Plus and Minus publications. Thessaloniki, 1983. Text by Sakis papdimitriou, Photographs by Aris Georgiou. 72 pages, 21x21cm., 41 b/w photographs.


Aris Georgiou, The “Other” Piano

The photographs for Sakis Papadimitriou’s book The “Other” Piano were taken in August 1982 and are a good example of a group of photographs with a single thematic focus. Just as, in the group entitled “In and Around Papamarkou Street”, photography is called upon to record and comment on the craftsmen of a certain neighbourhood on the photographer’s own initiative (instigated, that is, by personal speculation), so in the totally different context of The “Other” Piano photography becomes the tool which makes it possible to construct pictures that observe, describe and sustain the moods of the musician and writer Sakis Papadimitriou; or, conversely, the pictures become the point of departure for further writings by him. The photographer is not working alone. He is being stimulated into creative collaboration so as to translate into images the vision of the writer and stage-director, originally conceived both in sound and in words. Now and then the collaboration results in images which the musician has not foreseen, and this must be due to their long and close association, where music is the chief catalyst. So the traffic goes both ways: texts arise out of the photographs, not just photographs out of the texts.

One of the most valuable aspects of the book is the ambiguous nature of the areas of responsibility within it. How far is the musician responsible for the eventual picture? How far is the photographer responsible for “triggering” the text? One thing is certain though: only this precise combination of people could have brought about this precise result. Any other permutation would have had a different outcome.

If I had to comment on the pictures as their photographer, I would dwell not so much on the fact that they still interest me as compositions as on the feeling of how closely one can become involved in the creative process when one is trying to document it by means of photography. The awareness that, as a link in the chain, one is helping the fragmented vision on its way towards becoming a completed document is the crowning point of one’s experience. Taking part in a two-man creative venture keeps one alert in a way that can only be enriching, in a progress that is otherwise mainly solitary.

Naturally, the photographs which follow only obtain their full meaning if they are looked at in conjunction with Sakis Papadimitriou’s texts. I have here selected those whose texts had already been translated into English and French in 1983 (for the book’s condensed bilingual supplement).