Photography

Mariela Sancari Uses Photography to Contemplate Grief and Loss

August 23, 2017

Mexico City-based photographer Mariela Sancari's work revolves around identity and memory and the way both are mingled and affected by each other. She examines the thin and elusive line dividing memories and fiction. Moisés is not Dead is a book and series contemplating the death of her father and attempting to overcome "one of the most complex stages of grief: denial."

"Thanatology asserts that not seeing the dead body of our beloved ones prevents us from accepting their death. Contemplating the body of the deceased helps us overcome one of the most complex stages of grief: denial.

My twin sister and I were not allowed to see the dead body of our father. I never knew if that was because he committed suicide or because of Jewish religious beliefs or both.

Not seeing him has made us doubt his death in many ways. The feeling that everything was a nightmare and the fantasy we both have that we are going to find him walking in the street or sitting in a cafe has accompanied us all these years.

I once read that fiction´s primary task is to favor evolution, forcing us to acknowledge and become the otherness around us. I think fiction can help us depict the endless reservoir of the unconscious, allowing us to represent our desires and fantasies.

Moisés is a typology of portraits of men in their 70´s, the age that my father would be today if he were alive." —Mariela Sancari