CIRCLE OF LIFE RETHYMNO

 

Chris Doulgeris has an extensive archive of photos from Rethymnon in the 1990s, when he was a student at the city’s university. His observation of the buildings and streets remains critical; there is no idealisation. A typical provincial town, molested like all our towns by the modern-Greek behaviour and apathy, Rethymnon is only rescued by its seafront and the exquisite precinct near the Fortezza and the old Byzantine and post-Byzantine town; the conquering Venetians left some splendid examples of their culture which the next invaders —the Ottomans— enriched in their own style.

The spots observed by the lens of Doulgeris are chosen not as ‘picturesque’ but as sites of everyday life; they may be recognisable or otherwise. Twenty years later, the artist photographs the same sites anew and re-comments on them. In this processing of older and recent photographs it is interesting to see the mutations in the urban fabric and the responses they trigger in the viewer’s gaze: responses of nostalgia or rude awakening. Hovering between real life and a discreet surrealism, Chris Doulgeris persists with the city he loves and observes in different ways, from different angles and hence from different approaches.