What is so appealing about people travelling, commuting or even waiting for a trip that never comes?
Are they really human llike us? Or are they mythological creatures, Κύκλωπες and Λαιστρυγόνες?
In the photographer's eye the passengers are not simply changing places, they are tresspassing the limits of their lives. And there, under bridges, in the sea, behind windows they are alone, they are left alone, they are what always wanted to be. Outsiders, strangers, aliens, but favorites, loved and popular at the same time.
Truth is, our alien life in an alien world can be much more fulfilling and mutely passionate than the daily conundrum trying to figure out "what these Ithakas mean."
"Laistrygonians, Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you." Ithaka by C. P. Cavafy, 1863-1933
Photographs by: Gina Maragoudaki
The main instrument which we take a photograph with, is our being, our state of mind, our memories, our culture and last but not least, our mental reaction to the world surrounding us.
And the world around us is changing fast and, unfortunately, instead of rising to higher spheres of compassion and solidarity, it is eating its children and ultimately itself.
And whether we want it or not, every photograph is a political statement made by the "political animal/ζῷον πoλιτικόν" which the photographer is by excellence (in doubting, but at the same time cementing, the society).
These extremely powerful images are not seeking pity or anger, they are just melancholic, sad, then full of hope, then sad again, then sad again in their joy, then restless in their capitulation, surrendering their souls only to the worthy and the brave, and never to the loathsome (photos by Gina Maragkoudaki)
Roland Barthes in one of the most vulnerable moments in his authoritative book on Photography (Camera Lucida) describes in a so "unlike-him" touching way, the "old photos in the trunk" nostalgic, melancholic trance.
"There I was, alone in the apartment where she had died, looking at these pictures of my mother, one by one under the lamp, gradually moving back in time with her, looking for the truth of the face I had loved. And I found it."
Gina Maragoudaki is creating the same temporal paradox but only today, now. Her trenchant portraits are touched with pathos.
It may seem at first reading a theatricalization of the real. But Gina knows (feels) that something like that would be redundant. And she is delivering something that in itself is the ultimate sacrifice of the artist.
Her honest, uncrafted vision of the "memento mori".