Dimitris Chalkiadakis ‘Human in Space’ @ About Athens

Dimitris Chalkiadakis showcases his first solo photography exhibition titled ‘Human in Space’ in conjunction with the Athens Photo Festival 2011. Being a professional location scout for films, commercials and dance videos for the past 12 years, Chalkiadakis’ latest involvement with the film ‘L’ (by director Babis Makridis), as both the location manager and the set photographer, will take him to the World Cinema Dramatic Competition of Sundance Film Festival12, where the film’s world premiere will take place. Having great experience under his belt, Chalkiadakis developed an eye for photography exploring the relation between human presence and surrounding environment, urban or rural. His snapshots captivate the unsuspicious subject, whose attendance merges progressively within the immediate setting. His images engage the viewer as a witness for the interaction between this human presence and space while we simultaneously begin to detect an esoteric response, which adjusts to the practice of body language in an almost philosophical time-lapse manner.
|Kostas Prapoglou

Dimitris Chalkiadakis, talked to REVma -/+ about his work:

REVma -/+: Although you have been immensely involved with photography for the last twelve years, this is the first time you decide to exhibit selected works to a wider audience. How has this need emerged?
D.Ch.: My story with photography goes a long way, even before starting scouting locations for the film industry. As a physics student my thesis involved the digital enhancement of astronomical images. In fact, it was this curiosity to search and interpret the visual reality that led me to my current profession. Through the process of my work, I saw many of my visions of reality being transcripted into celluloid film or video. Two years ago the need for a more personal appeal emerged as the global socio-economical situation made it clear to me that now is the time for everyone to stand out and express an opinion. I felt that now is the time to focus and work towards this direction. So many questions arise these days with unproportionaly too many answers. I wanted to export through my work the right questions.

REVma -/+: The exhibited photographs are a selection of numerous environments (mainly from urban settings) with emphasis on the architectural elements of your exposed narrative combined with human presence and expression. Has working as a professional film location manager had its impact on your photography practice and subjects and, if so, to what extend?
D.Ch.: I have been very lucky to be able to transform my obsession into a proffession, but most of all I feel very privileged to have worked with talented creators that helped progress my ability to observe some steps further.

REVma -/+: Cinematography plays a vital role in your professional life. How easy or how difficult is for you not to direct or orchestrate your subject matter but instead to capture the moment with a snapshot?
D.Ch.: The essence of my professional skill is to capture and present different perspectives of reality that can match the given script. The kind of cinematography I am familiar with does not intend to orchestrate the subject matter in order to manipulate the viewer’s thinking. My personal work lies in the fact that everyone can give his own interpretation of the appearing image.

REVma -/+: Although you are based in Athens you chose to focus on subjects that do not correlate with the recent situation in Greece and in a way reflects an alternative reality based on the domain of tranquillity and euphoria. Is this a deliberate reaction and/or an underlying message of serenity?
D.Ch.: Living in Athens downtown, I have closely experienced the degradation of this society that has peaked in the period of Olympic Games 2004 and eventually led to the December 2008 riots and the most recent events. It would be circumstantial to speak only about nowday’s phenomena. My pictures present conditions where more fundamental questions should be raised and which are linked, in non linear ways, with everyone’s reality. Finally, the need to conclude with some kind of solution became inevitable.