The Fondazione dell’Albero d’Oro in Venice will host, from February 4th to April 2nd, 2023, the exhibition of the French artist photographer of Greek origin Nikos Aliagas (Paris, 1969) in the spaces on the ground floor and the courtyard of the Palazzo Vendramin Grimani, an area covering more than 400 m2. The exhibition Nikos Aliagas. Regards Vénitiens is the result of an artistic residency that took place between July and December 2022.
Nikos Aliagas visited Venice several times to meet those who are not seen in the city: the inhabitants, those who avoid the gaze of tourist lenses. This project took root in the mind of the artist when Nikos Aliagas, at the invitation of the Fondazione Albero d’Oro. Visited the lagoon for the first time, he observed its enigmatic and fascinating reality. Then was born the idea of really looking inside Venice by exploring the universe that revolves around the Palazzo Vendramin Grimani.
The lens of Nikos Aliagas wandered through the extraordinary daily life of campo San Polo, the sestiere that surrounds it and the glimpses of Venice, letting the pictures tell the stories of those who live and bring these places to life. Nikos Aliagas’ images are in black and white: the artist explores contrasts, backlighting, movements in frames where line and curve come together whether on a face or on a street corner.
“Can we still improvise in Venice? In a city photographed millions of times by passing eyes? Yes” replies the artist “if we start from the principle that it is Venice that is looking at us and observing us.”
Nikos Aliagas. Regards Vénitiens is part of the program devoted to photography that the Fondazione dell’Albero d’Oro has been pursuing since the first exhibitions presented at the palazzo, with the evocative photographic testimonies of the French artist Patrick Tourneboeuf and the Venetian artist Ugo Carmeni in 2021. This project structurally integrates the Foundation’s programming, consolidating the rebirth of this historic place of transmission, exchange and artistic enhancement. The residency plays a fundamental role in the support and co-production of exhibitions from their conception. The work of Nikos Aliagas, like that of Bosco Sodi, is closely linked to the impact of his stay in Venice, and his photographs will constitute a body of original works created especially for the exhibition at Palazzo Vendramin Grimani.
An internationally renowned journalist and TV and radio presenter, Nikos Aliagas is also a self-taught photographer with a benevolent gaze who has already had around thirty exhibitions to his credit in Europe. His pilgrimage of observation led him to immortalise Venice filled with humanity, secrets and distant echoes, through hands, faces where the years have passed and dug the furrows of a life, moments of daily newspapers or even landscapes, which he chooses by instinct. “Venice is not waiting for you,” he said, “the city of the Doges has its own space-time, its own perspective on this noisy world that comes to it. We feel her almost indifferent to those who try to immortalize her thru their lens, in reality it is the city that observes us, I have never felt elsewhere this so strange sensation of being observed by a thousand eyes in a city, eyes of yesterday and today.”
Behind his lens, he does not capture faces like a collector, he tries to capture the essence of each person, the mystery of our ephemeral existence. The traces of time are indeed one of the favorite themes of the artist Nikos Aliagas, like a search for a moment suspended in the implacable finitude of an existence, his exhibitions bear witness to this with tenderness and nostalgia.
Nikos Aliagas. Regards Vénitiens
February 4 – April 2, 2023
Fondazione dell’Albero d’Oro
Palazzo Vendramin Grimani
San Polo, 2033
30125 Venice, Italy