A talk with … Anna Grevenitis
Anna Grevenitis from New York joins STEYPA for the second time. Here she talks about Reykjavík and New York!
With your photography, you take a critical view of the fast changes in building and construction that Reykjavík is currently undergoing. What kind of changes have you observed in the short period from 2015 to 2016?
The first time I travelled to Iceland in 2015, I was not aware of how quickly Reykjavík was changing as it was my first time there and I had no comparison. But as I was discussing the city with some locals, they informed me of the changes in real estate that were occurring in the capital. Basically they described a phenomenon that we are very familiar with in NYC, especially in Brooklyn where I live: gentrification – where native dwellers are priced out of their own neighborhoods because of wealthy real estate developers buying homes/buildings to renovate or building bigger and more expensive units. In Iceland, much of it was a consequence of the tourist boom. I could see it with my own tourist eyes. There were indeed a lot of cranes. As I was lucky to travel back to Iceland the following summer – exactly one year after my first encounter – I was struck by the presence of even more cranes then the first time around. I began to realize that they were indeed everywhere, taking hold of old Reykjavík as an octopus would. In August in Reykjavík, I could not escape the tourists, I could not escape the cranes.
What role does photography play in your life? You are quite active in the NY photographer scene.
Photography is the art medium that I use. I have found that it is much easier for me to stay isolated in my own little world and just create images every day than it is to actually go out and connect with others to get my work out into the art world, so I am pushing myself to do a little bit more of the latter. I have been studying portraiture at ICP (International Center of Photography) this summer, and it has added new layers to my daily image making that I had yet to explore. In the same spirit, I am currently involved in a project with a new up and coming art gallery in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Finding a balance between creating art and curating your own art in order to present it has always been challenging, but it needs to be learned and done!
Thank you, Anna for the answers!
Proofreading/Editing: Melinda Kumbalek