Eleana Niki Konstantellos André
The Art of Memory
[ FUJIFILM/YOUNG TALENT AWARD 2019 FINALIST ]
Memory is the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information. Dementia is a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Experience changes in their mood or behavior. Dementia can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. This project started in 2015 when my grandfather, Alfonso, passed away. He and my grandmother, Esther, had shared their life together. I started photographing her to understand her grief. It would be extremely difficult for her to overcome this event as she was suffering from an important memory and eyesight loss. It was my way to accompany her and get to know her better. I found that in 1998 she had an important pool accident which led her to a severe memory loss. The family archive endowed me lots of photos, poems, diaries, and letters. I discovered her love, her dreams, and, her fears. The mechanisms of the memory and the materials I had found became detonators in a creative process: the reconstruction of my roots and my grandmother’s history.
To finish this project I would use this Found to continue a series of photographs with my grandmother in the places that were important through her life (Cocoyoc, Morelos; Acapulco, Guerrero; Colonia del Valle, Mexico City; etc). I want to revisit those places to talk about the “role” women are supposed to adopt. I would merge past and present, as I did in my self-portrait wearing her wedding dress. It would be a contemporary interpretation of her life. A photo book would be the ideal way to share this project. Music helps to minimize some of the symptoms of dementia. That is why I will integrate -through a QR code- her voice and the songs she remembers and sings. It would be as if the viewer could transport his-self to my grandmother’s home to spend some time with her. Our memory belongs inseparably to oblivion. We need to forget in order to live, to learn and create our memories.
Eleana Konstantellos André is a Franco-Greek-Mexican photographer born in 1995 in Paris, France and currently living in Mexico City. She graduated from the Active School of Photography (2013/2015) in Mexico City. In 2016 she worked three months with the Greek non-governmental company ARSIS doing field work, research and photographing refugee families from Syria, Pakistan and Iran in Athens. In 2017 she collaborated photographing the action of Operation Blessing International in Juchitan, Mexico, after the earthquake of Septembre, 8th. In 2017 she participated in a workshop on documentary photography and travel photography in Oaxaca, given by Brett Gundlock and Linsday Lauckner. In 2018 she was selected for a portfolio review from TransEurope Photo that took place in Athens, Greece. She was also selected to take part in a photographic clinic with the photographer Francisco Mata Rosas given in the UAM in Mexico City. That same year she received a scholarship to attend the fifth Boreal Bash in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She has been adviced and her work has been curated by Martine Ravache, a well known French curator. Her work has led her to exhibit in different places in Mexico and Greece.
The Fujifilm/Young Talent Award is supported by Fujifilm