athens shopping

8

The asphodel meadow, for others the meadow covered with ashes, is according to Homer the part of the Underworld where the souls of those who lived neutral lives go- those who were neither heroes nor evil- after they drink from the water of Lethe. Here it reveals itself to us in the interior of the shops out of business in Athens in the crisis. In the night time we are lingering, its appearance is only possible through the lens of the camera as darkness obstructs visibility with the naked eye. The resulting images are portraits without subjects: what is left is only the stage of the drama, a shell, and this is what is recorded. Empty walls, garbage, abandoned furniture compose a former, dead activity as the merchantman or the merchandise are absent. The intention of this recording could be to acquire Lethe herself: to travel through this asphodel meadow and, by the repetition of its stimulus, to experience this reality and then to deconstruct it, casting away the fear that we may also get to live into this frame.

…Παλαιοπωλείο είν’ οι μνήμες μας
καλογυαλισμένες μέσα στη ψυχή
έχουν μέσα φόδρα απ’ τις λύπες μας
μα και για σφραγίδα άλλην εποχή…

-Γ.Φράγκος

Europress or Talking about the crisis, #2. Not a photo shop/lab, but a photo agency, in this case – although equally struck by the crisis. Neapoli/Exarcheia, Athens, Greece, 2014.

As explained in part 1 of this series, this is a small project on closed photo shops in Athens, inspired by Shuttered, Sam Weinstein’s (pixandum) side-project on closed down businesses and “the state of our economy”…

And you even get a meta-photo (even a meta-meta-photo, if you look close enough) of their memorable action shot of a Hellenic Air Force Agusta-Bell AB.205A SAR (Search & Rescue) helicopter taking off… – I remember this from when they were still in business (the agency I mean – the old Greek AB.205s are still in service).