"Neophytes Retrospective" National Gallery of Victoria1997

      © May 2011 George Alamidis
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Exhibition Essay

"George Alamidis has taken faces derived from Greek identity cards from the 3Os to the 50s. The photographic visages look out from crude outdoor light which renders the faces like stone with little subtlety in the features; the resolution deteriorates with each manipulation as the artist transposes the archival information upon layers of print. These cards's which once testified to the identity of a person and permitted freedom are now hopelessly out-of date; their characters and the authorities exercising surveillance over them have both passed, a theme rather tragically underscored by the latest digital processes of their collaging".

Robert Nelson
May 1997


George Alamidis' strangely poignant images, reminiscent of passport portraits, confront the viewer. Using an innovative technique, Alamidis created small pictures that could be analogous with traditional icons. But the main protagonist here is individual, vulnerable and human. Alamidis is an artist not afraid of tangible 'beauty' and the aesthetic potential of the two dimensional surface. There is a commitment here to, and deep interest in, the physical surface but at the same time this is not just treated merely as an outer skin; something else of an elusive nature permeates the images. In one, a woman's face emerges from a field of icy blues tinged with yellows. In another, the siennas and pinks of weathered surfaces merge with snapshot heads, travelers to another place. Alamidis provokes the mystery of letters as signs, those marks that are intelligible to the initiated alone. Those who don't read that language remain on the outside.

Anita Furey
ArtStreams June/July 1997