Conceptual or Personal Works (ir a la versión en español aquí)
One of the most fascinating things in life is that there's absolutely no way to experience the same thing twice, as the saying goes "you can't swim in the same river twice" as the water that came in contact with your body has moved on since, it has flowed into the vast oceans if you will and now those drops of water are...well, only God knows where exactly.
The same thing happens with everything else, to begin with before doing anything or going somewhere we (yes, you, me, them) have expectations about what they will encounter (I expect the weather to be sunny, I've heard the little bistro on top of the hill is magnificent, I've read that people in that village are quite friendly). However those expectations will face actual reality and the outcome of that combination will shape the whole experience for the whole thing. In a way it's like being in the river and feeling each independent drop of water touching our body and identifying their unique features and characteristics in real time. By the way the features and characteristics we identify may or may not be shared by others ("hey! did you feel that? that drop of water was freezing cold" says one, "you gotta be joking, it was just perfect temperature-wise, just the way I like my drops of water" says the other, and who could say as-a-matter-of-factly who is right?).
At the end of the day each and every situation we walk into is extremelly personal and unique, even if there's company around and we think everyone is seeing, hearing and feeling the same. In other words, many people can arrive at the same place, at the same time but each and every one of them will have a different experience of the visit. Some of the visitors will love the place while others will hate it, others will want to take part in local projects, others will want to be left alone as they did not want to come in the first place, others will try to learn a little bit of the new language, others will only talk to other visitors, etc. Every person has their own expectations, feelings and ideas and those change too, constantly I might add so if they were to visit the same place for a second, third, fourth, etc. time...those would be personal and unique experiences every single time.
Therefore the only important question to ask when dealing with a particular situation is, "what does this mean to me?". The clearest example is that back in 2008 I had the opportunity to join David Alan Harvey for his "Days of the Dead" workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. In the beginning I thought (expectation) I had to cover the color of the festivity as if I were a photojournalist of some sort, as the days went by I realized I was dealing with personal issues (actual fact of reality) and those issues were having an impact on the images I was creating.
At the end of the workshop I had a set of photographs that clearly depicted me, within the Days of the Dead festivity and then I realized I was not there to cover the event from a safe distance, like a doctor wearing latex gloves to touch the patient without really touching the patient. In reality I was there by myself, left alone to deal with my own feelings and issues, just like everyone else had to deal with theirs...and in that background I found a way to connect in a very personal and unique way with the people, the colors, the food, the tradition, the costumes. I can also say that this sort of experiences are so unique that they belongs to a particular time and place (Oaxaca 2008), it wouldn't belong to 2014 as some of my personal issues from that time have been resolved (or maybe they have just been transformed, who knows?) so if I were to go again I'd for sure, experience something different, still very personal and very unique but nonetheless different.
This section is devoted to acknowledging my interests, feelings and overall state of mind during a very specific period of time. As I have just explained above, all these things are like the water in the river, they move on and become something else so in a way the images that you will see will most likely not represent who I am right now but they surely, truly represent who I was when I took them...makes sense? Good!
Having said all this I would like now to link you to two of my most personal projects, the first one is (as you have probably imagined) the "Days of the Dead" workshop of 2008 in Oaxaca, Mexico. The second one is called "Brief Moments of Clarity" and it is comprised by images I took during my trip through Alaska in May 2014, I must say these images can't be found anywhere else in the site, just so you know.
So, without further delay, here are the links: