Academic journal article Hemisphere

Prison of Dreams: A Photographer Confronts Her Fears of Aging

Academic journal article Hemisphere

Prison of Dreams: A Photographer Confronts Her Fears of Aging

Article excerpt

I was about to reach 40, and so much was moving inside of me...My mother had just been diagnosed with Parkinson's. I'm terribly afraid of old age!

My first self-portrait was the product of a self-imposed task. One morning I set my camera on the tripod, stood in front of it, and clicked. Well, this is pretty simple, I thought. Later, when I looked closely at the contact sheet, I closed my eyes and cried. I could not believe it. How could a self-portrait give away everything inside like that, everything that's hidden and protected?

The image was perfectly framed, with a hardness that, even today, hurts me when I look at it. The photograph remained in a drawer for years. I did not mention it, I did not show it, I did not recognize it within myself. I hid it.

I think it is difficult to put what one feels into photographs, the things one goes through as one takes them, and at the same time it is impossible to forget, or become detached from the experience.

It took me quite a few years to finish this project, set in an old-age home in Mexico. Time, the passing of time, and the fraying the passing of time causes...

And I took my time, to little by little come closer to this world of women's old age...Most were women, there were only a handful of men because men die younger. Women are alone in the end, easily abandoned. …

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