This series - my Senior Capstone project- is a photographic representation of some themes found in Plato's Republic. Image one is the beginning of the book- Socrates talking to Glaucon and Adeimantus by the river while Plato records it all. The tonality of their clothes represents the light and dark horses of the soul discussed in the Theaetetus (with Socrates, as the charioteer, mediating the two). The three classes follow- philosopher kings, guardians, and artisans. They represent the tripartite soul. The eugenics program (where those with the best genes would breed for the good of the city) is image 5, and The City within Plato’s Cave ends the series.
I shot in medium format, and digitally composited the foregrounds and backgrounds together (shot on different speed films) to emphasize Socrates’ compositing of Athenian Ideals with those of Sparta (putting his own spin on both). Threes and fours are used frequently in the compositions to reiterate Plato’s use of the three, and to remind the viewer of Plato’s constant presence. I used ‘my world’ versions of all the characters- philosophy professors for the philosopher kings, a sculptor for the artisan, wrestlers and volleyball players for the guardians, and I am Plato.
© Josh Garvin Photography