Georges Salameh’s “Spleen” series is a project he has been developing intermittently since 2009, based on the notion of sedimentation. It’s also a personal documentation of Athens during its depression era. “Spleen” is a continuation of an earlier photographic series, “Athens I Hear You,”
which observes the city through a more lively and animated perspective. Passerby’s stroll down the sidewalks, hand in hand, peeking into store windows. Years and crises later, the same streets are strikingly empty, forgotten, desolate in comparison.
“I narrate the city through the eyes of an urban geologist”
In this body of work, George Salameh gives careful, almost loving attention to the decrepit structures that mark the urban topography. Like those who live inside these walls, and those who walk past these crumbling facades, the architecture too holds its own narrative; its own markings of history. Each crack is a scar that tells a story: be it geo-political, personal, or social.
“I re-examine different parts of today’s Athens, directly accessible to observation, looking for hints of simple human gestures, trying to reconstruct their story by studying their layout. In both the shooting and the editing phase, I treat these images/scenes with alienation and humor; I re-consider them for new narrative elements, through the latest social and political changes, the successive layers of history, and the poetics of realism and light.
The evolution of Athens is projected from these new “geological formations” through research expanding in time, but also as intuitions or symptoms into radical changes to come.”
Georges Salameh is Greek-Lebanese visual storyteller based in Sicily.
He was born in Beirut, 1973, studied film in Paris, and currently lives between Palermo & Athens.
Photography | Tales