© Anargyros Drolapas, Lernaean Hydra, 2019

Anargyros Drolapas (born 1978) is a Greek photographer based in Athens. In Lernaean Hydra, Drolapas reflects on anxiety, depression and the role of the subconscious in day-to-day life. His photographs are the outcome of long conversations with individuals burdened by dark thoughts and recurring feelings of an impending dead end.  

© Anargyros Drolapas, Lernaean Hydra, 2019
© Anargyros Drolapas, Lernaean Hydra, 2019
© Anargyros Drolapas, Lernaean Hydra, 2019

The project is named for the gigantic, nine-headed sea serpent of Greek mythology. Believed to have guarded an entrance to the Underworld, this chthonic creature is therefore synonymous with the subconscious. According to myth, when Heracles attempted to behead the beast, two more heads emerged from each severed neck. As Drolapas explains, the hydra ‘appears to be the shadow, or the ugly side of the ego, which the individual does not accept as themselves and tries so hard to suppress’. ‘You cannot destroy the shadow,’ he says. ‘Instead, the individual has to accept these features of the psyche’. Drolapas toys with perspective in each frame, creating the impression that his subjects are in the liminal space between dreams and reality. His images capture a momentary stillness, echoing the artist’s position that ‘Life can be a constant fight between shadow and light’, in which creativity is the only ‘remedy for that fight till the very end’.

Anargyros Drolapas graduated with an MA in photography and digital language from AKTO and Middlesex University.

© Anargyros Drolapas, Lernaean Hydra, 2019
© Anargyros Drolapas, Lernaean Hydra, 2019
© Anargyros Drolapas, Lernaean Hydra, 2019
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