Surface of Self


In partnership with Urban Photo Fest, Photofusion are pleased to present Surface of Self, an exhibition that brings together artists Laura Cuch (Spain), Anastassios Kavassis (Greece) and Orly Zailer (Israel), whose work in contemporary photographic portraiture raises questions around human subjectivity and cultural identity.

All three artists work with specific camera equipment to achieve their desired photographic results. On the one hand, Laura and Anastassios work with analogue cameras – Laura with a Rolleiflex 6×6 Twin Lens and Anastassios with an antique wooden camera – two technological apparatae that mediate their ways of engaging with people and make the process of taking portraits into something of a ritual. On the other hand, Orly works with a digital camera for both the video and stills parts of the project. She aims to distinguish between the different periods in which different media were used in her ongoing project in order to re-produce the old and new.

Such rituals have enabled Laura, Anastassios and Orly to produce collections of portraits that invite the audience to reflect on broader social and cultural issues, by embodying diversity and difference and questioning cultural norms. What does it mean to be an Athenian today? How people that experience sleep deprivation make sense of such condition?

Gallery Event: Artist Talks

Launch Party:

Thursday 3 October, 18.30 – 21:00

How is one’s identity affected by his or her physical resemblance to an ancestor?

In Laura’s project Sleepless, the invisible matter of not sleeping is rendered visible through the performance of breathing exercises during the photographic sessions, and through the interplay between image and text in a collaborative creative process.

Anstassios’s work Athenians questions cultural and national identity within the context of the Greek economic breakdown, by portraying subjects with an obsolete technology that suggests a barely visible tension between change and historical reference. The portraits produced by these artists are far from being unidirectional: the subjects pose for the camera as part of a negotiated process of self-interrogation and self-assertion.

In Orly’s work The Time Elapsed Between Two Frames, modern technology is used to emphasise the relationship between time and space, which play a central role in establishing a sense of familial and inter-generational continuity. Although the gaps between the pairs vary – the difficulty of the viewer to distinguish between the old and the new remains and causes them to constantly re-examine the nature of self in relation to surface.

Thursday 10 October, 19.00 onwards | Free for Members (£3.50 Non-members)

The three exhibiting artists, Laura Cuch, Anastassios Kavassis and Orly Zailer will be coming together to talk about their work in the show.

For gallery event books, info & high res image, please call 020 7738 5774 or email Gallery opening times: Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Thursday 11am – 7pm. Free admission. Lift access.

Exhibition Dates:                                                    Launch Party

1 – 12 October 2013                                                  Thursday 3 October, 18.30 – 21:00  


Laura Cuch is a documentary and fine art photographer as well as a researcher at the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths, University of London. She currently teaches in the MA in Photography and Urban Cultures (which she graduated from in 2006) and the Urban Photography Summer School. From December 2010 to April 2012 Laura was a research fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, which led to a solo exhibition, as part of the East London Photo Festival, and the conference ‘Negotiating Subjectivities: A One-Day Symposium on Photography, Health and the Body’. Laura has been working as a freelance photographer since 2004 and her work has been exhibited and published internationally.

Anastassios Kavassis /

Anastassios Kavassis is a filmmaker and photographer who studied fine art at University of East London and fine art film and video at Central Saint Martins Art College. He has worked in a diverse range of media, from digital multi media and 16mm film to antique ultra wide format wooden cameras. Previously, a visiting Lecturer on the MA in Photography and Urban Cultures and PhD in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths, University London; Kavassis was also a course team leader on the Digital Media programme at Croydon College.

His visual work has been funded by the Arts Council of England and distributed by the British council. He has an ongoing research interest in metropolitan cities and urban space. He has lived and worked in London, Hong Kong, Berlin, Athens and Amsterdam. Currently, he is based in Amsterdam and Athens.

Orly Zailer /

Orly Zailer is a documentary and fine art photographer. Born in Haifa in 1982 and graduated from The Neri Bloomfield Academy of Design, Haifa in 2008 with B.Ed.Des degree in Photography and Education. For several years, during and after her studies she worked as a freelance photojournalist as well as a photography teacher, before relocating to London. She completed a master degree with merit in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths College in 2012.

In the past few years she has been focusing on Environmental Portraiture of various people from different groups and circles in society as well as in numerous locations, mainly in Israel and the UK. Some of her projects were exhibited in various group exhibitions both in Israel and the UK including exhibitions at Foto8 Gallery, Linear House, ‘Secret Art 3’ and ‘Beit Zionei America’. At present she lives and works in London.

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