Small Apology

It proves quite difficult to write something about these photographs.

Perhaps because, from the start, I didn’t attempt to approach any truth that would be found ‘out there’ but instead the need to document my own ‘distortion of reality’emerged, almost pressingly. For some-not so paradoxical-reason, I wished the universe I would try to make to be totally opposed to the one projected by the Mass Media. I was informed by this attitude throughout the past two years. My lens was turned and available to everything except the perspective watched on tv every night I would get back home.

Photographing the clashes at the Athens city center becomes increasingly dangerous. Violence on the street grows, but in reality it is due to another kind of primordial violence. The rape inflicted on the social and personal grid of our everyday life, politics as the barbarian intruder in the realm of reality and the reverse Media reality as the enemy of truth. The attempt to inform or (counter-inform) takes place within a peculiar framework, and while on the street with a camera in hand, a person keeps their distance from the surrounding action, for better or worse. Between you and the event there is loads of stuff, the lens, the settings and so much more. In other words, one does not ‘live’ what is going on around them. Sometimes I look at some of my frames and wonder whether I ever stood behind that picture. On the other hand, there are those moments which pierce through the protective shield created by the camera. These are most probably the personal stories that have been registered inside, anything that hasn’t been documented on a frame for me to be able to share.

What will I not forget? Perhaps the sense of emergency of such situations. Something of an almost transcendental nature, exactly because it consists of an apparent weakness: when you are inside you don’t get the whole picture and when you find yourself far you have to trust in someone else’s perception of reality to get it. There were times when I took one step back as if a natural phenomenon was standing in front of me, one which a slight detail could alter definitively. All this is contrast-ridden. This is where one bears witness to the worst and best of human expression.

As epilogue, I will not try to be original talking about tomorrow, I will just try to envision my next pictures. What is the way out of the current dead-end? Don’t know. I can’t find unequivocal answers that could treat all. Everything is in motion. I think potentially we could emerge whole from this state of affairs-or maybe wanting. We will have to see. Only thing for sure is that in the aftermath all will be different. History is only linear when narrated.-before, it was a chaos of innumerable eventualities.

* I would like to thank Danae Leivada for here valuable help during the past two years.

Yiannis Biliris