Joana Dionisio Departs From a Personal Grief to Reflect on How We Deal With the End of Life

The Portuguese artist succeeds in creating an emotional space that invites the viewer to take a closer look at death, embracing it as a certainly painful, but also necessary moment in the circle of life.

How man relates to death has been changing over time. If in the middle ages human finitude was experienced with familiarity, in the 20th century it became a kind of ‘non-event’.

In a society marked by the desire to prolong youth to infinity, the representation of the end of a life cycle is seen as a failure and therefore should be avoided. However, if we cannot set the limits of our own life, how can we connect to it and to ourselves?

This project resulted from the opposition of feelings that arose after my father’s death and that forced me to think about the limitations of human existence. It seeks to reflect on how we deal with the loss of someone close to us, and with the perception of our finitude.

Through a narrative between opposing and complementary forces, between what is present and what is absent, reality and fiction, between here and there, there is a broader vision of our sense of being. Perhaps, somewhere between the fluctuation of becoming aware of our own mortality and the desire to be immortal we can find an opportunity to live deeply.


Words and pictures by Joana Dionísio


Joana Dionísio (1993) is a Portuguese photographer who lives in Porto and works as a freelancer on commissioned and personal projects. Her work is characterised by a strong autobiographical strand that explores themes such as identity, time and memory, reflecting on how human beings relate to themselves and to the world. Follow her on Instagram and PhMuseum


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PhMuseum curators.

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