Postcards From Eden
Tell me a story of a forsaken place hidden in plain sight. Where nature is controlled and all threats are kept outside. The true realization of the word “paradise”: a walled garden.
Humans have always longed to be saved from an amoral natural world. Although beings of flesh, we continuously deny our animal condition, and consequently the true complexity of other lives surrounding us. Our impression of mental superiority becomes simultaneously the cause of our fall and our hope for salvation.
This escapist impulse is deeply rooted on western civilization’s psyche, being a recurring theme in our relationship and representation of nature, to the extent of the latter becoming a simulacrum of itself: the ideal wilderness must be free of human interference and kept as far away as possible. Only then can it be perceived as real.
But there is still hope. New mythologies may emerge from the visual debris of paradise and reach for sacred realms of meaning. Perhaps only through fiction may we reconnect with nature and find peace with our own mortality.
This series is an ongoing project with photographs made at the American Museum of Natural History in New York city, where dioramas, once an important tool for early conservationist movements, continue to educate and amaze visitors.
When photographed the dioramas acquire a painting like quality which enhances the visual illusion portrayed by them, blurring the boundaries between artistic mediums and the perception of what is real. Furthermore, digital collage techniques were used to generate new narratives and enhance ambiguity.
This project was deeply influenced by the 2020 pandemic. Being self confined at home brought me the opportunity to revisit my photography archive and reflect upon what was missing from the world, while at the same time envision what the future may become. This is a personal project as much as a dream to be shared.