“Nothingness that hurts” Fernando Pessoa
The word “melancholy” in Latin has Greek origin (melancholia) and literally means “black bile” (melas: black and khôle: bile). It enters the Greek language around the 5th century bc, when the Hippocratic “humorous theory” recognizes melancholy as one of the four basic types of human temperament. Temperaments are related to the four basic substances in the human body: blood, reflux (lymph), yellow and black bile. Аccording to the predominance of each of them in the blood the temperament is sanguine if it is lymph – phlegmatic if the yellow bile is in excess – the temperament is choleric and finally melancholic if the black bile takes over. Тhe melancholy temperament corresponds to the earth, the third quarter of the day when the sun comes down, and the planet Saturn. Melancholy is a complex feeling and it is portrayed in very distinctive ways through different historical periods. It has been connected to the manic state, apathy, sickness, distance and estrangement, repulsion from reality, individualization, hallucination, madness, obsession. Its remaining core is sadness, and this sadness might be put into a vast context of analogies. Freud’s essay “Mourning and Melancholia” maps the trajectory of the psychic process of loss, which is interpreted through the experiences of mourning and melancholia. Both are identified as reactions to the “loss of a loved person, or to the loss of some abstraction which has taken the place of one, such as one’s country, liberty, an ideal”
With my project “Мelancholy” I ask questions: how to memorialize a non-representable past? How can we overcome the trauma?