“At the end of the workday everyone ought to stay at home, and anyone found on the street after nightfall should be considered suspect of plotting evil.”
André Gorz, 1973
The photographic series Nocturnes started in 2003 as a nighttime journey in and around the Athens city center, where I was born; a place familiar through memories, experiences, images and wanderings. As a “subjective viewer” I opted to photograph at night, since it is for me the only time when I feel the city’s breath up my neck, while I walk around the empty streets, listening to the noises from peoples’ windows or casually talking to strangers.
My themes are unattractive, even ugly; cars, buildings and parking lots – the elements that compose the contemporary urban Athenian landscape. Surrounded by the tallest buildings, punctuated by the dark and still figures of automobiles, the parking lots are discontinuities that break down the dense city grid. Being ephemeral – most of them are building plots- they are reminiscent of old-time improvised playgrounds.
Using long exposure times, I record the city in a way that the human eye can never capture. The light in Nocturnes is not the Renaissance light- a tool of logic for the creation of perspectival or illusionist space – but the light of imagination, of the senses, a light that compresses and transforms architectural space according to its whims. In my photographs the decisive moment becomes condensed time.