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John Demos. Turkey, 1986. "Shadows of Silence"
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FotoFest 2002 Exhibits
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Shadows of Silence, John Demos
The images of religious scenes in rural towns by contemporary Greek photographer John Demos exemplify a mid-20th century formalist approach to the documentation of public ceremonies and street life. Without leaving figurative photography, Demos' dramatic, high contrast images go beyond mere illustration to render an expression of inner spirituality of his subject matter.

The gestures and movements of people in Shadows of Silence are suspended starkly in time and space. The scenes are both specific and metaphysical, unmistakably Greek but symbolic of all human condition. Demos explores the relationship between his subjects and religious iconography, the painting of a religious figure in the background or the cross at a cemetery in the foreground. Demos has chosen to emphasize the symbols of faith. They are the silent elements of a drama, part of the movements of a Greek chorus.

Demos' imagery attains that hard-to-reach point between representation and metaphor. Through a dramatic use of shadows, composition and the 'capturing' of the decisive moment, Demos crates spiritual narratives which lead us to ponder our own beliefs about life and death.

This is the first time that Shadows of Silence has been presented in the United States.



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