Life is ephemeral.
Motherhood is a fight for perpetuation. Is it just an illusion?
After the loss of her mother the artist experiences the interruption of her own timeline on one end while having to fulfill her own role as a mother to the other end. In that end, motherhood in Dede’s universe is not connected only to warmth or joy but to cold, ice surfaces that need to stand the pressure of an overheated world.
‘Mayflies’ dramatises the creative process of mourning. Through multiple chirographic mutations of the imagery, the experience of loss in intertwined layers is represented throughout the work. Faces and bodies lingering in the shadows between conscious and subconscious in an attempt to let themselves be inert as Marcel Proust advices:
“When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”
Mayflies – Scientific name: Ephemeroptera
The name Ephemeroptera is derived from the Greek “ephemera” meaning short-lived, and “ptera” meaning wings. This is a reference to the short lifespan of adult mayflies. Most adults are delicate insects with a very short lifespan. They emerge, reproduce, and die in a single day.
The treatment of the images has been done by using chemicals, wax, fire or by painting on negatives or prints.
The artist experiencing her own slow fading from the world, wants to add herself in the mourning matter, bringing the universal issue to her own small cosmos. Her interference in the images makes them contain “her” into each piece.
Opposed to how photographic prints are usually handled with care, caution, touched only with gloves, in a museological-archival-ish way, that makes the photo print something “solemn”, the techniques the artist uses to produce her final pieces of work are violent ones, that give the impression that she leaves on them the imprint of her own body as a proof of her existence.
Dimitra’s violence turns the photo object into a vulnerable and somehow ill-varnished object.
Dimitra Dede – Mayflies Book
PUBLISHED BY VOID
22,5 x 32 cm
500 numbered copies
Buy @ VOID.: https://void.photo/mayflies
Dimitra Dede (born in Athens, Greece) is a London based visual artist working mainly with photography. She studied photography and holds a postgraduate diploma in New Media.
Her practice combines painting and the use of chemicals with photography. The making of the imagery is based on an intuitive process. Her subject matter quests the connection between space and time, memory and displacement, loss and longing, life and the Absurd. Her work has been presented in galleries and festivals both in Europe and in America (Center for Fine Art Photography – Fort Collins, Black Box Gallery-Portland, Brighton Photo Biennial, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Unseen Festival Amsterdam, Belfast Photo Festival etc.).
‘Mayflies’ is Dimitra’s first book. It was shortlised at the Unseen Dummy Award 2018 (Unseen Festival, Amsterdam).
Selected by Σπύρος Φίλιος 25/11/2019