Undusting

An online exhibition made in response to NPF 568: Analogue as Meaning

CAN YOU BREATHE?

DAMIRA RAKHMENTOVA

Damira Rakhmetova is a Toronto-based multimedia artist focused on graphic design and photography.  Currently she is a Creative Industries student at Ryerson University with a focus on visual culture and the music business. Her most recent photo series, City Within (2019)focused on the role that a city environment plays in cultivating creativity in individuals. Her current work explores the topic of existentialism through an array of mediums that represent her own internal struggles.


Artistic Statement

Can you breathe?

“Cloth in hand, we erase proofs of our mortality and of our posthumous blending with the environment… this activity symbolizes our inability or our unwillingness to deal constructively with our lives, to accept their entanglements with finitude, death, and the others, archived in the dust.”

Michael Marder

I have always had a hard time grasping the concept of mortality. The suffocating feeling of helplessness overwhelms me as I try to focus on the present moment. We clear dust away in our homes but eventually we will all become dust. “We come from dust and we end as dust” is something that has been on my mind throughout this project. In my work Can you breathe? I wanted to explore the idea of preserving memories as a coping mechanism for the inevitability of death. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about preservation is plastic, we put our food in plastic to keep it fresh, we put our stuff in plastic to keep it clean. We take photos of our loved ones to keep them alive in our memories. The haziness of my photos shows how over time the details of events fade away. The plastic around the subjects represents the vacuum that I place myself into as a means to escape thoughts of the inevitability of death. I don’t want to forget or be forgotten, so I try to preserve the moment I live in right now, as the uncertainty of the future covers our heads like a plastic wrap.

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