For years, next door football pitch although teams and track athletes used it for practice, it was in an overall decline.
Yet, because it was a very familiar space, when I needed time to rest my eyes from my computer screen and the stories I had to cover, I was trying on a nearly daily basis, as a mental and visual exercise, to detect interesting details and reconstruct mentally its aesthetics each and every time.
My desk being on the 6th floor, by that time, gave me the advantage of having an almost bird’s eye view. When the remodeling started, for days, layers of old pitch grass, gravel and sand were loaded on trucks till an empty space was left occupying the area. Then the presence of the pitch itself, changed. A new empty canvas was revealed.
My horizon changed, but mostly the feeling and the presence of the stadium itself as it was going through some sort of catharsis. It was making its presence even more striking as if it was struggling for a way to breathe.
The area was changing in a fast mode. Suddenly, Miro, Kandinsky, Hokusai, Max Ernst, Rodchenko, German expressionism carvings and everything I had seen, studied, read, every poem, novel, picture, painting and social or artist movement, were there filling my frame. At the same time, it could easily deceive and pass completely unnoticed if one could only see a construction site.
Through abstract approach a wonderful mind game with creativity started. Resifting an established balance, helped me keep awake all my senses, which actively participated, by locating signs beyond what the eye, lazily many times, perceives. Stimuli were challenging and asking for the redefinition of one’s perception and aesthetics of the world itself. A process of challenging rules, ideas and messages through a dialogue on an emotional level looking for new ways of a photographic intellect began.
New ways of thinking, visually, but also of consciousness, perception and understanding, were encouraged through a constantly changing natural and artificial landscape. It was prescribing a continuous research of the relationships that were created with signs and practices becoming a place and eventually a strong point of reference.
A dialogue started through a landscape that was changing.
Challenging small surprises from the whole, through carefully selected fragments it was transformed into something completely new, breathing a new breath and dynamic. The constant pursuit of a different approach was aiming at the visually ordinary and in open view, in order to reveal its hidden nature and the information that contains. The real dimension was transformed into questions. What am I looking at, why do I see it, there is a dialogue that starts but with whom?
The language wasn’t not necessarily common and the vocabulary easy, but yet, the questions were absolutely clear. Each time was a constant experimentation and play with creation. Classical rules were bent or even eliminated on purpose. Techniques were of secondary importance as they didn’t follow a standard rules book but the need for expression and aesthetic depiction.
About Stefanos Kouratzis
Stefanos Kouratzis (b. 1975, Athens, Greece) is a photographer living and working in Cyprus since 2001. At the age 13, he develops a strong interest in Photography when he was handed a Kodak Instamatic. He loved so much the way that light was captured on film that he decided he wants to be a photographer. Due to developing and printing costs, he starts drawing rough sketches, prior shooting, and experimenting with different medium sizes, cameras and techniques.
He studies in 1994 (till 1997) at Focus, School of Art Photography, Video and New Technologies (Athens, Greece) and years later, he takes online courses at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) and Magnum Photos. In 2018, he participates at the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture, part of the Cyprus Pavilion (I Am Where You Are). Selected awards include PDN (Photo Annual), IPA (International Photography Awards), PX3 (Prix de la Photographie, Paris) and Fujifilm EuroPress Awards (Cyprus).
His works can be found in books and private collections in Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Brazil. Has published articles on Photography in Greece, USA, England and Poland. For the last years has been working for “Phileleftheros Group” and the European University of Cyprus. [Official Website]