Vera Lutter Greece
Photographing the Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio
Photo by Iason Athanasiadis

Invited by The New York Times to collaborate on a project photographing in Athens on the Acropolis, Cape Sounio and around the ruins of Plato’s Academy, I seized what I knew could only be the opportunity of a lifetime.

To accommodate my working process during the great August heat, my days started early and went late. I received permission to arrive on the Acropolis before sunrise which meant that my team and I, equipment shouldered, climbed the steep marble steps in pitch black night with Athens sleeping quietly at our feet. The tender warmth of the prior day still radiating from the old stones was paired with the gentle scent of cypress and pine. Wrapped in this warmly scented air and in complete silence, I arrived at the top. Practically alone, I faced the majestic western façade of the Parthenon Temple and was exposed to the quiet grandeur and dignity of the ancient site.

During those early mornings and late-night hours, the enduring and extraordinary structures which remain atop the Acropolis and at Cape Sounio, though surrounded by our modern society, seem lost in time. These enigmatic sites echo through time – the times in which my subjects were made, deteriorated, partially restored, and now photographed. My work aims to recontextualize these ruins in a time that is neither the past nor today. In my images, the enigmatic structures, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and Temple of Poseidon, stand imperious over a vast and empty landscape.

Photographing the Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio<br>
Photo by Iason Athanasiadis
Moving equipment at the Acropolis, Athens
Photographing the Temple of Athena, Acropolis, Athens<br>
Photo by Iason Athanasiadis