Fragments Photo Exhibition by Dara Kretschmer

Photographic portraiture has a particular significance in the modern Greek experience, photographic portraits were often the sole reminder of those far away. They became a central totem of family connection; a deep expression of kinship; a repository of family memory, at once both artifact and object.

This exhibit was shot by Dara Kretschmer in 2008 and is out of the archive, please join the artist at the opening event Thursday 17 Oct. 2013, 6-8pm.

The Fragments exhibition continues the tradition of photographic portraiture within the Greek community by recording the Greeks of the diaspora in the inner bayside suburbs of the City of Port Phillip.

The exhibition will run between 16 Oct. to 13 Nov.

 

Synopsis

Portraiture is the most intimate form of social realism.

Photographic portraiture has a particular significance in the modern Greek experience.

With so many siblings, children and family either emigrating or being sent abroad to work (often never to return to Greece), photographs were often the sole reminder of those far away. They became a central totem of family connection a deep expression of kinship, a repository of family memory, at once both artifact and object. The Fragments exhibition continues the tradition of photographic portraiture within the Greek community by recording the Greeks of the diaspora in the inner bayside suburbs of the City of Port Phillip.

The municipality of Port Phillip includes one of the most important symbols of the post war immigration experience, Station Pier. The council areas of Port, South Melbourne, Albert and Middle Park played host to a large portion of the post war Greek immigrants to Melbourne and Australia, representing an unusual concentration of people of Greek ancestry. Even today, long after the post war wave, Greeks still comprise a significant portion of the population of the inner bayside suburbs.

This series has inevitable ethnographic and documentary overtones, but the examination is more concerned with the psychological and emotional borders encountered as part of the immigration experience. The process of migration disrupts space, time, culture and communications. Identities are recast and many components of the emigrant's former identity -- notably their spatial and environmental heritage -- are ruptured, often forever. Never the less the emigrant invests the present with meaning giving continuity to their own presence in space as they re-established their lives and communities in Port Phillip.

The immigrant experience and the important role it played in shaping and reshaping the identity of the City of Port Phillip is largely un-documented. The turbulence of migration, the broken relationships, and the reformed and recast communities it creates, the conflicting emotions of renewal and loss, lie just below the surface.

During the past decade, the evidence of the Greek community in Port Phillip has faded as children moved to the suburbs combined with the inevitable consequences of aging. In Fragments, I have recorded the images of those who have remained. It captures elements of their lives, dwellings, and spatial environment focused around the central role of the portrait as totem, icon and repository of memory.

 

Biography

Dara Kretschmer is a fine art photographer. A native of Los Angeles, she now studies in Sydney and has worked as a photographer in both the USA and Australia. Her works have featured in several photography exhibitions including Ballarat Foto where she was a Fringe Prize finalist in 2011 and Sydney's Head On exhibition in both 2012 and 2013.

"The path to my career in photographic art began, like many, when I picked up one of my parents' cameras and began to shoot. We were fortunate to have a number of cameras around the house, as my grandfather was a photographer and owned a camera store in Omaha, Nebraska. My parents encouraged me in many ways – one of which was never questioning the amount of film I was having developed (and charging to their account) at the local camera store.

In high school, I took my first photography class, learning how to develop both film and prints, in black and white and colour. I did every photography class available and worked on the yearbook. Since then, I have lived and worked in Los Angeles, New York, Melbourne and Sydney. There was a brief intermission in my photographic career as I veered into law school at Duke University.

Later, living and working in New York, I studied at the International Centre of Photography, defining and refining my aesthetic. Thereafter, there were the inevitable twists and turns that comprise an artistic career; the need to balance family, friends and community with generating an income and the desire to produce art. In order to further develop my artistic practice, I am now completing a Masters in Studio Art at the Sydney College of Art."

 
Alphington Grammar Koinotika Nea - the Greek Community newsletter Requirements for Greek Citizenship

 

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