I have been tracing my fingers, skin creases, new hairs appearing, the slight of my eyes, the frown of my brows, the smiley corners of my mouth. I have been touching my ears, wondering how softly a sound I could hear, how loud I could resist. Sticking my tongue to new heights, tumbling my body to new hills. The relief of my body slowly dissolved into the geography around me. And I discovered the grass, the reeds, the rock and the dirt. Water made me so happy, and the sky got me lost, sometimes. I moved a finger and a leaf moved as well. I blew my chest out and joined the wind in its journey. I started tracing the birds and their wings, the clouds and their moon. I started taking steps and slowly grew into my own. As I discovered my body, I have doubted it, tested it, at times denied it, only in the end to unconditionally accepted it. A very familiar feeling took over me, as a window opened towards the outside and the others. A deeper level of understanding led me to shuffle myself in the skin, body, and the contours surrounding, tracing my whole being.
Memory is a tricky thing. Every time we bring memories back, they seem to slightly change. Somehow, with every revival, they seem to lose their fluff and filter down to their essence. At the same time, the longer we don't think about them, the more they fade away. There seems to be a balance where reliving a memory too much leads to its fading away at the same rate as not thinking about it at all. It almost feels that at times we should keep the memory alive by not thinking about it. There seems to be a place where a memory should be kept, not too far in the deepness, not too close to the surface.
This is my attempt to play on memory. I am exposing old negatives from my brain to see if the light changes anything. I have been photographing these body movements (motus corporis) to bring places and situations from the shadows. I am placing them in front of me, and you, to see if they dissolve their fluff, reach their essence, and then faint into the familiar. The alternative is to not think about them at all.
I was traveling to Greece and stumbled upon an old waterpark. The place was full of smiles and playful energy. Kids and adults alike were laughing and throwing themselves in the water making splashes. But at the same time there was this allusive seriousness about their play in the water. The more time passed and more water was splashed from above, a hidden sternness and a godly gravity spread throughout. The place made for an unexpected comparison between humans and dancers. With every splash it seemed that humans, with their habitual curious nature, were slowly transformed into rehearsed dancers of a long known and perfectly organized choreography. Their trustful play in dangerous waters seemed driven by a mysterious music and force. A diversion was unveiling itself in front of me, a complete abandonment of these dancers to the powers up above.. I pondered for a moment before jumping in the water, splashing, and losing myself in faith, drop by drop.
This is a journey on the surface of the human body and beyond, from the visible parts to the covered ones, in the search for an answer about what is intimacy. Is it the closeness that makes one feel connected to another, or there is actually a space that two souls temporarily occupy together? Is this intimacy visual or unseeable? Is it tangible or ethereal? By photographing the human body from a very close proximity, an illusion of almost peering through the skin appears, as in looking for something lost or hidden, almost reaching a cellular level. Hair follicles become tall as trees, pores become some mystical wells, and skin creases transform into valleys of light and shadows. I am lost on hard to identify locations, and there is a powerful feeling of breaching a pervasive modesty. It feels that I am transgressing into a universe too crude to watch, too unfamiliar not to take a peek. A space of almost unreal topography reveals itself, a forbidden land that seems as if no one has journeyed on before.
This is an ongoing project documenting the unsung heroes of the Southern California suburban streets. At-risk youth from over-tried families are hardened by their struggles on a daily basis, and still manage to keep their innocence. Gang violence, divided families, sickness and death, are all part of their normalcy. Despite their troubles, there is a majestic, towering beauty to them. A resilience is easily read on their faces, and their eyes still sparkle afloat.
Growing up in my family, seagulls were the first to see as we were getting closer to the ocean after long hours of traveling by train at night. The seagulls were the ambassadors of the morning, of the summer joy to come, the beautiful sun and splattering waves. Seagulls were my brothers, my sisters, and my reverence, they were there to guide my soul and show me the direction I needed to go. These green birds continued steering me on the journeys along so to stay true to myself. And this is to celebrate all those incipient ideals that have been keeping us abreast.
There are more than 300 years since the icon from Nicula has been attracting with an incredible power thousands of pilgrims. Groups are coming from all around the Carpathians Mountains. In a world that has lost its direction, the piety remains a guiding star. The churches are more crowded than ever. Under the irresistible power of praying, miracles are burnt again: the soul is purifying from sins and it is back to life, finding its communion with God.
silent recall came about unexpectedly while traveling to Transylvania a few years back. I found this aged Jesuit monastery in the middle of a brick paved plaza. Its rooms and chambers have been repurposed about a century earlier to serve as a music school for local children. One would think that music was the new religion in that place. These photos were taken at the time when the school was undergoing a renovation back into a place of prayer. The pupils were long gone, the place was deserted, with chairs and benches scattered. Paint was splattered everywhere, a few old pianos were left behind as if not needed anymore, and some scribblings were lost on the black board as reminders of past innocence. Throughout the meandering and once lively hallways, shadows of small steps seemed to almost trip me. Once my reflection took a turn on an old glass window, I suddenly knew about a song. A very familiar song, one that I could play without a sound, without a doubt, once more: creed.
I wonder if our universe is part of an even bigger one, and all around us is just the atoms and cells of another larger dimension.. At times it seems that trees are like hairs on the skin of the earth, with deep roots reaching towards my heart, and my eyes, at last, are blurred by the lost longed and branched desires..
Have you ever wondered if the water of a tree is pulled from the earth so that the clouds would friend and tender its leaves? And have you noticed how the trees are glowing when softly touched, their leaves dissolving?.. Spending a life time looking for those lost and feeble touches.
How does one know when a place is home? Are there any signs around to read, are there old fingerprints to mark a sense of belonging? Is home a place or a feeling? Does one feel home when surrounded by love and kindness? Do we strive for communion when reaching for a roof ahead of our heads?
Looking up to the skies at times we see signs as words written on a blank yellowed by time piece of paper. Birds, winds, clouds, trees, all write these words for us, and is up to us to read and understand their meaning.
In one of those days, I found my home.