Dafni Melidou (b. 1990, Greece) is a visual artist working and living in The Netherlands. Her work focuses on social issues, mainly related to identity and trauma. In her latest project “The fossils, the ashes and other remains of existence” she aims to question the dominant ways of seeing and interpreting the photographic image.
About The fossils, the ashes and other remains of existence – words by Dafni Melidou:
The fossils, the ashes and other remains of existence is an ongoing work visualizing the complexity and the many different stages of experiencing loss. It aims to open up a new ontological dimension of the way we understand death through our connections to physical objects and the active involvement in the photographic event. The project emerged from a personal trauma – the loss of my father, and my urgency to accept the incompleteness a death brings. Through an active engagement in the process, photography becomes a tool for post-traumatic healing. The outcome is a posthumous exploration together with an incorporeal protagonist that signifies at the same time presence and absence.
Considering photography’s inherent power to preserve things in a visual way, we are conditioned to believe a photograph as it encapsulates the notion of “truth”. Through this work I extrapolate this subjectivity in a fictional space and time. By using photography as a tool for creating evidence I construct paradoxical situations. My father’s house serves as a connection between the physical and the meta-physical world, a liminal space for experimentation. His favourite objects occupy the space and take new meaning. Organic materials on the verge of their decay are physically incorporated into the images. And the body becomes a carrier of imprinted childhood memories. In the end everything is documented and photographed as artefacts to ensure continuation. The result is a meticulously fabricated microcosm of human and non-human remains.