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Memory noises

English / Ελληνικά

When people take souvenir pictures, they do not usually have any artistic aspirations. They just want to capture the faces, at a specific moment in time, in a particular setting, so that they can bring back nostalgic memories (to them and only to them), memories of a tender moment they have had, a special person, a place they are fond of, an event. The events they choose to depict are exclusively pleasant, as if they were trying, rather unconsciously, to steer the memories of people associated with them only in the direction of good moments, which will be there to keep them company, but not in a tormenting way. But even when, some time later, one of the family members, looking at those pictures, feels sad, anxious about the time passing and fearful of death (despite the initial intentions of the photographer), even then, these feelings are evoked by looking at the loved ones being depicted in the pictures. These moments are entirely personal and do not concern anyone else.

If the picture is torn unexpectedly, if its printing or shooting was disastrous, the wear of time, an accident may change the perspective and the photo may elicit - without knowing it - photographic emotions that have absolutely no relation to its initial purpose.
Similarly, the appropriation and re-framing, the isolation and promotion of elements that had not probably been observed by the photographer of the initial souvenir picture, the creation of new - intentional - destructions, even the cropping/ removal of faces, may form a new proposal to re-view the photo by following a different track and by seeking a different destination.

The revised photo will get a second life, will speak a different language and will not stick to the emotions provoked by the souvenir picture. It will stand as a new creation, which will seek to stir up photographic emotions and visual interest. Questions and concerns. Familiar (to some people) faces will relinquish their identity and become pieces of the past of every viewer, narrating stories that concern everybody. Personal moments, locations will become universal -the new viewer does not care about the identity of the person portrayed in the picture, neither is he or she interested in the address of the area depicted. And photographic time will be invested with a new life which will run in parallel with real, existing time.

Actually, the selection of the photos to be presented (from a pile of old pictures discarded in the attic or from family keepsake photo albums that are carefully stored in a cabinet), their re-framing, the selection of colours, of a different form and content in general is exactly the same process as the shooting with the camera in the real world surrounding us. The identity of the photographer is present, one way or the other, in this part of the world that he or she chose to present, as he or she perceived it at that specific moment.

George  Vogiatzakis

*All rights reserved by George Vogiatzakis. It is forbidden to use the material of the site without photographer’s previous permission
Webmaster Costas Tzanidakis (ctzanidakis@hotmail.com)

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