This October I have been undertaking a residency at Lucy Art residency in Kavala, developing an in-depth research on tobacco. This residency has generously been supported by LAR, the I-Portunus programme as well as by the Kavala’s Tobacco Museum.
The work I did during the residency includes a series of chlorophyll prints using images of worker’s hands in the processes of selecting, controlling and modifying nature to render it profitable, from the archives of Kavala’s Tobacco Museum.
I also worked with a newspaper from the 21st of April of 1967 (the coup d’état day from right-wing army officers in Greece and the beginning of the regime of the colonels) to reflect on the use of farming and nature to advance specific political agendas. The newspaper talks about the new regime and the new subventions farmers had access to. The military junta was initially mainly supported by farmers. I used the cyanotype process which is often seen as naive and organic, when it’s main legacy relates to photography’s early use to study, analyse, and rationalise nature.
During the residency, I visited a tobacco plantation where religious images seemed to be placed to protect the product. Being farming an extremely tough business where one might be at the mercy of outside forces such as market fluctuations or weather, I wasn’t surprised to see them. I decided to do a perfume with Kavala’s tobacco leaves on an edition of 33 bottles of 2ml to reflect on subjective appreciations of value and worth.
Below some images of the final pieces produced as well as of the production process.