Nadia Mahfix (b. 1982) captures what she perceives as the “dark void of existence” in her photo project Into Nothingness. Taking photographs of seemingly everyday scenes like a park and the beach, she gives us the side of the world where the idea of emptiness is embraced and not deterred.
A series of 13 sinister-looking photos in black-and-white encapsulates the idea of life and death, where normal places are punctuated without hues and captured in a way that gives a deathly impression. A pavement surrounded by trees, the smoke from a burning cigar, and the splashing waves from the sea are just some of the photos that gives the viewer an eerie feeling, even though they have familiarity with how ordinary these things are.
A recurring characteristic of each photo is being empty and ominous at the same time. As pictured below, this is shown splendidly with the photo of tree trunks and their overcasting shadow. By the same coin, the most noticeable exhibit of life and death can be seen in the photo of a dead bird in the middle of the series and the flying one by the sea at the end. It depicts the duality of existence by underscoring the contrast between realms.
Nadia intends to bring the audience into an existential journey of searching for an answer to “where do we go from here?” As her work is packed with mystery and darkness, one is sure to contemplate about its meaning when viewing the series.
The series’ continuity of emotion is what gives it impact and character, which only proves that Nadia has successfully pulled this one off even she usually photographs bands and the music scene. She said that such project allows her to experiment and dig deeper into her being and put it out visually. According to her, it also works as a catharsis for whatever existential turmoil she’s having.
On top of shooting a lot from the music scene in Malaysia, Nadia Mahfix is interested in curating a music photography exhibition by the end of the year. She is also currently working on a photozine and plans to get another photobook printed, which is her output from the workshop with Teun Van Der Heijden and Sandra Doelen that she participated in at the Obscura Festival of Photography last year.