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conceptual photography contemporary art digital photo art experimental photography fine art Greece photo art photo collage Sofia Dalamagka

I DREAMED I WAS KAFKA

SOFIA DALAMAGKA

// Sofia is from Lamia, but now lives in Arkitsa, a tiny village in Greece. Photography began as a kind of love story that still continues to give her that feeling today. She defines her photo art as feminist, dealing with questions around social issues. We present some of her poetic project she calls “I dreamed I was Kafka”.

Photography was her ‘salvation’ when she felt totally blank inside, when she was questioning her own existence. Her feminist art concerns politics, the power struggles within four walls, and the tension, the violence, the particular mysteries of life, in a family, life in the world. Her images are constructed partly from forgotten mementos, torn, erased, burned, discarded prints and postcards.  The artist combines this unlikely source of material into dark concoctions of seemingly randomly assembled  fragments that she resolves into compositions that mean much more than the sum of their parts.

Sofia has expanded her photographic repertoir through training in many photography workshops and courses. She has been an editor for “IFocus.gr” and” Freethinking.org.”, Photologio.gr. The course “Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender” in “University of Melbourne” (online course). She is an external associate of the print magazine “PHOTONET” and has curated the group photography exhibition “Mental Illustrations” (Noeres Apeikoniseis-Νοερές Απεικονίσεις) of the Corfu photography group “Fotoclick”.


“Imagination is what tends to become reality. That is what creates the white curve on a black canvas which is called thought.”

Andre Breton


What draws you to art?

“My work is surreal. Symbolizations, implications, and disguised up-drawings of memories, dominate. I have been affected by hyper-realism and the Dada movement. Lately I have been experimenting with mixed-media techniques. Μy inspiration comes from dissatisfaction. From love. From small, apparently indifferent details that will turn into the whole universe of the artist if you isolate each of them… From every barely noticeable thing. Taste, sound, feeling, crash and crumble of everyday people. From memories.”

What do you like best about this photographic project?

Photography is a way of existence, a kind of love that does not wear out as time goes by, and my camera is my eternal mistress. The only thing that I’m sure about is that I don’t want to give answers, but I want to create questions. For me, capturing a moment should create doubts. Maybe I want to do a social statement. Sometimes, I want to express all the feelings that I hide. Sometimes I want to make the viewers question themselves, provoke or disturb them. Even give them some negative feelings because that is a way of creating a connection with the picture you have taken.

Sofia has supplied a text to accompany her photo series, and we share here her own words:

End of February, you find yourself walking through a green park that looks like a labyrinth. Footsteps, bicycles passing you by… The sound of bicycle bells,  ’’ climbing ’’ rustling in the bushes, birds chirping, water splashing… life existing!!

Borderline: Somewhere between existence and the foggy background that has taken over your mind there is a pause… You can hear yourself whisper “I Dreamed I was Kafka”. Your voice was faster than your thought, you repeat the same words “I dreamed I was Kafka“.

All those pieces, all these images that seemed like scattered pieces of a puzzle and didn’t have meaning, suddenly make sense.. They form my pessimistic mood, they become part of a bigger picture of which I don’t know where it begins or where it ends…

Kafka, my dreams, and I…

The Judgment, The Metamorphosis, Letter to his father, The Burrow.

What lived in small rooms in the basement of the subconscious shows up corrupted, like liquid material…

Feelings that are reflected like swirls, buildings, almost falling on me, I can feel the weight of my own four walls on my shoulders…

Mentioning heavy patriarchism and imperceptible criticism, a hopeless effort to scare away the existence – nonexistence of matriarchy…

Violence and an infinite loop in between affecting the shape of every memory… I’m trying to shape ideas in this chapter, important faces that mix with faces of insignificant importance to me, but not really aware of how much they affected me…

Psychological uncharted coordinates of an undetermined but easily affected mind-soul emerge like a faint twisted dream in a underlying form.

‘’ I  make photographs like a blind man’’  with my sub consciousness as my guide, my dreams and my imaginary friend, whose name is Franz!


Some images may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see a larger version.

ALL PHOTOS © SOFIA DALAMAGKA

You could also visit Sofia´s Instagram page and her website for more of her work.

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