In 2002 I had a car accident that took five years of rehabilitation and left me with permanent double vision. That incident began a big change in my life that continues to that day. At the time, I had an established life in Madrid, with a nice job in an Audiovisual Company but I didn’t enjoy my life as much as I could.
The accident gave me the opportunity to think a lot about how I was going to adapt to my new situation. The first thing I thought is that I should do something that I desired all my life, and so I started to photograph.
In 2008 I returned to New York, ten years after my last visit to this city, and I felt trapped and attracted by the freedom that emerges from the cultural and racial mixture of this great community. I discovered ICP’s MFA program when I returned at the end of 2009 and is then that a voice inside spoke to me with illogical optimism telling me that in medium-term I’ll return to this city to accomplish this Master’s degree.
When I moved to NYC last August, the Pandora’s box of my feelings opened up in an overwhelming way. It was like a big storm that made me go back to the accident period again. In the last months I have been asking myself what the hell is going on with the accident and why I am having these crazy emotional flashbacks after more than 10 years. I believe there is no answer for this and sometimes I think only New York knows it. What I am sure is that these flashbacks and feelings are part of a process of being lost again and finding my way, that is the common denominator of my life. It is hard when I feel so deeply that I am paralyzed by the fear of repeating the experience. And it is joyful when I feel something that is healing and starts to make sense in my messy mind.
Some days I feel happiness while I am crying and some days I am laughing while deeply depressed. It’s difficult to work with feelings, but when you are surrounded by a strong and supportive group of peers, things get better. Especially when you move to a new place. I believe that this proximity with my class mates has been such a strong support that I never felt alone. In so doing, I can feel grounded and able to work on reconnecting with those feelings. I feel free to use any medium and I use art to heal. And some days are more successful than others and some days I wish I could behave as my hard drive did last weekend and delete everything in one click.
Abraham Maslow, a psychologist that pays attention to healing effects speaks about “peak experiences” as a sign of psychic health; an attribute of the “self-actualizing person”. He says “My feeling is that the concept of creativeness and the concept of healthy, self actualizing, fully human person seem to be coming closer and closer together and may perhaps turn out to be the same thing”
Maslow realizes that the creative attitude and the ability to have peak experience depends upon being free of other people; free especially, from neurotic involvements, from “historical hangovers from childhood” but also free of obligations, duties, fears and hopes.
Let’s keep trying
If you are interested in seeing more about this come to ICP for Slide Fest in May 8th. This is the annual showcase featuring work from the ICP-Bard MFA students. The evening consists of presentations and performs, discussing our work, process, and ideas. There is also a Screening Room and Book Room, where recent videos and short films will be paired alongside books, zines, posters, and other works on paper.
Keep an eye in the blog, more info coming up.