BIO: Alexis Vasilikos is an Athens-based fine art photographer and the co-editor of Phases Magazine, an online publication that focuses on international contemporary photography.
His photographic practice is often associated with meditation and revolves around the perceived poetry of everyday life.
Here, Far Out catches up with Alexis to discuss everything behind his thought process:
Regarding your most recent project ‘Reflections on the Interbeing’ – what does the term ‘Interbeing’ actually mean to you?”
“I came across the term ‘Interbeing’ recently and I found out that it was created by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, initially I thought it was synonymous with the concept of interconnectedness, but then I had a closer look and I found this:
‘The observation that we ‘inter-are’, while true and poetic is not really the most important element of ‘Interbeing’. The important part is the realisation that there is no independent self – that the perception of self – of ‘me’, of ‘mine’ is an illusion. Awareness that ‘I’ am made of ‘non-I’ elements leads to the understanding of non-self and it is the realisation of non-self that brings an end to suffering.’
“The reason why this interpretation of the term is so interesting for me is because it poses a few questions that I think quite often in relation to photography, such as: Can we ever go beyond the point of view of the separate self, therefore beyond a story-based perceiving?
“Is there a seeing in which the observer and the observed are not understood as two separate entities? Also, what is the significance of this, how does it affect our perception? Does it mean the loss of qualitative discrimination?”
I find a lot of symmetry in your work – also a lot of secrecy, even in shots including people. Is this something that you’re aware of? If so, can you elaborate?
“Symmetry yes, but secrecy I’m not sure what you mean. There is a form of curiosity that images induce in the mind; a form of hide and seek between the seen and the unseen.
“If this is what you mean by secrecy, then yes definitely this an aspect of the creative force of fine art photography – to remind the world that it’s a magical place and to reveal some of its magic.”How did you get into photography? Do you find yourself on photograph missions? Or do these shots happen by carrying a camera around with you?
“I started taking photos whilst I was studying Art History in Italy around 1996 and it soon became an everyday practice.
“I see my practice as a form of meditation and by that I mean – a way to bring the mind back to silence rather than express my thoughts with it; mostly my practice revolves around long walks in the cities.
“Yes the photographs are more like spontaneous responses to what occurs naturally although I do like to construct images from time to time.”
As we’re primarily a music magazine – what music do you think would accompany your work best?
“Here is a playlist I made a couple of days ago for a friend, I don’t know if it relates to my photographs but it’s a selection of musical works that I enjoy listening to. I hope you’ll enjoy it!”
Thanks Alexis, I sure will. I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for out there.