By Méri Charitonidi
Myrto Tzima, is a millennial photographer and a core Athenian gal, whose work has most definitely crossed your way in the past years, especially if you are an avid cinephile. Both analog and digital her work is distinctive and raw, in a way that you cannot miss it is hers. “LIKE NOWHERE” is a special collection that Myrto has edited for you to download and indulge your aesthetics with. Enjoy!
With numerous publications and ongoing collaborations, Myrto has established her place in the visual industry as a photographer, art director, visual artist and assistant director. Apart from her obvious and immediate influence from the early 90’s vibe, “slacker” style and “cool-kid in town” attitude, Myrto’s pictures are narratives of motion and spontaneity. Published in Desired Landscapes, Artistas Sean Unidos, Yusra, Phases Magazine among others, Myrto has been capturing the rhythm of places and faces since the early 2010s.
Educated as a photographer and graphic designer, Myrto has explored different aspects of the visual arts and has had a wide spectrum of work, from films, to exhibitions, to festivals and her own individual projects, such as the one we are hosting in Ferocious Urbanites. Myrto has collected pictures from various publications and exhibitions she’s been a part of, and also some unpublished stuff, to share with you in an EXCLUSIVE photobook: “Like Nowhere” is a collection of photos, from a number of cities, that seem to be like anywhere, everywhere and nowhere.
Have you been there? She has.
FU: Can you achieve your storytelling through smart-phone pictures? Even so to include them in an exhibition per se?
M.T: While looking at my work one may consider me a film purist and/or fetishist, and in a way that's accurate since I grew up documenting the world around me mainly through analogue photography, taking pictures with my phone comes just as natural. It goes without saying that the capturing medium of a photograph does not, or should not, have anything to do with its inclusion in exhibitions. I have always had an emotional, even sentimental, connection with analogue but I believe that storytelling can be achieved through any medium and it's more a question of the relationship between the two (story and medium) and the creative choices thereafter. The aesthetic choice of analogue or digital always has a greater or lesser effect on the visual narrative, but not on what draws the eye of the person taking the picture. We all like to get technical with our craft but at the end of the day the fact that everyone has a camera on them at all times, coupled with the abundance of digital spaces for presentation, can only be a good thing.
FU: Like nowhere - the intention behind.
M.T: The first iteration of what would later become "Like Nowhere" as a series of exploring cityscapes started in Belgrade in the summer of 2014.The title of the project came from the Gregg Araki film "Nowhere" in which we follow a group of nihilist, adolescent, Bikini Kill fans waiting for the end of the world,under the sound of Lush, Marilyn Manson and Chuck D, in a dark, psychedelic Los Angeles. The film opens with the line: "L.A is like nowhere, everybody who lives here is lost". With the film freshly-watched and ever-present in my mind, I spent the entire month of August wandering around the city taking photographs. It was then that I started noticing (and creating) a specific mood and feeling that has influenced my work ever since.
Belgrade with its seemingly chaotic distribution of socialist, neoclassical and contemporary buildings and the spaces created between them seemed to me like a city out of time, a landscape of vertical interchanging layers of past and present, a temporal mixed fabric of cement, stone, glass and steel. This feeling, which formed the basis for my first ever exhibition "Belgrade is like nowhere", as I would later find out, was to be discovered in all the cities I visited from then on, and no less in my home city of Athens. Exploring and capturing this particular feeling in different cities is the essence of "Like Nowhere".
FU: What are you looking for in your visual narrative that makes you “click”?
MT: If there is a constant that permeates my work in photography, but also in other art forms, that would be my interest in how the memory of experience affects the perpetual "now". To me, roaming around the city with a camera, means always discovering and decoding new layers of meaning by constantly scraping off the Metropolis' palimpsest. In essence it is an effort to define and be defined, to interpret my personal truth and tell a story about the people and the world around me.
FU: Any upcoming exhibitions?
MT: The main project I am working on, or rather always postponing in these days of pandemic, is an exhibition on the everyday life of Anafi, a place very close to my heart, that will take place on the island. There are also two upcoming collaborations in art book form, but that is all I can say for now.
FU: Future plans as to expanding in other media or mixed visual forms?
M.T: Coming from the world of photography, publications and video art and having worked in a lot of films in different positions, what mainly interests me, while talking about expanding in other media, and what I want to explore in the future is writing and filmmaking.
FU: Days and Nights in the city of ATHENS.
M.T: On a non-working day, my experience of Athens has always been long walks around the city that by dusk find me either watching film retrospectives in places like the Greek Film Archive , hanging around with my loved ones having drinks , or sometimes selecting music in one of the bars I frequent. Unfortunately, these scenes seem distant at the moment.
FU: Your work as a book, a film, a song.
M.T: Book... I would prefer a poem
-Anne Sexton “Little Girl , My String Bean , My lovely Woman”
“Oh, little girl,
How do you grow?
You grow this way.
You are too many to eat.”
Film : Trust - Hal Hartley (I wish!)
Song : Peach Plum Pear - Joanna Newsom
Ph: courtesy of Myrto Tzima
Special thanks to Apo <3