Nadia Argyropoulou, 2015
Few people know that the Greeks, who invented many arts, invented an art of memory which, like their other arts, was passed on to Rome whence it descended in the European tradition. This art seeks to memorise through a technique of impressing 'places' and 'images' on memory....Mnemosyne, said the Greeks, is the mother of the Muses."
(The Art of Memory, Frances A.Yeates, The University of Chicago Press, 1966)
If, as Frances Yates claims, "the manipulation of images in memory must always to some extent involve the psyche as a whole", and if the Aristotelian thesis, that memory belongs to the same part of the soul as the imagination, holds true (Aristotle. "Parva Naturalia. On Memory and reminiscence"), then it could be claimed that Katerina Vafia's photographs attempt to capture the materials and structure of a whole-which-remembers. Their subjects seem organic (flowers, plants or inner organs, intestines, neurons); they are rearranged, spliced, reproduced, mirrored; they refer to scientific principles (cell and memory function) in as much as to the Aristotelian notions of "contemplation and repetition". The very process of photographing, uneasy and dynamic, starts at the physical and moves to conjure the artificial or the in-between of images vaguely related to fractal geometry or the 21st century hyper-hybridity. Computer manipulation and its power of metamorphosis is applied to the area of ancient mnemotechnics; memory material is stirred and reconfigured.