ΑΘΥΜΊΑ



The world is the sum of what is past and what has detached from us.
Novalis


Spleen (2009-2017)

Spleen is based on the notion of sedimentation.
It's also an attempt to visualize Athens' depression era.

I narrate the city through the eyes of an urban geologist.
I have been wandering its streets as a self-exile.

I re-examine different parts of today’s Athens, directly accessible to observation, looking for hints of simple human gestures.
In both the shooting and the editing phase, I treat these images/scenes with alienation and humor; I re-consider them for new narrative elements, through the latest social and political changes, the successive layers of history, and the poetics of realism and light.

The evolution of Athens is projected from these new "geological formations" through research expanding in time, but also as intuitions or symptoms into radical changes to come.









* CLICK ON IMAGES TO SEE LARGER
sweeper
Cleaning up, during the Olympics in 2004, in front of the image of the Acropolis, wrapping partly the facade of some athenian buildings in ruins, the famous “Kountouriotika“: refugee housing compounds, built in 1934-40, after the great Catastrophe in 1922, Alexandras Avenue.
An icon that became five years later a premonition of a new era for Athens!



















smokestack statue
Pedion Areos, park of political wizardry…
















speaker's platform
"Once you're up there, do not forget that there are people who will listen to you ...", said the marble.  
















olive's ears 
How many stories has this olive tree listened to, in those last two millennia, without saying a word!
















decomposed hope
Once upon a time, before the gates of paradise...



















white house
If Athens' melancholy manifests in color, it would have been white.

















handicapped palm tree
In the old Athens cinematheque, waiting for its decapitation ...


















broken nose
One fly congratulating the poet Palamas for his new nose !

















white kiosk
We all sometimes feel the need to set free from unnecessary surplus ...




















ΝΤΊΝΑ
Cruising through the storms of the recession era, but still afloat!



















white wall
A wall separates the future of the Athens Olympic facilities, from the growth of these pines.



















unnatural borders
Mutation of borders in post-Olympic Athens.


















renovated Caryatids 
Painted by Yannis Tsarouchis, photographed by Henri Cartier Bresson, restored and abandoned property of the Ministry of Culture.
















white glove
Aiolou street – Monastiraki, Ιonic columns, ruins of the Hellenic identity, for future archaeologists, from the depression era.
















red scaffolds
In the wealthy neighborhood of insignificant changes.
















refugee mansion
They fled to Greece as foreigners, from Asia Minor, almost a century ago, and brought in their luggage what the country would embrace from their generosity and nobility. Today some of their grandchildren are migrating again with the same luggage...
















king's throne
... And from the loud speaker, you can distinguish the sound of a porn movie, coming out from the semi basement of a sex shop !!!
















small table 
Layout and stratification, alienation and humor, migration and travel, all play their part in this Athenian narrative.
















handless nudes
During the fall of democracy, hands drop like dead leaves!
















discus thrower
Sometimes vandalism creates a vacuum of meaning where was hardly any in the first place !

















sterile figurine
Head of a Cycladic figurine, from the 2004 Olympics' opening ceremony, "Mother Goddess" symbol of fertility and rejuvenation, is scattered in the parking lot of an abandoned stadium.

















mutilated corpse
Crime elements are behind the wall, in the construction site of Mr. V!




















light salmon paint
'Punishment', a muted word, incessantly bouncing off the walls at Athens' law school !

















watercolor notepad
Time can become a painter when erasing memory…
















Truman show
At what cost came the "success story" of Plan Marshall back then? In Greece, some people still remember.
















blue explosion
Can we really demand anything from our public buildings?
















white board 
Paint, stains, graffiti, traces, signatures, slogans and a deep desire for a blank page ...



















plank at rest
Pirated ship, before or after walking the plank !

















used syringe
On the altar of the Academy, traces of a sacrificed body.
















dead deer
In front of a bankrupt shopping mall, in a suburban neighborhood.
















ancient bench
Bench carved into the marble of the hill of Filopappou, ancient, as the Athenians' desire for justice, now desperately looking for a scapegoat.
















plastic surgery
What kind of cure to our existential crisis since 2009?
















bullet riddled
Too many people ‘playing’ Thieves & Police in the streets of Athens, these days …


















empty reflection
Still unable to look at ourselves in the mirror for fear of discovering the beast ...
















St. Panteleimon square
“Foreigners out of Greece. Greece only for Greeks”, a strange carpet in front of stairs of St. Panteleimon church.
















church skeleton
Work in progress, incomplete architecture, or un-cemented faith ! 
















dry fountain
The tears have dried and the pain has gone underground
















Οlympic leftovers
"We the chosen few, will eat, drink, dance, break plates, at the biggest Bouzouki, and forget about the German owner, until the day he brings the check", said to me an economist friend when I asked him about the crisis in Greece, early 2010.
















factory rose
Disused factories, occupied by unemployed flora!
















marble corridor
"When the low heavy sky weighs like a lid
Upon the spirit aching for the light,
And all the wide horizon's line is hid
By a black day sadder than any night;"
- Charles Baudelaire.

















messy backstage
Silent and unaccounted for victims of the depression era...

















tired tyres
Excursions and hundreds of kilometers driven, just resting on the sidewalk.
















urban fauna
Rising satellite dishes, crumbling antennas: end of an era ...
















eucalyptus' premonition
Faliro, closed park, destined to be swallowed by the sea.
















Poinsettia tree
An unusual tree, in a tiny garden in Egaleo, lights up, for a split second, one gloomy Christmas 2013!

















wedged house
The more you squeeze the house, the higher the yucca grows ...
















coming back soon
How many greeks today, are migrating saying to their friends or family: "Coming back soon"? And most of them will spend the rest of their lives, longing for that return.
















cuffed cart
Under the vigilant eye of austerity ...
















hands tied
Always fear, shame and resignation to see you from behind.


















urban islands
We sail towards those Athenian islands whenever we fail to interpret this node in our stomach!
















bronze muse
In the garden of the Currency Museum of Athens, for decades, turning away her back to the changing face of money ...

















byzantine mosaic
Edification of shacks in some streets of Athens, meanwhile a country sunk into daydreaming!
















cellophaned Christ
Unspoilt faith, as if resurrection is postponed for a while ...















pink flokati
I've always lived the city of Athens as another room in my apartment, but this one is most likely, my room in the near future.
















pink line
An odd detail during protest in times of recession, Pentelikon white marble is thrown at riot police.















Good Friday

















red ribbon
... and a stratification of sacred icons.















red line
This is not a graffiti but a way to imagine a basement.
And this is not red spray but a refusal of the Other.















dead palm tree
After a shipwreck some elements do not get swallowed by the sea, but float to shore ...

















yellow phone-booth
"I wonder if the depression era will make phone booths less lonely ? " she asked.















fading skeletons
Who will remember in a few years all those forests that were embracing Attica ?
















Christmas tree
What remains today from Syntagma square famous Christmas tree, during the era of major spendings initiated by Mayor Avramopoulos, are miniature copies, scattered everywhere ...

















brother trees
Natural selection is not only about nature ...















contemplative ephebe
In Athens, the depression era brought up a generation of ephebes relying on their senses, on aggression, stealth, and trickery to survive. Will they ever reincorporate society and use those skills in the future, as citizens, to protect it ?















Athenian stigma 
The heart eater says: "Listen to the cries of Athens to imagine a day after".













mimetic air conditioners
In art history, "mimesis", "realism" and "naturalism" are used, often interchangeably, as terms for the accurate, even "illusionistic", representation of the visual appearance of things.
In these times of recession when 'power' is covered with a thin 'coat' of hate, forms of expression on the margins of law tend to mime it.














urban pruning
When urban pruning becomes a vital source for heating ...
















rotten flowers
So hastily build monument, perhaps rotting slowly memory cells …















kneeling girl
Always there, between passers by, humbly, with somebody's flowers in her hand...
















green island
Charles Baudelaire wrote to his mother, Mrs. Aupick, December 30, 1859: "What I feel is a huge discouragement, an unbearable feeling of isolation, constant fear of a vague unhappiness, a complete distrust of my strengths, a total lack of desire, an inability to find any fun.
















November 17th
Orange celestial teardrops for a slain body in the courtyard of the university...
















red sphere
In the backyard of one out of many theaters that shut down, in Athens since 2009.
















coins & ancient orifice
Did any Athenian throw a coin into the well of the Acropolis Museum? What wish would they make today?
















3-2
Ripped lampshades or somewhere a lidless window!
















Librairie Kaufmann
A safe haven burned to ashes!
















black stairs
New horizons are buried, down the black stairs, inward, urban, in an underground burnt land !
















cell n°50
Sometimes, while strolling in Athens, you feel like in a prison courtyard!?!

















Aphrodite's disappearance
A typical Athenian tradition in crisis: fewer open air cinemas.
















hotel sign
City ghost? Incomplete dream? Lost opportunity? Or just my melancholic mood ...
















blue line
"We must grab our old wishes and pin them on our mirrors." 
















eroded angel
Carrying the weight of our depression are small human gestures in the arena of commons, on the streets of Athens... 
















smiling stairs
A rudimentary architecture, a few kilometers from the Parthenon, to remind us of the fragility of our well being.
















construction on hold
Holy foundations and sedimentations of architectures.
















No Central
Often the architecture of the city of Athens from the fifties till today and of antiquity are separated by an invisible wall, formed by hundreds of years of oblivion …
















partial view
"My beloved Athens do not despair, I can always see that you are not a city".










exhibitions

No Country For Young Men - Bozar (Bruxelles, Belgium, Mar 2014)




Depression Era - Central DUPON, Mois de la Photo (Paris, France, Oct 2014)



Depression Era - Benaki Museum (Greece, Nov 2014 - Jan 2015)



Origini - Dimora OZ (Palermo, Sicily, March 2015)





featured











editions 



Mouvement (France)




AINT- BAD (USA)