La leçon de piano. The old man standing on a gigantic keyboard. The zagged shadows and patterns combat the joyful expression and gesture. No winners, just uneasiness.
Been there! It's a tiny 20-square meter place at Paphos, Cyprus.
And against all odds my good friends and talented photographers make it everyday to produce a variety of great frames.
Usually melancholic, sometimes funny, some other times just raw and uncanny.
And their continuous presence there, makes it a lifetime essay because of (or thanks to) the simple fact: "we are here, now … don't wait for better, don't procrastinate, procreate, create".
And this relative "isolation, can starve all but the most independent talents, but for these it can provide a sanctuary where radical visions can develop undisturbed." Szarkowski, Looking at photographs.
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I know this place in Paphos, Cyprus. And I realise how much I do not know it. I have spent there a couple of hours, the author is spending half his life.
That is why he knows how to metamorphose a temporal slice to an irresolute secret. The doors are not closures anymore. They are now gates to a parallel universe. And the day-trippers are now patsy marionettes, half shadow half human, partly standing and partly falling. The duality of the male figure and the ambiguity of the female one, are the proof that the artistic facet of photography emerges only when it undermines its "virtue" of being a faithful witness.
Some called it the decisive moment, others the reality suspending moment; it is the instant when photographing the real, loses its significance (or its recording feature) and becomes a secluded narration.
The author insightfully uses the B&W version where by subtraction, he has the main subjects and the backlit elements fused in a new hypostasis. Any colour code would have ruined the striped abstraction.
The tilted frame is not a manneristic counterfeit. It breaths the photographer's restlessness to press the shutter before everything falls back into normal, before the photography fairy left the scene.
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Albeit the extreme sharpness (impossible back then), the vintage faded colours of the picture get me back to the worst film ever, ORWOCHROM (East Germany produced, often expired, slides film). These exact characteristics are also the entry point of the picture. But that's that.
Because the seemingly holiday memories snapshot, passes the B&W test and keeps all its interpretational content even naked down to the grey palette.
The docks photographed at eye level, with the sea and the sky meeting halfway, is a very dear subject to the photographers, as it represents the grip of the HOMO FABER on nature and destiny.
But here the author is not satisfied to limit herself to this symbolism and she is using the solid symmetrical composition as a stage to place her drama(tic) play.
What is impressive, is the fact that every single actor of the image, taken separately, has its own power of presence, its own concealed existence.
Diverging glances that will never meet and lock, mother and child looking to a far end (a timeless metaphor of the unsettling tranquillity in front of the unknown) and the main actor costumed as surreally as it gets.
Intriguing, contradictory, iconic!
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This is the public curated Gallery of the STREET CORE PHOTOGRAPHY Group