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Photo-Library-1896

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Events > Exhibitions

Greg Lewis
at Whitespace
24 Oct 2007 - 11 Nov 2007

Added by Dib “In 2004, between stints of working and studying in Europe, I made a pilgrimage to the desert lands of Syria and Jordan in the Middle East and Egypt in North Africa to follow in my grandfathers’ footsteps, both of whom had spent years there during the second war - living and traveling mostly, fighting some of the time. I wanted to see the places I’d heard and read so much of and indeed had painted about for so long.

This exhibition is a folding together of time. It comprises imagery drawn from what I knew before I went (from my grandfathers’ photo albums, official war histories, and from classic Alexandrian & Lawrentian literature), and my own photographic record of the ancient/modern, sprawling, cultural/political cauldron that is modern-day Damascus or Amman or any number of lesser cities in the region.

The imagery sourced includes the propaganda of the incumbent totalitarian regimes - all dark sunglasses, un-earned urban camouflage and neon backlighting – deifying their own and reminding the populace not to step out of (the Party) line. Then there’s the flashy-kitsch contemporary media of beautiful women - thinly clad and advertising their latest film, album or whatever; or simple photographs of taxi drivers I met, posing in front of the battered old American Dodge’s they’ve owned since day one, 1972 – before Syria was blacklisted by America.

I was enamoured of the place before I went – I still am of course, but perhaps now not such the old romantic. That paradigm has been supplanted by a more informed, more earthy glamour, and in saying that, I cannot wait to go back.” Greg Lewis


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