It is hard to place myself in the passage through cities too numerous to recognise or remember and whose names I do not care to recall. In their passage through the lens those cities have become the City. At the same time unique and interchangeable, their kaleidoscope rotation through the camera opens new paths following a torn map whose fragments I have collected as I cross shadowy porticoes and bridges in search of new vistas by seeing through walls; drifting across frontiers on trains and ships with a camera as my home.

The City, still as it is in these photographs, still escapes me. It always will, while I am still here, and when I am gone.

But we never run the risk of being truly lost in the City, merely biding our time as we wait, more often unknowingly, to be called forth to testify to its passing and ours. Always a race against the clock to frame before being framed, grazing off the skin of the City as our skin is grazed by its iron, steel, and stone. Invisibility unravels and is brought into light as a thread of images criss-crossing the City, tracing its streets, bridges, and subway lines. The indifference of passing trains to laughter or screams. The silence of photographs.

John Perivolaris works as a photographer, writer, and teacher of photography. Often collaborative, his projects use photography, text, and related media to reflect on diasporic states of being. Revealing how places are layered by time, his work is concerned with how meaning is formed through migration, travel and our attachment to specific locations. In 2006 he became the Board Chairman of the Look 07 International Photography Festival, Manchester. (2006 – 08). His last one-person exhibition, entitled City of Ghosts: A Dialogue with George Washington Wilson, was shown in the gallery of the Sir Duncan Rice Gallery, University of Aberdeen, between 15 October 2015 and 21 February 2016. He is the author of 11 self-published books and zines, several of which are available for purchase.

Image Caption

© John Perivolaris

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