CM: Gerasimos Neofytos owes his reputation as photographer largely to his work of documenting the film Brides (2004) by Pantelis Voulgaris. Based on the namesake script by Ioanna Karistiani, the film is concerned with the story of hundreds of young women from Greece, Russia and the coast of Asia Minor sailing for America, in order to get to the grooms they know from a photograph. By agreement with Vulgaris, Neofytos kept to his duties as stage photographer. Parallel to that, however, and given the opportunity of engaging with as great a cinematic production as Brides, Neofytos made artistic photography from a personal and subjective viewpoint. The atmosphere that all photographs from this series evoke was not given , but resulted from a great process of search and discovery. The photographer wandered amongst the protagonists, but it was the actors of secondary roles that gave Neofytos more impetus for thought and feeling. These anonymous people retained something of their role, perhaps more so than the protagonists. They stayed all day long on stage and did not part from their role, in preparation for the next take. The photographs of Neofytos in general capture the human weariness and the concern for their role. The photographs' greatest part was taken from people in a condition of anticipation, concentration and relaxation. Now, looking back at the project, he confesses: "I was stealing moments. I heard them soliloquize and repeat words." He made an effort to wander about them discreetly, to be unnoticeable, as invisible as possible. In this instance, the actor realized he was photographed only upon hearing the camera's shutter. The composition is utterly natural. The Sailor had gone away from the shoot and takes a break by smoking a cigarette which immersed him in thought. "I captured a highly private moment", recognizes Neofytos. The strong Tsarouchis-like quality of this particular photograph was unintentional, but was admitted to after the event. The present photograph was shot from the making of the film in Chania of the Island of Crete and derives from an archive of eight-thousand negative stills. The model is Apostolis Totsikas, an actor at the beginning of his career with a secondary role at the age of about twenty, who was subsequently to excel. The photographs from Brides were published in two albums - grayscale and color - the first of which run soon out of print .
[Megakles Rogakos 01/2008]
KARYSTIANI, IOANNA Brides: Screenplay 2004 Kastaniotis Editions, Athens
NEOFYTOS, GERASIMOS In the Studio with Brides: Photographs from the Film by Pantelis Voulgaris 2004 Kastaniotis Editions, Athens
NEOFYTOS, GERASIMOS Red: Photographs from the Film by Pantelis Voulgaris 2005 Eurasia Editions, Athens
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens