2011 FotoVisura Grant
I am more interested in poetry than fact, in the ever-so-slight transformation of reality achieved through a lyrical gaze rather than a supposedly ‘objective’ depiction; and yet I firmly believe that, paradoxically, the magic and mystery immanent in everyday reality can best be revealed through the most ‘straight’, realistic kind of photography, a photography true to the external world as encountered. But I aim to inspire and move, not to inform. I feel that this aim can best be pursued through the use of humble materials.
The more mundane and 'uninteresting' the raw material, the more can the transformative poetry of photography itself come into relief.
My preferred subject is my metaphorical own back yard and the everyday life of the streets. The conjunction of my photographic gaze with chance and happenstance is essential to my approach, as is an emphasis on the evanescence of the encountered moments I photograph. I am interested in fleeting gestures and glances, the momentary field of interaction between passing strangers, the ephemeral dance of light and shadow and street life. I try to visually organize the chaos of the streets just enough to contain it in the photograph, but hopefully not much more than that. I aim for pictures that can demonstrate how the ordinary and mundane can be transformed into something mysterious and enchanting when photographed, pictures that pose rather than answer questions.
More than anything, what moves me is capturing the infinitesimal outward signs of an inner emotional life, the interiority of people even in the midst of the most public spaces. My project derives its title, Its Strangest Patterns, from a passage from the novel Netherland, by Joseph O' Neill: "[I'd] walk and walk until I reached a state of fancifulness, of indeterminately hopeful receptiveness ... there was a definite element of flight, and an element of capitulation, too ... and in this I was abetted by the streets of New York City, which abet desire even in its strangest patterns".
Dimitri Mellos, 2011 FotoVisura Grant Finalist