MICHALIS POULAS (Crete, Greece)
I was born in Athens Greece in 1978. My father, a professional sailor, opened a one hour process film shop back in 1988 in Crete island as he tried to stay close to our family and that was my first contact with photography.
I studied photography at Leica Academy in Athens and worked in the fashion industry. Since 2003 I established and have been running my own photolab in Sitia Crete where I also live. I make pictures in ordrer to ease the pain and fear of death. The quality of the images can sometimes be over and beyond the photographer or the content of the subject.
The place where one draws breath and calls one’s home;
’tis whence one begins;
The place one recalls and reminisces, be it in a positive or negative light, years down the line, even if one never left it, either physically or mentally;
It exists as place, as time, as a past experience in one’s memory and imagination;
’tis the remains of this theme that jointly shape the way one feels;
The space-time one calls one’s home is under tremendous pressure, and the issue is with whom, why, and to what extent one is willing to share it.
The pictures were taken on the island of Crete, between May 2014 and today. The dominant role in this sequence of images is played by the surrounding sea, which defines the limits of how much man can change the landscape. The protagonists of the story are my friends and family members, as well as people I approached along the way. The images are not a strict document; rather then depict a place that is defined by explicit morphological characteristics, though it remains conceptually and geographically boundless.
Infinite Perimeter* is a project about human identity as it exists within the current stage of capitalism. It is about the feelings of loss, loneliness and isolation that everyone can experience whether as actual immigrants or even into their homeland. It is about the sense of being exiled even from ourselves.
*Niels Fabian Helge von Koch (25 January 1870 – 11 March 1924) was a Swedish mathematician who gave his name to the famous fractal known as the Koch snowflake, one of the earliest fractal curves to be described. Koch’s snowflake is a quintessential example of a fractal curve, a curve of infinite length in a bounded region of the plane. A finite area contained in an infinite perimeter.
Practice Statement: How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
I work professionally as a photographer; it is how I make a living and support my family. Since 2003 I have been using digital cameras in my work but in 2012, after I had completed my rehabilitation program and overcome my drug addiction, I redefined my relationship with photography.
I started using film again for this project so as to separate working for money as my objective and working for my own (Need) and pleasure. When I hold my camera and load the film, thoughts of clients and money dissolve and only the pursuit of the next image remains. I work with medium format rangefinder film cameras, a Plaubel Makina 67 and a Mamiya 7ii.