I Know Where I'm Going

Category: Friends and Photography

Friends and Photography: Spyros Petritakis

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Θανάσης Αποστόλου

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Σκληρός δίσκος, εξωτερικός, με εξωτερική τροφοδοσία, μαύρου χρώματος.

Κουτάλι σούπας, ασημένιο· η πίσω πλευρά της λαβής φέρει την εγχάρακτη επιγραφή Châlons Alexandrie.

Τετρασέλιδο φυλλάδιο ψητοπωλείου με την επωνυμία «Οι ολυμπιονίκες».

Έγχρωμη φωτογραφία δεκαεξάχρονου αγοριού, προφίλ, δεκαετία του ’80.

Σατέν φιογκάκι στηθόδεσμου, χρώματος πράσινου Βερονέζε.

Πλακέ κορδόνι παπουτσιού εκατόν είκοσι εκατοστών, χρώματος κυανού Πρωσίας.

Διάφανη ιαπωνική ξύστρα μολυβιών.

Επιστολή ταχυδρομημένη τον Αύγουστο του 1999· γκρίζος φάκελλος, ανοιγμένος επιμελώς στην άνω πλευρά, ο οποίος φέρει τέσσερα γραμματόσημα και αυτοκόλλητη ετικέτα με την ένδειξη «κατεπείγον – express»· τα ταυτόσημα στοιχεία του αποστολέα και του παραλήπτη είναι χτυπημένα σε γραφομηχανή.

Επιστολή ταχυδρομημένη τον Αύγουστο του 2013, σχεδόν όμοια με την προαναφερθείσα.

Γυάλινος ογκομετρικός κύλινδρος των εκατό χιλιοστόγραμμων.

Η ελληνική έκδοση των Θλιβερών τροπικών του Κλωντ Λεβί-Στρως εγκιβωτισμένη κατά τα τρία τέταρτα σε μπετό.

Πάνω από εκατό γράνες, με μάτι διαμέτρου τριάντα χιλιοστόμετρων, καρφιτσωμένες στην άνω πλευρά μια χάρτινης κασετίνας τσιγάρων.

Σπιρτόκουτο με την επιγραφή Indian Cat της βιομηχανίας Κόμοριν, Κοβιλπάττι, Ταμίλ Ναντού, Ινδία, στο οποίο φυλάσσεται κρανίο κότσυφα.

Ταϊβανέζικη γόμα, μαλακή, μάρκας Πεντέλ.

Γιάννη Σκαρίμπα, Βοϊδάγγελοι, εκδόσεις Αίγαγρος, Αθήνα 1968.

Πέντε τετράδες αυτόματων φωτογραφιών, από σκοτεινό θάλαμο δημόσιου χώρου, κλεισμένες σε παχύτοιχο γυάλινο βαζάκι με εσμυρισμένο πώμα· η κοπέλα, σε ποικίλους μορφασμούς, το αγόρι, καπνίζει· στη μια εξ αυτών διακρίνεται μόνο το προπέτασμα του λευκογάλανου καπνού.

Δεκαοχτώ ιαπωνικά πινέλα καλλιγραφίας.

Πέντε γαλλικά πινέλα ακουαρέλας.

Ένα χειροποίητο ολλανδικό πινέλο ελαιογραφίας.

Ατσάλινο σταχτοδοχείο πούρων· εμπεριέχει εικοσιοκτώ άφιλτρα αποτσίγαρα, μάρκας Σαντέ, και δύο στριφτών με φίλτρο.

Σκουλαρίκι μύτης, από τιτάνιο, απολήγει σε μικροσκοπικό ένθετο κρύσταλλο.

Σελίδα εβδομαδιαίας εφημερίδας· όλες οι λέξεις μαυρισμένες, μία-μία, με λεπτό, μαύρο μαρκαδόρο.

Τρεις αναπτήρες — Ζίππο, Κρίκετ, Μπικ· μέταλλο, πλαστικό διάφανο και τυρκουάζ αντιστοίχως.

Ένα ρολό χαρτί υγείας, γκοφρέ.

Δεκαεξασέλιδο τυπογραφικό δοκίμιο βιβλίου υπό έκδοση.

Μια δερμάτινη τσάντα ταχυδρόμου· οι περισσότερες ραφές είναι ξηλωμένες.

Ίσως, κάπου ανάμεσα σε αυτά, να έχει παραπέσει και ο ίδιος.

[Σε ένα από τα τραπέζια, την επομένη της μετακόμισης· Τετάρτη, 3 Ιουνίου 2015.]

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© Spyros Petritakis

Bern, Antiquariat © Spyros Petritakis

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[Spyros is a Berlin-based art historian, and pianist, who studies the relationship between music and the visual arts at the turn of the previous century. I have been sitting on this photograph for quite some time, looking for an appropriate text to accompany it, until I read today what Thanassis had written. It was perfect. The material remains of one’s personal life against the debris of others. Meaningless to whomever steals a furtive glance from a window. Life as a collection of curiosities. Life looking inwards]

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Friends and Photography: Thanassis Apostolou

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Pythagoras planned it. Why did the people stare?
His numbers, though they moved or seemed to move
In marble or in bronze, lacked character.
But boys and girls, pale from the imagined love
Of solitary beds, knew what they were,
That passion could bring character enough,
And pressed at midnight in some public place
Live lips upon a plummet-measured face.

William Butler Yeats, The Statues (published March 1939)

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Disconnection (© Thanassis Apostolou, 2011)

Disconnection (© Thanassis Apostolou, September 2010, Delphi)

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[Thanassis is a contemporary artist, a title he would sneer at. He thought art was a way to avoid work, but ended up working day and night anyway. His house is a glass fort up on a hill, and he lives there in a sort of self-imposed, feverish isolation, always dressed in black. At least, that is how I imagine him. But do not take that description seriously – he certainly doesn’t. This picture was published in a book with 23 others – the stagnating water reminded me of numbers, and since they represent Delphi marbles, Yeats’ Statues was an oddly fitting choice. He also told me once he would record for me a reading of Tsirkas’ The Club, the first volume in the Drifting Cities trilogy. I have not forgotten]

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Friends and Photography: Annett Bourquin

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I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn’t over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton’s bracing air.
I don’t know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn’t in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I’m picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

W. H. Auden, O Tell Me The Truth About Love (1938)

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Untitled (© Annett Bourquin)

Untitled (© Annett Bourquin)

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[Annett is one of those people that effortlessly make terms such as “independent spirit” or “citizen of the world” sound like insufferable platitudes. A German of Huguenot ancestry who studied industrial design, she has lived in Japan, Mozambique and Portugal among other places, and she currently spends her time taking pictures and making unique handbags. She lives in Lisbon, in a house where things bear the imprint of her personality, minimalist with impeccable taste]

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Friends and Photography (special edition, video): Alkis Velivasis

The Best Time Of The Day

Cool summer nights.
Windows open.
Lamps burning.
Fruit in the bowl.
And your head on my shoulder.
These the happiest moments in the day.

Next to the early morning hours,
of course. And the time
just before lunch.
And the afternoon, and
early evening hours.
But I do love

these summer nights.
Even more, I think,
than those other times.
The work finished for the day.
And no one who can reach us now.
Or ever.

Raymond Carver, All Of Us (1996)

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[Alkis Velivasis is a very old friend – although, technically, younger than me. He has been a dj, a cinephile, a writer and, more recently, an amateur cinematographer. He makes his living as a psychiatrist living in London, a proud member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and worker for the NHS. He shot the “summer elegy” video in Folegandros, while vacationing with his longtime partner Augustine]

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Friends and Photography: Noti Klagka

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“Do you know what the name of that green bird up above us is?” she asked, putting her shoulder rather nearer to his.

“Bee-eater.”

“Oh no, Ronny, it has red bars on its wings.”

“Parrot,” he hazarded.

“Good gracious no.”

The bird in question dived into the dome of the tree. It was of no importance, yet they would have liked to identify it, it would somehow have solaced their hearts. But nothing in India is identifiable, the mere asking of a question causes it to disappear or to merge in something else.

E. M. Forster, A Passage to India (1924)

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India (© Noti Klagka)

India © Noti Klagka

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[Noti Klagka is art historian extraordinaire, Anthony Blunt lover, tireless traveller and former MOX president (don’t bother looking it up). Her thesis on Annibale Carracci’s genre paintings combines her love for art with her love of food, especially lamb. She is a fixture at the Warburg Institute and after so many years of being her friend, I still have to double check before spelling her last name]

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Friends and Photography: Ilias Dimopoulos

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“It was a cool day and very clear. You could see a long way – but not as far as Velma had gone”.

Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely (1940)

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Photo © Ilias Dimopoulos

Photo © Ilias Dimopoulos

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[Ilias Dimopoulos is a film critic, doubling as a DJ. He’s a man’s man (or a woman’s, depending on how you look at it), who knows his way around Mozart and oboe concertos. His love of film noir practically dictated the choice of quotation. He writes his film blog in Greek and we don’t agree on anything. Except Clint Eastwood]

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Friends and Photography: Caterina Arampatzi

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“But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city”.

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (1945)

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Passenger None, Destination Nowhere (© Caterina Arampatzi)

Passenger None, Destination Nowhere (© Caterina Arampatzi)

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[Caterina is a lover of comic books, African music and Clarice Lispector. She travels, translates and cooks moussaka and Italian tiramisu (real Italian tiramisu). Her dog Argos is a mysterious creature, loud over the telephone, but never actually seen. Beloved by children and her friends, she is now as much Portuguese as she is Greek, having lived in Lisbon for most of her adult life. A permanent move to Brazil or Africa is not to be excluded in the future]

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Friends and Photography: Natalia Maks

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Photo © Natalia Maks

Photo © Natalia Maks

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[It’s been a while that I’ve wanted to continue my Friends and Photography series and Natalia Maks, a fellow blogger and avid photographer, seemed like a good start. I fell in love with this photo of hers some time ago, and she graciously allowed me to host it. The composition is stunning: the sinuous lines of the moving Indian boys undercutting the verticality of the striped steps, the color combination of pink and orange (always a favorite) and the incongruous blue sign with the white letters pointing to – of all things! – a German bakery, all work in contradistinction to produce a memorable image]

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Friends and Photography: Alicia Miguélez Cavero

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“Mescal,” the Consul said, almost absent-mindedly. What had he said? Never mind. Nothing less than mescal would do. But it mustn’t be a serious mescal, he persuaded himself. ” No, Señor Cervantes,” he whispered, “mescal, poquito.”

Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry (1947)

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Palmela Wine Cellar, © Alicia Miguélez Cavero

Palmela Wine Cellar, © Alicia Miguélez Cavero

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[Alicia Miguélez Cavero is a talented, young (and I mean really, very young) researcher from León. She specializes in medieval illuminated manuscripts and is fluent in French, English and German. She is also very generous with her friends, supportive, optimistic and a fervent yoga practitioner. In short, something of a rarity in the academic world. She took this lovely, evocative picture during the Nunc est bibendum conference, organized in Palmela a December weekend. There is absolutely no relationship between Mezcal and Moscatel, except for the fact that they share a lot of letters]

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Friends and Photography: Sofia Geneiataki

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“Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were”.

C. C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) to Fran (Shirley MacLaine), from The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)

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Amorgos (© Sofia Geneiataki)

Amorgos (© Sofia Geneiataki)

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[Sofia Geneiataki is a surprisingly modest person, considering how versatile she is. An Athens resident but a Cretan at heart, she has studied Spanish literature, the law, and history of art. Among other things. She also wears awesome coats and has the weird habit of eating lots of fruits for breakfast. This strange picture from her summer holidays – more of a relief on the sand rather than a footprint – reminded me of C. C. Baxter and his unforgettable line of aching loneliness]

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