Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Socrates by the Fountain

I am fascinated by this photograph (hand signed by von Gloeden, with the date: 1902). The set up is so quiet, so serene... And the old man looks so familiar, he is Socrates talking with one of the teen boys he loved to spend times with, in the streets, the gardens and the gymnasiums of Athens. They are looking so deeply into the pond, I imagine they are meditating about the tricks of apparence and vision, about reality and shades.

Their images are reflected on the surface of the mirroring water. Surface, depth, truth, illusion, eternity, ephemereal vision... 

There is a second mirror, von Gloeden's camera: it is not reflected on the surface of the pond, but it catches Socrates and his young friend as well as their reflections.

Through this beautiful photograph, von Gloeden offers us a deep visual meditation about the nature of image and light, about the power of mirrors, about reality and its reflection, about vanishing appearances and the permanence of a photograph, that is still there, a long time after the photographer's and his models death... 

No comments: