Tomorrow, Thursday 14th of April at 19h AM an exhibition will open (for only four days) of pictures made by the German monk who lives and works in Simonospetras, Theodosios. The exhibition is in the town Ursensollen in the culural centre “Kubus“. From the 1st of May 2022 his photographs will be on display in Hamburg in the “Nikolai Kirche“.
“I will dwell here, because it pleases me.” (Psalm 132:14)
Photographs of monk Theodosios Simonopetritis
In the last thirty years, a great many contemporary photographs of Mount Athos have come to the public. In the majority these photos are made by visitors. Familiar with the Holy Mountain
or not, these images express firstly what ordinary visitors or devout pilgrims see, in contrast to the images of contemporary societies.
In the case of Father Theodosios it is different. Several years ago he came to on to stay on Athos. Not only did he consciously choose this place, but he has it learned to love and made it his home. What he photographs is his, not something foreign or impressive, but his homeland. It does not concern him to show the “others”; he simply shows us “the tents of his house” (Psalm 132:2). He does not depict the outer place, but the inner one, the Athos, where he lives.
Father Theodosios’ pictures are divided into five units.
The first unit is a study of the relationship of the built-up space with the natural landscape and its boundaries – boundaries that on Mount Athos are not always are easy to distinguish. The first unit expresses this problem, shows but at the same time the technical skill of the photographer.
The second unit shows examples of people’s presence; the countless anonymous, to whom we owe handicrafts, tools, religious objects – a multitude of small details that point to the long continuity and tradition of Athos.
The third part relates to the people of the Holy Mountain, young and old monks, ascetics, but also the pilgrims who visit the monks’ mountain.
The fourth part goes to the heart of human activity on the Holy Mountain, the liturgical life. It is one of the few times where pages of the liturgical life of a monk, which explains the dynamics of the images.
The fifth and final section features rare images of the admirable nature of the Holy Mountain.
And so the photographs of Father Theodosios fit into the tradition of photography on the Holy Mountain, giving them a new quality and adding a new tone.
text in German by Konstantinos Antoniadis
Wim Voogd, 13/4