Streets and neighborhoods are named after him. There is an important monument to him in Athens. He is remembered in the folk traditions. No history of the Greek Revolution is complete without a discussion of his role. Byron gave the Greek cause distinction and credibility. Greece gave him a permanent place in its panoply of heroes.
The mountains look on Marathon –
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream’d that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians’ grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.
Byron, ‘The Isles of Greece’ (translated by Argiris Eftaliotis)
Robert A. McCabe