Ithacas - PhMuseum

Ithacas

Grigoris Digas

2012 - 2019

The economic crisis in Greece in 2010 had a huge impact on the country. Trapped in the country’s impasse, Greeks began to feel exiled in their own homeland. However, the crisis also brought about the realisation of a pre-existing problematic identity that has been evolving in recent decades through the shift of society towards neoliberal socio-political structures. The need to redefine Greek identity through the reinvention of Greekness and the elements of Greek culture that deserved to be preserved entered the discourse.

Μany Greeks sought a way out of the crisis with their migration and the opportunity it offers to redefine their individual identity. Most of them left the Greek urban centers for a European metropolis, which, in the imagination of Greece, offered the opportunity to build the life they aspired. Some of them returned from abroad after realising that their preconceptions of the European metropolises were idealised. They repatriated hoping that their distanced perspective of Greekness would allow them to re-evaluate the elements of Greek culture that should not be lost and bring a new vision to their homeland. For others, the crisis prompted a realisation of the vanity of the Westernised lifestyles and they retreated to a remote island, choosing a life in harmony with nature, reviving the traditional values of Greek culture.

Ithacas follows this contemporary Odyssey as a continuous, perhaps perpetual, voyage. Each destination looks like a new island, a new Ithaca, which encloses within its physical boundaries the expectations of every self-exile who reaches it, the reality itself, and the memory he/she carries. Ithacas consists of 4 parts; immigrating to a metropolis (I/IV), repatriating from abroad (II/IV), migrating to an island (IV/IV), and the Greek landscape as a new idealised vision of Greekness (III/IV).

The project consists of 4 parts, which can be presented ideally in a square-shaped room. The photographs are framed in various dimensions. The polaroids are also framed and could be either the originals (if insured) or reproductions. The 4 maps (1 for each part of the project) could be printed as stickers on the background. Depending on the available space, the narrative that will be presented will be edited. I will provide a mockup with dimensions after the dimensions of the available space are provided.

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