EMERGING ESSENCE

Photography has been a process of discovery. I always wish to see beyond the surface and search for the hidden behind the manifest. Whether I photograph a flower or a person, I am attracted by the reveal: the hidden heart, the impish smile, the mystery that comes slowly to light, as in a conversation, when one discovers a shared reality.

Nowadays I am more and more interested in what I see in my mind’s eye, what I suspect is lingering in the liminal space between reality and fantasy.

I started thinking of my Emergence Series as a transliteration of that state of being when we just wake up or after we make love; that state of bliss when we have not yet landed in our skin; a world of atoms not yet settled in their state of being. A state of transparency and weightlessness.

I wanted to layer these states of transparencies. At first I intended to represent purely physical states but through the process of photographing these layers or reality, I discovered that these evolutionary states also manifest states of development and growth. These different layers of being are all indicative of the struggle to exist, to change, to morph, to transform from one state to the next.

The series became my experience of emerging into being. Sometimes, it is just about getting up, sometimes it is about fighting the odds, fighting the pro and cons and so many iterations of being, emerging, coming out of oneself into a better self, pushing through the veil and coming into light.

Sounds familiar?

It turned out to be quite a challenge to show these aspects of the seen and the unseen. I spent quite a few weeks trying to figure out how I could photograph these different layers that do not actually 'manifest' in the materiel world. To photograph something that does not exist! Beyond click/clack/Kodak!

I asked the help of my good friend Alejandra to embody - to be the actual body - of the series.

Each photograph has a story and an intent.

I worked with ambient light and a few strobes, timed and choreographed to flash at a precise moment to register a series of states and moods. The approach is technical and rehearsed; the results are totally haphazard: impossible to see or know what the camera registered.

The process is one of discovery and surprise. I love that: having a clear intent, using technical skills -forgotten in the process- and completely random results.

As in traditional drawing or painting, the layering of images or pentimento is a record of the visual process. It is a slippery thing and conditional to the viewer's participation. 

PS: In gratefulness to Alejandra who gifted me the use of her mind, her body, graced me with her extreme patience and inspiration.

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