After Symbolism

“After Symbolism” is a photographic collection, that tries to reconstruct the Symbolist aesthetics within the photographic medium. The idea is that “Symbolism” is considered as a reaction to Naturalism and Realism of the 19th century. Although, this symbolist “idealism” seems to be characterized by decay, a sense of loss, meaninglessness, and death; qualities that are identified with the ephemerality of matter and materiality.

Photography, on the other hand, was once considered as par excellence an analogue to reality and nature. This is evident in the way photography was used [and is still used] as a medium for recording scientific experiments. This “materialist” aspect of the photographic medium, contradicts the fact that is being used as a medium to “immortalize” the present. It locks the real within an “ideal” space that is perceived as immortal. This is evident in the way photography was used during the Victorian era to portray the dead as living and it is also evident in the way photographs are used [today] on the graves.

These contradictions and paradoxes bring together two distinct philosophies regarding the representation. This collection is the meeting point between materialism and idealism; the flow of the present, and the detached, the decaying matter and the immortal space.