Virginie Rebetez

“Under Cover was realized in the big cemetery of Soweto (SA), Avalon, where I put my focus on these intriguing tombstones, which are covered with different kind of materials, and so are masking the identity of the deceased. Traditionally, the tombstones veiling ceremony is part of several funeral rituals. When the tombstone is placed, it is immediately covered with fabric for a period of time going from weeks to years, until the important “unveiling ceremony”. As its name tells, during this ceremony the family will uncovered and brings to light the tombstone; a ceremony not anymore to honor the life on earth of the deceased but to celebrate his life after death.
In decontextualizing them with a black background, our vision on their status is transformed; they become sculptures, silenced characters, imprisoned statues, frozen in time in waiting their revelation to the public as well as the acceptance from their relatives on their evident condition of deceased.
Becoming portraits, the details of the veiling elements can be seen as hints for the discovery of these hidden identities been become in a certain way generic.” © All Images

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