Haris Diamantidis - Avril 2019
From a vantage point somewhere between street photography and sociological observation, patiently, fondly, keenly, I took pictures of people passing by.
Then, by removing my subjects from their surroundings and making them all the same size, I endeavoured to eﬀace all reference to time and space, and thus to direct the viewer’s attention solely to the intrinsic particularities of each individual.
They all seem to be floating in a space that does not belong to them, searching for their individuality, originality, and identity. Through this quest, however, individuals are often ensnared by the contradictory messages conveyed by the media, and inevitably end up obeying other codes of clothing or behaviour that are as stereotypical as the ones they have been trying to cast oﬀ. This is what I am trying to demonstrate, by resorting to a slight touch of exaggeration.
And the result is that these passers-by, for all their desire to assert their individuality, end up preserving a highly mimetic behaviour, because they seem to be in constant search for a social group to belong to, a situation that will oﬀer reassurance. Thus, people may seem diﬀerent, yet they are basically the same. Individualist, yet conformist, that is how I have sought to portray them, through a deliberate choice of images, for to me that is how they seem to represent the contemporary individual.
Above all, I would like to thank everyone who involuntarily “lent” me their image when our paths crossed.
For obvious practical reasons, it was impossible for me to obtain the explicit consent of the “people passing by” for the publication of their images within the framework of this project. However, I feel I have shown them every respect, by capturing them in the most noble posture there is: standing and striding forward. If, however, any of my subjects do recognise themselves, and do not wish to be part of this body of photographs, they need only get in touch with me and I will remove their image from the site.
From my earliest days as a photographer, I have always been interested in people, directly or indirectly. And this project has brought me even closer to other people, because I have found myself fascinated by every individual’s unique yet universal nature.
In our daily lives we often don’t have time to pay much attention to other people, but seeing them within a fixed framework, against a neutral background, can help us to fully appreciate the diversity and originality of the people around us even if at first glance they may all seem stereotypical. I hope that we shall all find some small part of ourselves in the images of “People Passing By.”