Greek Mythology Today and the FujiFilm X-M1
Naxos Island rises up in the middle of the Aegean Sea. For nearly two decades the island has been my second home. In the center of the island is Mount Zas, the birthplace of mighty Zeus, the king of the gods.
I’m very familiar with island life so I usually spend part of my vacation time shooting around in my typical street mood: super sharp b&w (ISO 100 or 200, no difference between day and night). This summer discreet Fuji X-M1 and Fujinon 27mm f2.8 pancake helped me catch the presence of the ancient gods in everyday Naxos life: with this series of nine b&w shots I tried to “paint” the deep sense of alienation surrounding the 2017 reincarnation of ancient gods and to emphasize at the same time the inability of contemporary man to dwell on the idea of what is not immediate and tangible.
Zeus, the king of the gods, slowly going back home with a shopping bag; Chronos, the god of time, doesn’t care about the clock hand and overtakes tourists goofing’ around before beach time; a tired Hephaestus, god of fire, does not find a seat on the bus; Hera, the queen of the gods, and Hestia, Zeus’s sister, flee from the bathers and look for a sliver of desert beach; Eros and Aphrodite shyly sit down with their loving shadows; Hermes, the messenger of the gods, runs but no longer has messages to deliver; an anonymous Poseidon, god of the sea, emerges from the waters but a boat steals the scene. Dionysus, god of wine, sits at the table of a local tavern, but no one wants to have a toast with him; his smile is bitter. Finally there is Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt: she runs faster than Hermes; she is still generous with mankind; she is always ready to defeat our enemies and she knows nobody will thank her.
Now, let’s talk about the reality behind the myth and mythology. Let’s talk about my FujiFilm X-M1.
The X-M1 is a “fast paced” camera ready for different situations: from street photography to rock music photography (see my latest article on Kurt Vile’s concert) to backstage set and fashion photography.
The lack of a viewfinder it’s not a real wall: 1) the LCD tiltable screen in my experience is the best option in Greek summer days to catch every single sunbeam 2) usually people on the beaches and in villages (as in a urban context) do not pay so much attention to someone who’s shooting watching a screen.
A luminous and fast lens, Fujinon XF 27mm, is a natural choice if you want to reproduce in the frames the same airiness and humanity of a theatre show: people, landscape and any elements of disturbance in this way find their proper place in space. And then the prime lens choice and close shooting distance urge the photographer to adopt a “camouflage” attitude – and that’s the part of my art I like the best.
Matteo Ceschi – Milanese street photographer, essayist and journalist, writes for several magazines and has exhibited his shots in various locations. He is a member of f50/The International Photography Collective. His latest projects were in collaboration with English photographer John Meehan, founding member of the f/50 Collective, and with Italian fashion brand Lucio Costa. His latest exhibition “Ko.existence” (with the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Bosnia Herzegovina) was in collaboration with photographer Jim Marshall at Public Room Evergreen gallery in Sarajevo.