BY YIANNIS HADJIASLANIS
Yiannis Hadjiaslanis was born in Athens, Greece in 1974. After completing a degree in Mass Communication at Boston University, he studied photography at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2000) and completed his Masters in Imageand Communication at Goldsmiths College in 2001. His work has been exhibited in Athens, Thessaloniki, London, Cairo, Manama, Milan and Venice. Hadjiaslanis predominantly works with landscapes and architecture, documenting the point where the familiar meets the unnoticed: subtle and nuanced, but raw. He is fascinated by the perpetuation of memory through lived environments, and their significance for those who create, interact and evolve with them. Much of his work engages with the interpretation of the real and the perceived, bridging the division of documentary photography and art. Hadjiaslanis is currently represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki.
This group of photographs shows a series of fortifications built by the Axis powers on the periphery of Athens, during the occupation of Greece in WW II. Pillboxes, bunkers and cannon bases were built on the south and east coasts of Attica in order to repel possible boardings and landings, as well as in other strategic transit points such as the railroad network and the Corinth canal.
In ‘Bunker Archaeology’, Paul Virilio suggests that the bunker’s relationship with its environment is not only of the foreground to the background, but also that of the background to the foreground. These structures’ function once relied on their invisibility, their ability to harmonize with the landscape they surveiled. Today they seem to possess this very quality to an even greater extent, in their non-function.
Scrutinizing these remains of the hidden architecture of a past war elevates their value to that of a monument, while confirming their state of oblivion.
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