R E C R U T A D A F O R Ç A S M A L T R A T A D A S
When I was about 5 years old I started to have repeated visions of a family wearing gas masks. This image appeared specifically every time I looked down the hallway at my family home.
The vision of the gas-masked family appeared to me coincidentally at the same time bad things were happening in my life. Therefore, I have always associated the family with gas masks image with negative feelings. So experiencing these visions was a very painful process. I frequently had nightmares with this family of my visions ended my peace of mind.
When I was 23 years old I decided to transform this image of the gas-masked family into a staged photography. Once I had got the models for this photograph there was not doubt that I was going to given them a happy ending. I think that I had lived too long with the suffocating thoughts of this family with heavy masks and all the negative feelings associated with it.
However, the turning point happened when I staged and photographed the “A Menina da Máscara de Gás (2012)” (The girl with a gas mask),shown above. By photographing the little girl with the mask I borrowed her presence to process and clean myself of all the bad feelings linked to the gas-masked family of my visions.
The sensation was exhilarating. I had the impression of removing the filter of my own imaginary gas mask and letting myselfbreath freely. I allowed myself to contaminate with the staged gas-masked girl and that allowed my to flourish to a new stage of my life even tough my surroundings remained chaotic. This photograph definitely freed myself forever from the gas-masked family hallucinations.
I believe that by turning my vision into an object, in thiscase a photograph, allowed me to reprocess my past experience with the visions of the gas-masked people and consequently all hurtful feelings associated with it.
Eloa is the little girl who worked as my model for the The girl with a gas mask.
She worked as my mirrored imaged as she was about the same age I had when I started having the visions of a gas-masked family. I wanted to letEloa know that she was a very important person in my life because she gave me her presence and gravitas so that together we were able to complete this catharsis.