The world of Ideas, from Aristotle to modern philosophers, provides a broad framework for reflection around the public and private. This might be a comforting fact, but it does not protect us from feeling puzzled, if not anxious, in front of the questions that overwhelm us, as soon as we go for walk in the public space: Which social conventions define it? How do concepts of memory, identity, power or aesthetics grow and how do their political or economic dimensions arise? Where do the limits of obligation and freedom meet and how do they shape our experience?
In this context, during 2014, I photographed in Cyclades and mainly at the town of Ermoupolis in Syros, which was the place that shaped my own experience: A place and a society where geography, history and politics compose a significant cultural landscape.
Places of social interaction, sometimes unavoidable, such as public services, schools, hospitals, places of worship, art, leisure or transportation, have become the scene of an unfamiliar practice: their representation stripped of what gives them meaning, that is the human factor. What was captured serves as a reminder of the eternal. The guard dog, the statue, the town hall staircase or the judge’s office, are just some of the monuments of the common place to which society pays an every day tribute.
All images © Achilleas Tilegrafos
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