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Nikos Aliagas: 'Photos don't judge'

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Nikos Aliagas: 'Photos don't judge'

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Franco-Greek TV and radio presenter Nikos Aliagas is more than that. Passionate about photography since an early age, he is currently showing his work as part of the Photo Docks Art Fair in the French city of Lyon.

It’s a collection of photographs of people, both ordinary and famous, whom he has met on his different journeys.

#Paris #Ben (Benjamin Vautier) L’homme égrène les mots comme les grains de sable de l’existence coulent dans le sablier. Des mots pour témoigner, réfléchir, provoquer, des mots pour combler le silence aussi. Brouiller les pistes, se faire passer pour un rigolo, un gigolo de la calligraphie qui nous renvoie à la figure ce que nous croyons comprendre. Les aphorismes, mots ou signatures de Ben sont des réponses à nos névroses les plus profondes. Et l’artiste de se moquer de nous, brandissant le miroir illusoire de nos certitudes. Il y a du Diogène chez Ben, un « dérision dérisoire » qui nous invite à l’urgence. A ses débuts l’homme distribuait des tracts sur la voie publique, emporté par la foule qui pense ou qui panse lorsqu’elle devient impudique… L’égo et le doute habitent Ben depuis toujours, alors il crie ses mots avec ses feutres et ses pinceaux. Des passepartouts à activer lorsque les paroles se perdent dans la cacophonie. Avant de le dire il faut l’écrire «La vie ne s’arrête jamais», comme sa pensée et son œil de gamin qui se métamorphosent à la vitesse de la lumière. L’artiste me montre sa main, à l’italienne, sans attendre une quelconque réponse, presque une question en l’air « Cosa vuoi?». #instanikos #InstaParis

A photo posted by nikos aliagas (@nikosaliagas) on

“The exhibition is called ‘The Test of Time’, because we’re all in the same boat,” says Aliagas. “Nobody can fight time. But there’s a sense of time that is much more secret, more spiritual and somewhat philosophical I hope, and it’s called ‘keros’ (in Greek). And it’s this individual time that I try to capture, each person’s dignity, their strength, what makes them unique,” he explains.

“When you take a picture it’s like leaving a signature, it’s your responsibility. Getting out your camera in front of someone is violent, you must first ask for their permission, it’s the least you can do. You don’t take pictures from afar with a zoom, I work with short focal length lenses, 50 millimetres, so there’s a dialogue, we talk, I try to understand their life, and if there’s something that moves me – because it’s all about instinct – I ask: can I take a picture of you? What I’m interested in is what he or she can’t tell me with words, to try and translate that through curves and light.”

Aliagas has a soft spot for hands. Among those he has photographed are the hands of French actor Gerard Depardieu or rapper JoeyStarr: “I love taking pictures of hands because you can change your face with plastic surgery or make-up, the way I do when I’m on TV, you can try and look younger, but your hands… you can’t change them. They will always be the same and they carry the weight of time, often they say what you don’t.

“I don’t take lots of photos, I don’t shoot like this… (he makes a paparazzi gesture). I get close to the person and if there’s a connection, I allow myself to take a picture. Photos are not judgemental, man is judgemental, man gauges. A picture will outlive a subject, but it never passes judgement, it throws you back to your own conscience,” he says.

‘The Test of Time’, a collection of photographs by Nikos Aliagas, is on show at the Photo Docks Art Fair in Lyon until October 9. You can also find them on flickr.com.

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