The Holy Trinity that forms the team of Void, aka Myrto Steirou, Sylvia Sachini and João Linneu, has been creating for the last three years experimental editions of photography, making quite an impression in international fairs and landing important collaborations with acclaimed photographers for their workshops. Our discussion with Myrto and Sylvia explains the success of their work and events: it’s just a story of love for photography – and passion for alternative print publications.
The spectacular kick-start of their project is not the only impressive thing about them. There’s also their excitement when describing their work in progress; this kind of a “creative high” they can’t wait to channel into 8 different kind of papers and print in 5 different ways- exactly like they did with the book “Meat”, by Olivier Pin-Fat. And this all started because, as Myrto says, “we were looking for a way to cover our own needs as young photographers, to find a space that would not require a big budget, in order to show our work, to find alternative ways of presenting our work through a publication, such as zines”.
Nine zines by young Greek photographers was what they presented, with great success, at the opening of their Void studio, and “we liked the process of their creation, so we decided to go on with this practice”. And in less than a month, they found themselves publishing a book by French Magnum photographer, Antoine d’ Agata.
What makes Void different is that they are working beyond the need to promote new artists. They treat every publication like a new work of art. “We believe that we are part of the work, it is not a work that is already complete – and we are not just the ones publishing it. It is created in collaboration with the artist and it is an individual work. The process may be different, depending on the needs of every project”, explains Myrto. “An artist can give us their images and tell us that we are free to do whatever we want, or maybe somebody else may have a more specific opinion. Also, depending on whether we are dealing with a zine or a hamdmade book or an offset book, our approach varies. A zine that comes in just a few copies may be printed here, by us, we will be the ones that bind it, maybe make some adjustments”.
Such a procedure is very likely to lead – every time, with every new work – in new experimentations, as far as the materials and the printing methods are concerned, which basically makes it impossible to proceed with mass production and with a traditional collaboration with a printing professional. Sylvia is very clear about it: “Every project in Void is funded by us. Whether a book or an exhibition, the artists do not participate in financing, so, basically, everything just started to be handmade and of a small, limited production, because we were doing everything here ourselves, and there is no way we could have taken the decision to produce massively something which is handmade”.
This kind of creativity, let non-negociably free, no matter what the project – whether they are preparing a zine for a young photographer or they are collaborating with someone more celebrated – easily leads Void to their next project, every time. “In the beginning, we were mainly the ones looking for it and trying to reach the artists. Now they are more likely to come to us first, rather than us to them, but, of course, we always keep our eyes open”, says Sylvia about the artists they are working with. And she explains that the only criterion for choosing each artist is “our aesthetics. Void is not an institute, it does not represent photography in Greece or elsewhere, it is a personal project, so all three of us share the same aesthetics, more or less”.
This is, then, what Void and their captivating dark aesthetics are engaged with these days: “Two workshops at the end of October and beginning of November, with two photographers, Todd Hido and Mark Power. They are pretty important in the field, with different styles. We organized these in collaboration with an American site, americansuburbx.com, which specializes in photography”, Myrto informs us. In addition, the team is preparing three new books, the one in collaboration with one of the first nine zines of the opening, Dimitra Dede.
Until then, you can get a taste of the work of Void and learn more about them here.
Void: 20 Tousa Mpotsari str, Athens, 117 41
Interview by Louiza Solomon-Panta
Editing by Eleni Filippidou
Photography by Natalia Maragkou