GABRIELA MATEESCU

ANASTASIA MANOLE

CONSOLATION IN THE FACE OF DEATH SERIES

PRINTMAKING

2013

 

This series was my work for the graduation of my Master. It consisted in a series of variation on a self portrait that featured my image of me in a bridal dress. This act is based on the Romanian ritual that says if a young person will die before he/she gets married, the burial will reproduce an actual marriage, where somebody will impersonate the groom/bride and some of the rituals performed at the weeding will be doubled with the burial ones, so that he/she can pass through all the stages of life before going in to the grave.

 

I always had the anxiety that I will die young, the fear of dying is still present in my thoughts. This has lead over the years to several projects that researched funeral rituals in my home villages, where my grandparents used to live.

A grand impact on my conscious had an early experience of witnessing a burial of one of my cousins as a child.

Even though I never knew him, I was obliged to go, and because he was really young 19 or 20 and loved, allot of people came. The festivities for the funeral were really impressive, with 2 white horses, on one it was a beautiful girl dressed in a bridal gown, with over 250 young people cortège and the blend with the nuptials ceremony was so dramatic, accompanied by dirge songs, exacerbating the pain that he didn`t celebrate this important event and the fact that he was so young.

 

This project investigates these pagan rituals through out some audio interviews (they are in Romanian), a video that will not be displayed here consisting in the recording of the burial of a young man in my village that his family provided, in which the bride and the coffin held by 4 young guys dance the wedding dance and conversations with older women in my village about these rituals (the conversations are only in Romanian)