March 3, 2023
PHOTOGRAPHY AND REALITY
BODY NO BODY
Photography by Ypatia Kornarou
Interview by Karen Ghostlaw Pomarico
We have the pleasure of introducing a photographer with a unique and innovative way of visual storytelling. Ypatia Kornarou was born in Athens, Greece, where she lives and creates her photography today. Ypatia has been inspired and drawn to artistic photography since she launched her career in the photographic world. While participating in international and domestic photography festivals, Ypatia finds valuable time to write articles presenting photographic material in the magazine “Photonet”.
Ypatia explores her ideologies, choosing the photography of theatrical and dance performances to translate and communicate her stories. “In my evolution, the moment when thoughts and feelings came, I felt ready to communicate, creating photographic projects.”
Last year Ypatia became actively involved in social media, especially on Instagram, where important international photography communities continue to support her and present her photographic work.
Ypatia explains her visual translation process.
“Photography taught me to ask myself which is the reality, where it is and whether it exists. Quite early on I undid the illusion that I was photographing reality. So, I started studying the frame and my aim was to understand the content. I concluded in endless ascertainments. Sometimes I turned them inside and some other times outside. In time I realized that everything I allowed to enter in my field of vision was the 'signified' of my existence.
The composition of a photograph is everything that is absent or existing in the soul of a photographer at the moment of the 'click'. A picture cannot exist if it has nothing to say and the photographer exists because she can communicate pictures. In this point there exists a tiny deception from the picture’s view: ‘it promises reality’ just like it happens in illusive love when ‘it promises the ideal’.
The photographer does not use words, she has the frame for communication. She does not possess reality, not even her own reality but, for sure, she is contained in what she imprints with the camera. Every shooting is a search, only that the dive happens mainly in the unconscious.”
Several times Ypatia’s thoughts on photography have been hosted along with photos of her, on important sites (“Photologio”, “Nexus Media”, “Lifetone”, “PolisMagazino”). From 2009 until today she photographs Theater and Dance Festival (“Young Artists – The 12 Coupes”, “Contemporary Dance-Compartments Dance Project” at “Train in Rouf”).
She recently transmitted her knowledge in to photography seminars organized by art schools or places of creation and art (Tabula Rasa, Orneraki School, Compass Theater, and Spring People).
Ypatia has been gracious enough to share with our readers on The Pictorial List, a new series of photographs from her project: BODY NO BODY. Ypatia explains her intentions and concepts that have driven this intimate series.
“BODY NO BODY draws its inspiration from the daily life of modern lifestyle in western culture, where the approach mainly focuses on satisfying the social expectations and meeting material needs. The nudity in the photographs represent consciousness and the consequences we accept due to the fulfillment of social conventions.
The body of a modern person carries the requirements of a “social normality”, thus excluding its own “bare reality”. The mental state is housed in a neglected body where the satisfaction of emotional needs is at stake. Humanity seems to be in a constant negotiation for its existence. Interpersonal relationships are hovering in space created by the lack of meaningful communication.”
IN CONVERSATION WITH YPATIA KORNAROU
THE PICTORIAL LIST: Hello Ypatia, please tell us about yourself. What would you say first drew you to photography?
YPATIA KORNAROU: I was born and raised in Athens, the capital of Greece, where I still live to this day. I first studied accounting and then I worked for several years in this profession. I fell in love with photography during my childhood, when I discovered a water gun shaped like a camera. I was only nine years old. Later, during my young years, when the dilemma between photography or studies in economics arose, logic prevailed. I chose a secure professional future. Then, an unexpected health issue arose that prompted me to return to the things I really love. Of course, the first one was photography.
TPL: Your photography is intriguing, thought provoking. How would you describe your photography to our readers, and tell them what you are trying to achieve artistically? Describe your creative and critical thinking process for us.
YK: First of all, I would like to thank you for the beautiful comments you made about my photography. My artistic approach is mainly based on the process of self-therapeutic introspection that takes place during the creation of photography inspirations. I cannot deny, however, that I would like the viewers to be able to meet parts of themselves in my work, and at the same time to dive deep into their inner identity.
TPL: What inspires your unique visual storytelling? Where do you find your inspiration to create? What importance does storytelling or key themes hold for you?
YK: The narration in a shot is of utmost importance for the dynamic of visual communication. We can say that it is essentially a “gift” that the visual field possesses since words are absent. I put a lot of emphasis on narration, because I feel the need to narrate but also because I have the desire for someone to be there to understand. This is how I try to channel my words, through visual recording. Their truth. So, because I believe in the identity of the work, I draw inspiration mainly from the way I perceive the world and myself. If we accept that everything is potentially an inspiration. Where we will focus is the timing of an indiscernible attraction. The theme of inspiration includes everything that art means. An artist can only be a creator when they are inspired. Anything mistaken for imitation is not the artist’s personal confession, therefore it is not their truth. So, because I believe in the identity of the work, I draw inspiration mainly from the way I perceive the world and myself.
TPL: We all have influencers and people that inspire us to think differently, ultimately challenging us to express ourselves and ideologies in new ways. Do you have any favorite artists you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance?
YK: Indeed, I would say that the admiration of other artists that have a significant influence on our inspiration is absolutely necessary. Personally, my photographic capturing is influenced by the work of the Irish novelist-poet-playwright Samuel Beckett. As an exponent of the artistic movement, “The Theatre of the Absurd”, Beckett marries the dystopia of human suffering to black humor in a minimalistic depiction. Well, right there, in these elements of Samuel’s literary interpretation lies the driving force of my inspiration.
TPL: If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why?
YK: There are many photographers I admire, even when the approaches are different. I believe that unconscious interactions occur, thus forming new perspectives. But I have my own special preferences, mainly because some artists speak directly to our inner identity. So, if I had to choose, I would choose the photographer Laura Makabresku. Her work, contemporary, deeply inspired, captivates me and slowly dives me into a dreamlike journey. What we admire is not random. We usually see in other photographers’ work our own emotions that haven’t become photographs yet.
Photography taught me to ask myself which is the reality, where it is and whether it exists. Quite early on I undid the illusion that I was photographing reality.
TPL: Your work you have shared has an important connection to place. What have been some of your most favorite places to photograph, where do you find inspiration to explore through your photography, and what draws you there?
YK: I love and I am inspired by anything that has memories, colors, smells, sounds, music but above all anything that is full of the element of abstraction. Almost obsessively, I enjoy discovering abandoned buildings that have an exciting story to tell. I perceive the discovery of the location as a journey of exploration through space-time. It functions in a completely liberating way for the whole process of a photo shoot. A lot of times I don’t know from the beginning where I will drive my car to, and that is the beauty of wandering, that I can lose control and drive in front of a place full of dirt or a wall that is ready to fall. Nobody knows, until they discover.
TPL: We all face obstacles along the way, what are some of the challenges you have faced as a photographer? How have you overcome them? What made you persevere?
YK: I agree. That’s exactly how it is. Many obstacles occur, the hard thing to do is to insist. I think that the biggest challenge I had to deal with as a photographer is the struggle with myself. That is, to be able to overcome my fears and insecurities so that I don’t stop believing in my photographic dreams. As weird as it may sound, the covid period was the cause for me to believe more in myself as an artist. Of course it didn’t happen by accident, as I lost my job and everything I had invested until then, but photography was there to heal me. The abundance of free time provided what I would call a rare opportunity for introspection. What has made me persist is probably “that it couldn’t have happened any other way”. But isn’t that what happens with everything we love?
TPL: When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…
YK: See landscapes, empty of people. In this way I manage to coexist with nature, breathing oxygen and smells.
Concept / Idea / Photography: Ypatia Kornarou
Video Art: Ilenya Lekka
Models : Nadia Valavani, Angie Filinta, Antonis Karastergiou, Miranda Zisimopoulou, Vasilis Psyllas
Production Assistant: Elizabeth Efstathiou