In Praise of Shadows
"... let there be light and there was light"
Light is the first and necessary condition for photography – as it is for life; it is shadows, however, that define the spirit and atmosphere of the image. Light means nothing without the shadows. Darkness is not merely a dark mass that confines/encloses light, it is a living substance that gives form to the light, that draws our attention to it.
Although shadows always had a special place in my photographs, the inspiration for this project came from the book of Junichiro Tanizaki ‘In Praise of Shadows’. The lively descriptions of the world of shadows sparked my desire to create images that will convey even a tiny bit of the atmosphere of this book. You will find excerpts of this amazing literary work scattered throughout the pages of this album.
Churches and especially the small, dark chapels scattered throughout the Greek countryside, always excited me. The minimal light of the small windows and skylights, the dark shadows, combined with the sense of mystery and devoutness, inseparable from the places of prayer, create the proper atmosphere for the scenes I had imagined. It is not surprising that most of the descriptions in Tanizaki’s book concern temples. It is maybe the mysterious nature of the Superior Being that drives people to worship in places where the shadows “create a world of confusion – a “visible darkness”, where always something seemed to be flickering and shimmering”