Inspired by the origins of ancient Greek laments, I dwelled within traditional communities of the last female professional mourners inhabiting the Mani peninsula of Greece looking for traces of bereavement and grief. The series suggests a constructed space of fantasy and loss within the magical potential of transformation and fiction the camera allows. I am interested in how the image affirms things in their disappearance and gives us the power to use things in their absence through fiction. The ageing of the villages in the region and the difficulties during the current economic woes besetting the country seem to be part of the reasons for the disappearance of the dying art of professional mourning. The series aims at expressing the strangeness of the present absence as a conceptual approach and commentary to cultural loss today. In that sense, photography transforms itself into a question of becoming through loss and makes the passageway within a liminal space of absence and presence. The photographs themselves lay between real and unreal allowing the viewer to believe in the real that is yet to come; another type of reality.
All images ©Ioanna Sakellaraki