In his projects “Time Travel” and “Tethered Past”, Brooklyn-based photographer Dimitri Mais relives his memories of a childhood in Tbilisi, Georgia. The first series, shot in April 2016, deals with 29 Pirosmani Street – a courtyard where he spent endless hours playing, learning and dreaming. Dimitri decided to take this trip after he discovered a twenty-year-old box of black and white film that contained shots of himself and his family.
The second series features a friend’s grandmother’s apartment in decaying beauty. Dimitri fondly captures sink and stove, bedsheets, a boxing glove, a child’s drawing on the wall.
Looking at these pictures, one gets a sense of nostalgia but also a feeling of stagnation. It seems that not much has changed over the years. “Unfortunately, there are lots of people and families that live in a similar environment,” says the photographer, “and are seamlessly tethered to the past. Even after many years of independence, Georgia – a post-Soviet country – is full of spaces and objects that were specific to the old era. The things included in my photographs are reminders of history.”
Having started his career as a painter in Georgia, Dimitri moved to photography when he discovered that it was the right outlet for him. “The instant ability to freeze fragments of time,” he says, “and the creation of frames to tell the stories as I see them and as I want others to see is a gratifying ability that definitely inspires me.”
Dimitri’s recent clients include Downtown Magazine, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Adobe Systems and NewGreen Movement. He loves the photographers Robert Capa, Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon and Vivian Maier. He moved to New York in 2004.
Images used with permission.