“Traces of existence”—that’s how the Greek photographer Gerasimos Platanas describes his work. But not existence as we might typically imagine it. No indications here of the workaday trudge from job to shop. I see traces of existence on ecstatic planes—traces of love’s tremor, of sight’s erratic emphasis, of touch and its deepest estates. These are photographs of a romantic eye closed. In the writings Platanas chose for these images, we hear echoes of what we see: “In the sweet light of love I realized . . . the inward self is the only self which really exists.” I can live with that—so long as these “visions” exist somewhere too.
“I was no longer myself, was another, and yet it was on this account that I became properly myself. In the sweet light of love I realized, or believe I realized, that perhaps the inward self is the only self which really exists.”
“The soul of the world had opened and I fantasized that everything wicked, distressing and painful was on the point of vanishing . . . all notion of the future paled and the past dissolved. In the glowing present, I myself glowed.”
“Let everything that’s been planned come true. Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy, but just the friction between their souls and the outside world. And most important, let them believe in themselves. Let them be helpless like children, because weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it’s tender and pliant. But when it’s dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.”
“Creatures of a day. What is someone? What is no one? Man is the dream of a shadow.”
“Dreams are very queer things. Pictures appear with terrifying clarity, the minutest details engraved like pieces of jewelry, and yet we leap unawares through huge abysses of time and space.”
See more from Gerasimos Platanas in the August issue of Adore Noir and in Vol. II of Eyemazing Susan (Eyemazing Editions). For more news on upcoming projects, check out gerasimosplatanas.daportfolio.com and http://gerasimosplatanas.portfoliobox.net/.
All images ©Gerasimos Platanas and used by permission.