PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY OF ATHENS
One of the definitions of Psychogeography that stands the closest to my own comprehension of it is “the absolute dissolution of the boundaries between art and life”. This is exactly what I try to highlight through my creations that life is full of art and must be lived in such way, despite its flaws, the wounds, the passage of time. Comparing the "soul" as well as the identity of the buildings with those of people, I try to display their similarities by playing with the meanings of art and the very essence of everyday life.
People of big cities are no longer looking at the sky. They look down or around but rarely up. This realization occurred to me when in February 2019 I traveled to Athens while having spent a period during which I was constantly looking at the sky every time I walked the wide and moist streets of Berlin. On the one hand I was going through a period of contentment, on the other architecture of the German capital let my eyes take glorious bites of the sky. In Athens, however, things are different: The buildings are creating a slightly claustrophobic feeling as one walks in the streets leaving little space for the eye to ferret out the blue sky.
Where is the soul in all this matter? The soul of the vernacular experiences of people of Athens over the decades, the soul of their moments, the "soul" of the influences of the geographical environment that were found there unconsciously, as Guy Debord would have looked for? I decided to walk in the very center of Athens in search of that soul turning my eyes and, consequently, the lens of my camera upwards in order to capture an aspect of the city which is rarely seen. What I saw confirmed my initial presumtion. I ended up recording the chronology of the everyday life in its most obscure and two-dimensional form.
Looking up, one sees distortions of the original structure and architecture of the buildings at first. Something that, seen through a different “lens”, seems to be more like an abstract painting than a distortion. The experiences these buildings bear have been so vividly blened with their years of existance to the extend at which their soul is revealed and expressed as if it was an abstract painting. Art made of leaks, negligence, decay, time, like everything we let go in oblivion within us Some of these buildings, however, remain well-preserved, exactly as those traits that people take good care of and are mostly in accordance with the (imposed) social norms. These are the buildings that house banks or luxury apartments of the center of Athens.
The consequence of observing buildings and their art is the conclusion that the authenticity of identity entails wrinkles, flaws and scars. It is essential not to forget to look up to them and consider the intergral part of one's life story. It is of vital importance to learn how to love our worst traits and through them to cultivate a more conductive soil for what’s about to come.
In a society that predetermines and prejudices everything before us for us, being able to look our flaws in the eye as if they were precious works of art is the most beautiful form of revolution.