Standby

Panos Kiamos

In my work for the past 20 years as a night club photographer- “a salesman of reminiscences”, I have come across thousands of “standby portraits”.  Portraits of people shot for the same reason, under the same circumstances and in the same surroundings waiting, in vain, to be bought. Some people found them too expensive, some did not need the recollection and others simply thought that, in digital times, a printed picture does not have much value.
The union of half-portraits that I attempt to do began as a game in the lab. The un-bought pictures are normally destroyed, since they have no reason to exist. What happens to the torn pieces? Like pieces of myself , walking through my life’s path for 20 years , torn, thrown away, left behind and now pulled out again, they recreate an identity, a new “standby portrait”. A portrait that exorcises fears, exceeds expectations, breaks myths, closes a circle and opens a new one.
It is a portrait of many different readings. Some find it fragile, wanting its pair, its other half, some find it scary, others repulsive. It is none and all of the above. It awaits and whispers to you: what we are, what we think we are, what we would like to be and what we would like others to see in us. It is both individual and collective; two pieces that come to life again as My portrait, Your portrait, Nobody’ portrait.
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