This big rock is working on me. I live right next to it and now I see how it changes every day. It transforms as I move around it, up or downhill, as I get closer or as the day goes to night. Sometimes it seems to shimmer, unfold itself in 3D, float, shrink or even disappear completely. Walking around at its base, the massive rock looms like a giant stageset. It’s an epic time-ship docked at the heart of this place.
This feeling of living with it is exciting. To open oneself up to this too-large, looming omniscient thing and its swirling energy field, like some ancient HAL.
But trying to photograph it is another matter. It’s both easy and difficult. Easy because there are no bad photographs of the Acropolis — it’s always what it is. It just takes over. Yet as a symbol of itself, it’s got iconic status so powerful that any photograph that tries to contain it instantly flattens out into road sign kitsch. So while I don’t think there’s any way to take a bad photograph of the Acropolis, there is absolutely no good image of it. It’s immediately sunk by its own thing-ness.
I suspect that the only good image might be one that could dissolve it. The Glass House is a kind of 1949 Parthenon — even as it’s elevated in the suburban forest — and I’m thinking about how it beautifully dematerializes in James Welling’s photos. I’d love to figure out how to do something like that to the Acropolis: dissolve, dematerialize, disappear. I return again and again to this photo (perhaps it’s something about reflecting it back into the city).