NEW MYSTERIES

“Urbanization and the cultural landscape are complex expressions of both human aspirations and failures; where everything is connected by both visible and invisible flows.”             Denis Guzzo

2010-2016 ATTIKA .GR

Limited edition prints available

This project is a visual journey along with the alterations of the landscape that mark the passage of the ancient Eleusis into the present-day Greek city. It captures the different historical layers; while displaying the opposition between recent urban-industrial developments and the landscape’s mythology.

 

As Greek myth tells us, Demeter once visited Eleusis when she rested next to the Plutoneon cave during her search for her daughter Persephone. Laid out over the hill, it became an essential site for the Ancient Greeks to honour Demeter‘s existence in the Eleusian Mysteries – secret initiation ceremonies into the miracles of life, death, and the afterlife.

Almost like a contemporary archaeologist, I have found remnants of the past in an environment of modern industries and expanding cities. In this work, I have looked at the rocks which survived as witnesses of the Eleusinian Mysteries and how they have been transformed into the base of the new town.

 

The title NEW MYSTERIES aims to connect the theme of the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries with the modern legacy of the town and its industrial heritage. Photographs also portray the mysterious structures and traces left behind by both industries and decades of intense cultural activities. Originally entitled 'Wasting Mythology', the project assumed a more profound and positive meaning after the ‘Third Paradise’ marking executed by master Michelangelo Pistoletto in 2014.

My work is constructive criticism of the developments of an expanding environment that uses as a foundation this historical and magical site: it is not intended to be judgmental. Still, it relies on high-quality documentation with the awareness that trial and error is the primary tool of evolution.

 

Through my camera, I discovered the archaeological meaning of Eleusis and the striking similarities between old Greek temples and contemporary architecture such as steps, walls, and gates. The industrial plants near the temple, nowadays in ruins, resemble the decaying of those ancient myths and, through my work, the creation of modern ones.

The photo series culminates with the creation of the contemporary myth [Myth Δ], exposing the foothold left by industrial excavation but also highlighting the beauty of nature and the fascinating atmosphere of the archaeological site, cherished by the soft light of the sunshine.

While a small selection can be seen in this portfolio; The main body of work consists of 225 large-format negatives (10 X12 cm) that outline Eleusis’s surroundings. Photographs have been carefully composed, allowing to combine them in diptychs, where titles and images interact. The project is also supported by comprehensive research, mainly consisting of old archive photography, cartography, including several hundreds of digital photos, aerial photography, and hours of HD landscape footage.

 

New Mysteries aims to research Eleusis ‘s ‘Genius Loci’ and expose a modern story of metamorphosis. By showing my findings, I want to debate how the Mediterranean landscape and its heritage can be preserved as a primary human value.

INTRODUCTION

ELEUSIS_ELEFSINA_ATTIKA_DENISGUZZO_1900 1909, Kaupert_C2.jpg

RESEARCH

PHOTOGRAPHS