I went to the Athos mountain with a commission for a documentary work
about Monastery San Andreas. From the boat, Athos appeared to me like
I was entering a place
protected from the world, without electricity, without radio nor
newspapers. A place out of time, or, better, with its own time: the
from a monastery to the other don't tell the same time and anyway told, for me, a perfectly unpredictable hour.
I thought that the main activity of the monks had been, forever, to
stop time. Fasting, they were burning their bodies to reach the ideal
state where I found the
inhabitants of San Andreas, to be spirits only, cut themselves from the world.
I could not suscribe to this philosophy. My system of work was not
relevant here. I was alone, I had no points of reference anymore.
I did not work in a documentary way. I followed the spirit of places,
waking early, going to bed early, spending my days reading, walking,
watching a lot, taking
very few pictures: the earth, the sea, the sky, the cypresses, a few buildings; blue, green, red and white photographs.
The first pictures were of skulls, then of cypresses, the trees of death.
By accepting the rythm and the life conditions of Athos, but looking
from a different point of view at nature and the elements, I stayed
away from mysticism.
I was no more in a separated place but in the world.