University Studio Press, Thessaloniki, 1993. (Bilingual, greek-english) essay by Efie Strousa. Duo-tone reproductions. 48 pages, 24x17cm.



From the book Aris Georgiou / ANASYNgRAPHES II, UNIVERSITY STUDIO PRESS, Thessaloniki 1993

Reading and Writing are the twin manifestations of man's cultural behaviour which mark every distinct culture with a different spirit, a particular intellectual identity according to its degree of development and characteristic structure.

Reading and Writing: two limbs which support the growth of knowledge. Two basic channels of communication and expression but also two interlinked, inseparable conditions. Reading is as inconceivable without the existence of something previously written, as is writing that does not come from reading. In fact, there is no hierarchy in this relationship, but a perpetually moving sequence of the two exercises, simultaneous and parallel.

Reading and Writing: two products generated by the same source, since the first Text was the World, which was also the first script (graphi), co-authored with the Creator.

Thus, for man, the primary material to be read was, and continues to be, the whole World, primeval, primitive, and later the world of culture. The material was and is written, recorded, transcribed in so many myriad ways through codified scripts, free gestures, mechanical recording, printing and imaging. Every form of writing, apart from being a code of communication, is also a sign that marks the authorship (syn-graphi) of the Text, as co-written by Nature and Intellect. The assembly of the various signs-images-words in one single picture portrays one of the multiple aspects of the intimate bond between reading – i.e. the way in which the information is recorded in the mind – and collaboration through a medium of writing. The combination of these two activities reproduces an infinite number of new texts branching off from the Initial Text. Reading and Writing reappear interminably like fundamental elements of creation.

Aris Georgiou is a particularly restless reader of the cosmic text and a skilled user of many media in writing. In his photographic work, which he himself has named ANASYNgRAPHI, he singles out the letter «Á» (g) as the most powerful link between the reading process and the photo-graphic exercise: «Á» for the words γραφή (graphi) and γνώση (gnosi) or writing and knowledge, «g» as the intermediate between the ana-graphi (recording) and ana-gnosi (reading), «g» for syn-graphi (authorship), the collation of the signs which surround us through the poetics of his own reading.

The ANASYNgRAPHES of Aris Georgiou allude allegorically to the fascinating mechanisms by which the intellectual process of writing, in collaboration with that most voracious reader, the eye, translates everything that is visually perceived into an unexpected framework of coded sings, thus confirming that «reading is the metonymy of writing», as Roland Barthes observed.

Photography, as one of the pre-eminent media of the modern age, through which the image of the world has been read and written, has also prodominated as a means of recording the special cultural sensitivity of modernism.

Through the photographic testimony of conditions and events –natural, artificial, political, cultural, aesthetic, etc.– the image of the world has been reproduced whether as a document or a sign, whether as a metaphor or even, chiefly, as an aesthetic commodity. The metaphoric validity of the photographic image has replaced not only the visual means of expression, but also, to a particularly significant degree, the written word. With photography, new rules of writing and communication have been drafted, which have gradually converted the concept of the written text into a text which reproduces concepts visually. A photo-graphic test which declares, signifies, transfers and reshapes the view of objective reality into another actual image, as the photographic image is made up of fragments of the objective world.

The broad dissemination of the medium of photography is mainly due to the opportunity it gives its practitioner to intervene and reshape our sense of a familiar and given realm in a drastic and persuasive way. Moreover, photography represents the concept of limits to the picture of reality, since what is represented is always very different from its model. The photograph «is and is not» that which it depicts, as noted by Susan Sontag, the famous photography commentator.

The photo-graphy of Aris Georgiou entitled ANASYNgRAPHES, is of particular interest today owing to its surprising reminder of the mysterious processes that take place in the darkroom of the mind, where the inviolable bond between reading and writing precludes any discussion about the single, unique and sovereign value of reality.

The different and varied models photographed by Aris Georgiou, both animate and inanimate, common or noble, have already been transformed into sings, even before they appear or before their final authorship. The objects have already been reshaped from a document to traces of writing. In this way the final image-writings of Aris Georgiou reflect the image in the image itself. The lens of Aris Georgiou captures image-words, beyond the text. Images which refer to themselves, fragments stating the existence of an objective world, only fragmentarily complete. Through the photo-graphy of Aris Georgiou we recognise that every fragment of reality is indicative of an uncompleted Text, which man has before him. And inasmuch as we believe that the truth can be found in this, the signs of his writing are, also, for the sensitive reader, indirect indications that the whole has no image, only fragmentary signs.

The reading sensitivity of Aris Georgiou re-writes (anasyn-graphei) these signs, sending them out in all directions, so that they may ultimately reflect the incomplete through the incomplete.

Τranslated by J. Giannakopoulou