The landscapes of Ektoras Dimissianos carefully skirt the picturesque, let alone the lyrical – doubtful though it is whether any reserves of lyricism remain to be evoked by the hapless Greek landscape, riven by abuse and indifference.
The photographs of Mt. Parnes taken by Dimissianos after the great fire of 2007 depict a landscape hideously transfigured. His images are reminiscent of settings for a post-nuclear science-fiction film, their uncanniness emphasised by the acidic colours which are the characteristic result of crossprocessing (E6 processing of colour negative film). The resulting chromatic aberrations echo the dislocation experienced by viewers of this radically altered landscape: a mountain one always knew to be covered in evergreens, suddenly transformed to a uniform ashen grey.
In the borderline between burnt and unburnt areas lurk the familiar marks of human encroachment: crumbling walls, rubbish, access roads and rubble. Surviving thanks to its function, the futuristic Hellenic Telecommunications Tower still stands majestically on the highest peak of the mountain. A few social activities still take place on the fringes of the forest’s remains, including the bizarre open-air dance recorded by the photographer.
For the rest, Dimissianos’ images seem to impart inchoate warnings, obscure portents of future disasters which we can only guess at: targets pinned onto fir trees, basements invaded by vegetation, the fractured remains of a warplane in a clearing. A deer looks out over the desolation, frozen in midstep. Waiting for the next one.