Haris Kakarouhas (Greece)

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For me, the main issue is not to find what to photograph, but rather to open my eyes and discover my gaze. For me, photographing is synonymous to recognizing my inner self in the external reality. And I’m not talking about my ego here, but about my very centre, myself in other words. If you can put in order your inner self, then you can just surrender to your gaze and it will lead you; where it stops, you click; things come to meet you, you do not chase after them.

On the contrary, if you surrender to your ego, the outcome will be a comment or an intellectual construction, an artifice that is often pompous and easy, or simply dull. I could therefore describe the process as a kind of meditation or prayer if you wish, with its Eucharistic meaning. The eye touches ecstatically upon an object which suddenly becomes the centre of the world. A similar thing happens with faces – both these familiar and those seen for the first time. What matters most is communication. Communication with people might occur instantly, might take time, or never happen at all. Sometimes, it might not be verbal at all. There were times when a portrait was done without even a single word. Photographing becomes a ritual with a secret choreography, where the element that prevails is rhythm, and, as Stelios Ramfos puts it, the word rhythm does not refer to the type of expression, but a space completely absorbed in time.

Therefore, in the magical moment of the click, what is recorded on the emulsion is mainly time. This time, of course, is not the “real” time of photographic exposure which is measured in fractions of a second, but a different kind of time, which I would call vertical. Assisted by the device of the frame, it escorts the face into infinity. The only thing I had to do was to roam around the houses of friends and acquaintances, or walk the streets of the suburbs mainly, where everything could happen at any moment; there, I could seek some acquaintance at their front door, or find myself invited into a stranger’s house which I could leave a quarter later, or the morning after.

Haris Kakarouhas

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