The Temple Of Godless Aphaia
by George Barr
curator, Calgary Canada
The obvious way to look at Milan’s images of ancient buildings is as a simple abstract, all be it using the architecture of 2 millenia ago as a basis. However, there is sufficient in the image that is recognizable that the images are much more. We can clearly identify this as some ancient ruin. The multiple exposures give a sense of time passing, of different people visiting over 2000 years. It’s almost as if each exposure records a different era.
The building looks ghostly and the translucency suggets impermanence of even these stone structures, as if one could walk through the pillars. Of course, over time some pillars have fallen so this nicely represents the changes in the building - at least metaphorically if not structurally accurately.
The angled viewpoint and tilted horizon give the image more energy and imply movement which is a contradiction, given the building hasn’t gone anywhere in all these years. The dark top of the image implies a roof to the structure, even though that has long since almost entirely vanished, the first part to suffer from earth quake, fire or war.
Pay attention to the placement of the multiple images, with pillars nicely interspersed, so as to show to best advantage. For example, at the right side, there are two obvious pillars, wih white space between - think how much less effective the image would have been had the white space been obliterated and the pillars less easily seen.
Along the left side we see what appears to be three exposures with the same wall repeated in an enlarging pattern, yet because there are only a few exposures, one does not have the sense of simply standing there zooming in as one sees quite often - here less is more. Photographic trickery for trickery’s sake pales quickly, easily becomes repetitive, and seems all together a bit too clever even when new. Trickery that serves to represent what otherwise can’t be photographed is a whole other matter. The photographer must ask first where a particular tool or technique would be most effective and use if for that purpose.