The constantly changing, ever-evolving stream of naked images displayed through social networks and adult entertainment flood our screens and our minds, yet what does it all mean? We are a lot more accustomed to the changes in the depiction of beauty and fashion throughout the decades and the centuries, however a more taboo subject, comes in the most natural form; nudity. The way we see our bodies, in which situations we imagine ourselves being naked, whether it is lounging in our homes, or taking a shower, how comfortable we are with our bodies can say a lot about us, not only as individuals, but also as a variety of cultures in our society.

Unlocked is a photo narrative by Vassilis Zidianakis, co-founder of Atopos cvc, a non-profit, cultural organisation created in 2003 and based in Athens. Zidianakis takes us on a journey through a 512-page visual publication, with the participation of more than 140 international photographers, to gain a greater perspective on a very contradictive relationship; the one that lasts us our whole lives. The images we find in the book bring strength to the characterization of the purest yet most sullied of forms, subject to great scrutiny and lavishly adored; the human body.

As an original interpretation of our post-photographic digital era, Unlocked represents a new visual language. The book emerged as the first official recording sourced from contemporary digital platforms, and can be seen as evocative, political and leaning towards the subject of anthropological evolution. Daringly crude and delicately intimate images form a way to gain an understanding of our psyche; what shocks, traumatizes, protrudes uncontrollable urges, and unbalances the way we think is exactly what this book aims to do, and it undeniably succeeds in doing so.

For the launch of Unlocked, Atopos cvc hosted an exhibition, where the book was presented as an art object. Through a number of site-specific installations Zidianakis unravelled his research and the production process of the book. The installations included the original aluminium offset printing plates, which were used for the production of Unlocked, alongside an announced performance of a nude, young man and woman strolling through the Atopos library and reading or playing with the book completed Zidianakis’concept.

As an artist, curator and the Artistic Director of Atopos cvc, Zidianakis studied Ethnology and Anthropology as well as History and Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. His main focus for the past ten years has been the human body and the various forms and ways of its expression.

Charlotte Hoareau