You might just have already been in this instance, either as the spectator and commentator of this photo or somebody else, maybe the next passerby. And the latter could surely have been, if until now his legs have led him to the metro station of Monastiraki in Athens, on the literal and imaginary bridge, which, instead of uniting, separates the two platforms and their different directions. The rails for Tavros, Moshato and the road for Piraeus, the terminal station, guide the old age’s heavy footsteps in a photographic composition that contains something beyond the obvious interpretation of reality. Through a propagating light and sequentially, but expected, shade breaks, the black and white photograph of Zakynthiot photographer Zisis Kardianos comments on an everyday, inevitable -and usually indifferent to many of us- meeting with stray lives, whether they are experienced by abandoned animals or by the elderly, treated as pariahs..
Light, like a searchlight, brings the stray dog to prominence, which perhaps only once in his life is being experiencing the uniqueness of its kind, while an invisible fate connects him with the elder passerby: rather the fate of an underdog with an old-fashioned jacket and heavy limbs, and the overground railway lines leading to the sea - even if the four-legged outcast remains anchored in the metro station, anguished over the next, and perhaps the most sensational, journey. Kardianos’s photographic lens isolates the gaze of the passerby, and assigns social dimensions to photography, trying to interpret degraded aspects of reality. Attempting to speak in and out of the photo frame, Kardianos doesn’t try to downscale our standard perception of the world that surrounds us. Instead, his photographic collection In Limbo deifies cases of human and marginal forgetfulness, restoring the faith in the constructed image.
Ursula-Helen Kassaveti (photo by Vivi Kaparou)was born in Athens in 1980. She holds a B.A. in Literature (University of Athens, Athens School of Philosophy), a M.A. in Cultural Studies (University of Athens, Department of Communication and Mass Media) and a Ph.D. in Film, Genre Theory and Sociology at the same department. Her research interests revolve around Popular Culture (film/music), Visual Ethnography, and Cultural Studies. She has been a post-doc researcher at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she co-taught the undergraduate module “Social History of Mass Media” (2015) and is now a research fellow at University of Patras. She has made various announcements in international and Greek conferences and has published articles and a monography on film and media. She teaches “Discourse and Visual Analysis” and “Greek Film & Culture” at “Kostis Palamas” Longlife Education Program at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens.