Takis Zerdevas

Zerdevas Takis

Βorn in Patras, he studied Economics at the University of Piraeus (1965-1967) and Graphic Design at the Doxiadis School in Athens (1966-1967). In 1974 he started working in advertising photography. In 1985 he founded Focus School of Photography and New Media, which he directs to this day. Since 1993 he turned to artistic creation, and specifically in photography, video art, constructions and installations. Works by him belong to private collections and museums. He lives and works in Athens.


Solo Exhibitions


Observatory Sjoufa Gallery Athens


The Limit Athens Municipality Arts Center (Parko Eleftherias) Athens


International Month of Photography Dom Space Bratislava


Helenic Centre for Culture Berlin (organized by TinT Gallery)


Curriculum Vitae Nees Morfes Gallery Athens


Curriculum Vitae TinT Gallery Thessaloniki


The Spectator Gallery Spazio Erasmus Brera Milan


Artforum Gallery Thessaloniki


Pre-Lingustic Experimentation Nees Morfes Gallery Athens


Miart 2001 Milan (Nees Morfes Gallery)


The Spectator Photosynkyria Thessaloniki (Artforum Gallery)


Aspects de la Photographie héllénique Musée d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain de Nice Nice


The Spectator Gerulata Gallery Bratislava


Gallery X Athens


The Spectator Nees Morfes Gallery Athens


Monotheamata Photosynkyria Thessaloniki (Artforum Gallery)


Monotheamata House of Cyprus Athens



How vain the effort to reckon the fulfillment of desire through desire itself.

L. Wittgenstein

“Quo vadis Painting?” is a question we could nowadays address this age-old matrix of images, acknowledging its crisis in expression, imposed on it by the contemporary technocratic environment and the implacable rationale of the media spectacle.
“I am likely to be heading where Photography is heading” Painting would reply in the same hypothetical way, implying the common underlying speculation which nurtures these two arts for over a century.
That is why in most international exhibitions – ie. Fiac or Basel – the visual artists are split between Painting and Photography, giving premium, for the most part, to the latter one. However, it was even since the time of the Impressionists that this – forced – marriage between painters and photographers was dramatically validated when the first exhibition of Cézanne, Monet and their group took place at the atelier of Nadar. How symbolic, isn’t it!
Therefore, in modernist terms, it was almost unavoidable for Painting and Photography not to take parallel paths.
Takis Zerdevas is an accomplished photographer who, for approximately one decade, has been promoting in Greece an utterly interesting visual speculation, exploring the limits and potential of various means, and overcoming in genious ways any restrictive damps. The work of Zerdevas does not fit in any boxes and that is where its main virtue lies: escaping the obvious.
In summary, his speculation is extended on the primeval relationship that form has to space, language to communication, image to meaning that itself – regardless whether intentionally or not – carries.
How is it, really, that we read images?
Quotlibet! As you like it, people in older times used to say, and Shakespeare stood for this idea. Zerdevas himself also has an answer to give. “In three dimensions” could be one of his suggestions. “Through Music!” is another possible one. “Walking!” is a third one. To be more precise, the artist or, in the photographic environment, the “Viewer”, does not only break down the traditional photographic frame into its three spatial gradations-first level, middle, background; what he does, instead, is to essentially create a three-dimensional whole in which the view is altered depending on the point of view from which seen. From each different point a different work of art is created.
At the same time, Zerdevas theatrically sets, as if in a one-act monologue, the figure of a man in a long coat with a hat on, who motionlessly wanders the interminable horizontal landscape. As he surveys, everything is quiet, black-and-white, minimal….
However that ‘gentleman’ of Magrite, Beckett’s Estragon seems to know…
For him the landscape hides no secrets.
The possibility of a wonder always lurks about.
Having turned his back at the audience, Zerdevas’s “Viewer”, just like the romantic rovers of Caspar David Friedrich, gazes precisely at that which he has the right to gaze. But it is ourselves as well to see what we have the right to see. The photographer’s gaze is split between the reminiscence of an effaced natural innocence and a cinematic emotion reminding of Bresson and Pasolini.
At the same time, being spoiled by the vulgar aesthetics of a non-stop spectacle, what we see is that which we can see. The clouds are, of course, slate-coloured so that they can write their messages more distinctively and the old tree is roofed by a lonely eagle. For each his own resistance. Quotlibet! Ah, here goes now the chiaroscuro “Viewer” slowly descending towards the sea waiting for something. As if waiting for Godot. The only thing is that, what is being waited for, in the strange times we are living, if it still has not come, I am afraid that it will never do so. And this attributes to the environment of Zerdevas, besides the emotional charge, an intensely dramatic character.


Manos Stefanidis, 2002
National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum Curator