Orestis Kourakis
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Case study
Hypertitle number
2.32
Case study category
Artifacts

Louvre Museum

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Gold diadem from Derveni, Greece with spiral jewelry and embossed Eros in the center. Collection of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. ©AMTH
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I had the honor to be the exclusive photographer of the Greek antiquities selected for the exhibition «Au Royaume d’ Alexandre le Grand – la Macédoine Antique» (In the Kingdom of Alexander the Great - Ancient Macedonia) organized at the Louvre Museum in 2011. It was a monumental exhibition of 1100 m2, in which archaeological collections were unified for the first time ever and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors within 4 months.

 

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Detail of a bronze medal decorated with Athena with a Medusa helmet, decorating a royal chariot. Collection of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. ©AMTH

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The photographic documentation of the 668 Greek archaeological objects for the exhibition’s catalog, in a way that recollects memories, creates a dynamic relationship with the past and opens new channels of communication with the French artifacts of the same collection, was, in itself, a great challenge.

Archaeological artifacts are particularly fragile and any handling could potentially damage them. For this reason, their documentation should be done as holistically as possible and with the best means currently available.

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Gold diadem. Collection of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. ©AMTH
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Louvre Museum entrance

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Many of this exhibition’s artifacts were documented as gigapixel photos so as to allow for surprisingly high zooming capabilities. Such images were used in the banners that adorned the entrance of the Museum during the exhibition.

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rollout of the crater of Derveni - Derveni Krater

Derveni crater

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The immovable objects, such as the renowned crater of Derveni that is hosted in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, were also photographed as a rollout so that its entire cylindrical illustration can be rendered in one photograph.

 

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Catalogue of the exhibition - Louvre Museum

Exhibition catalog

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Awarded from the French Academy as the best edition of 2011.

 

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Gold wreath - Vergina

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When I first photographed this magnificent masterpiece, I tried to depict its glory by combining many photographs into one very large image. The final outcome was used from the Louvre Museum at a large scale banner that decorated its entrance for a few months.

Nevertheless, I noticed that a photograph, no matter how well lit it might have been, could not demonstrate the subtle but delicate movement of these perfect leaves and how breathtakingly fragile the wreaths are.

Slow motion video of the wreath
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For this reason I came up with a unique video technique that complemented the photographic documentation and brought this masterpiece to life by allowing the viewer to perceive the intricate movement of these extremely natural leaves when the wearer was walking while wearing the wreath.

 

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Gold wreath of Vergina - slow motion video
© Orestis Kourakis. Website created by Point Blank