Oblivious City
Dimitri Mellos

Dimitri Mellos's statement

“I speak of the city, shepherd of the centuries, mother that gives birth to us and devours us, that creates us and forgets.” – Octavio Paz

I walk the streets of New York City and photograph strangers. The scope of my photos is narrow and mundane, like the lives they depict – like the lives of most of us. But I seek glimpses of transcendence in the evanescent and the quotidian: in fleeting gestures and glances, in transitory moments of connection in the urban flow, in the ephemeral dance of light and shadow and human presence. More than anything, what moves me is capturing the infinitesimal outward signs of an inner emotional life, the interiority of people even in the midst of the most public of spaces.

My photographs are relics of a momentary merging of photographer and environment, self and other. The city brings us together, the city prizes us apart. Immersing myself in the flow of the life of the city, I feel the boundaries of my self momentarily become fluid, permeable. I abandon myself to the flow. The ensuing photographs are as much portraits of the people they depict, as they are portraits of a moment of being, a brief but charged crossing of lives. They are my feeble protest against the city’s forgetfulness.

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