What is Return2Ithaca :
Return2Ithaca is an artist residency program providing a platform for Greek and international photographers to come together on the island for a 22-day period, creating personal projects and engaging with acclaimed curators to review their work. The program involves a deep exploration of the island, its history, and the universal themes derived from the Odyssey, inspiring artists to produce unique and personal projects.
Ithaca serves as a venue for the presentation of photographic works by renowned artists worldwide, fostering discussions on social, environmental, racial, and everyday issues relevant to contemporary photography and the arts. The residency creates a vibrant space that combines collaborative team efforts, individual moments of relaxation, and the exploration of new expressive avenues.
What distinguishes the Ithaca artists' Residency :
What sets the Ithaca Artists' Residency apart is the invaluable opportunity for artists to spend time with distinguished curators invited to the island. This interaction allows for the exchange of experiences, opinions, and perspectives on artistic expression inspired by the world-famous epic of the Odyssey. Additionally, participating artists receive insights, reviews, and mentorship that contribute to their overall artistic development.
This program is a continuation of the project developed several years ago at the Athens Base Gallery M55 Projects, where Greek artists had the opportunity to communicate with guests well-known curators and photographers from all over the Europe. A venue that led to the hosting of exhibitions of Greek photographers abroad and, vice versa, exhibitions of international photographers in Athens.
That program was repeated in the summer of 2020 for the first-time outside Athens, in Ithaca, where, with the generous contribution of the Municipality of Ithaca, the Regional Association of the Municipalities of the Ionian Islands (PED-IN) and the Cultural Association of Friends of Theater and Cinema FORKYS, 8 international creators and 2 curators were invited to stay on the island for 15 days and worked on the ideas and the meanings of the Odyssey.
Ithaca, an island with a strong multi-year artistic and cultural presence, was chosen to be the place for the development and consolidation of an institution of artistic production in the field of Visual Arts and Photography both locally and in the wider Ionian area. A meeting point for both Greek and foreign creators for an interactive exchange of knowledge and experience culminating in the production of artistic work.
The basic Concept
The practice of contemporary art requires both flexibility and stability, personal expression and an environment that will offer guidance to enrich the ways of artistic search.
The aim of the program is to create an institution where Greek and foreign artists will meet, work on an idea aiming to an artistic production. At the same time they will have the opportunity to meet with internationally renowned curators with whom they will exchange views on improvement and completion of their work. The whole process will be open to the local communities in order to create a channel of communication between the public and the artistic expression and action.
1. IMAGE NATION
Ithaca becomes the meeting place, in the Ionian Islands, of Photographers of Curators and Directors of Photographic Festivals, from all over the world. Ithaca recommends the destination of the trip, the return after an arduous search trip. Together we will examine how Ulysses’ journey to the world can inspire even today and lead to the production of a photographic work with a personal style and texture.
→ Artist in Residency program
Invitation of artists, Greeks and foreigners, to stay on the island and produce a work on the concepts of the Odyssey.
Invitation of international curators following up the produced work and mentoring as well as for meetings with other visiting photographers.
→ Photography Exhibitions
Annual Group Exhibition with the work produced each year during the Artist in Residency Program.
Hosting of the exhibitions produced in the countries of the curators.
→ Portfolio Reviews
Photographers all over the world will be called to submit their work. The 5-8 selected photographers will have the opportunity to meet our guest curators and get their feedback. One photographer of them will win our Fellowship to participate in next year’s artist in residency program and exhibit their work.
2. IMAGE VOICE
Photography goes to the public, tossing out its power, its global scope, its importance and its historical evolution. Informing the public of Ithaca and of the Ionian Islands about what is happening in photography internationally, about new trends and different, often, conflicting approaches.
→ Well-known Greek photographers are invited to present their work to the public and to get to know the artists.
→ Workshops and Master classes by the present artists in which interested parties from all over Greece will be invited to participate.
→ Curators will present their festivals and a panorama of the photography of their country.
→ Contemporary Video Art projections.
Development of an educational annual program of workshops, in collaboration with the Municipality of Ithaca and PE-DIN that will aim to make photography, property and frequent occupation of residents of all ages.
→ Fast-paced youth training program ‘’Photography this Known Unknown’’.
→ Program “I photograph my space and my people”. Easy photography with all available means and presentation of results to the public.
→ Photoshop the first steps.
→ Prompt for photography with all available means ‘’Look at your life through images’’.
→ Photography presentations and films with reference to art in public places.
→ Publications with the actions of the laboratories.