The intriguing and multi faceted project Face Death from Zdravko Dimitrov is a project that explores the physicality and emotional effects death has on the living. Dimitrov breaks barriers and addresses the sensitive issue of death amongst the living.
Obituaries are everything but hidden from the public eye in Bulgaria. Quite the opposite, the A4 poorly printed poster with a picture of the dead person and some poetic text expressing grief is a commonplace object spread around on trees, outside houses, coffee shops and graveyards. I was curious about the process of bereavement people go through and how they choose a picture which will represent their beloved one for years to come. The majority are vernacular blurry images with colour aberrations and, in general, not the most flattering ones.
With time the photographs’ physicality has changed dramatically serving as a metaphor of the five different stages of grief. Does a ripped up, faded image mean that their friends and relatives have forgotten about them? It is uncanny that when the image was taken, the person would not have imagined that it will be used to represent them in obituaries, because nowadays, especially in Western society, people avoid thinking about death. It is the only taboo left in our society.
Zak is a final year student studying BA (Hons) Photography at the Arts University Bournemouth.