The poignance of city life solitude is well documented, but rarely in such searing detail as in Aristotle Roufanis’ photographic series Alone Together.
London-based, Greek-born photographer Roufanis has long explored the patterns (both physical and behavioural) in people’s interactions with architecture. These interests are perhaps a result of the fact he has no formal training in photography, instead studying civil engineering.
Alone Together was shot across London, Paris, Miami and Athens; though apart from the odd glimpse of a landmark like the Eiffel Tower, the images’ inky, semi-abstracted aesthetics mean that all the cities merge into one sprawling mass of bricks, mortar and glass. It’s a fitting comment to the overarching message about urban alienation and “the human need for togetherness”.
The images are shot using a technique of extra high-resolution photography, with Roufanis sometimes spending up to a month editing each image. When they’re exhibited, his works are displayed as large as five metres wide, revealing some fascinating intricacies. Sometimes people can be spotted at the window, breathing hints of motion into the stillness of his nighttime snapshots.
Despite his extensive editing, Roufanis captures the light through old-fashioned patience, waiting until the perfect moment at dusk or dawn when the city is bare apart from a smattering of lit windows that simultaneously reveal and conceal what’s behind them.
“The bigger the city, the lonelier we feel,” says Roufanis. “In a big city, we are very efficient in covering all our consumerist needs, but we forget our need for companionship. It is important for people to understand that although lonely, they are not alone. Individuality does not equal to alienation.”
The series will be going on show at the Zonamaco Foto art fair in Mexico City, which runs from 20 – 24 September 2017.