The Weight of Gold

A serie of photographs, 2016 (still in progress)

Kintsugi or Kintsukiroi (meaning ’golden repair’ in japanese) is a japanese cheramic style, in which pottery is repaired with lacquer dusted or mixed with gold, silver or platinum. The philosophy behind is the embracing of the flawed or imperfect, treating breakage, dents and repair as part of the history of the object. There is no hiding of the flaws, and the repair is literally illuminated to emphasize the characteristics of the broken object. It is part of the so called Mushin (no mind), that carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment,  of equanimity amid changing conditions. Above all, it is also a reminder of time itself, and its inevitable causes.

We usually tend to see scars as something un-aesthetic, something to hide. Espescially for women in modern days. For men, scars are a trophy of a struggle, sign of survival and strength. Or is it, when the media has set so high standards of what beauty and handsomness is, even for men? Our ancestors used scars as ritualic markings (tattoos, piercings etc.) for initiation reasons, to support their unique aesthetics and raise the cohesion of their group. I believe we have left these beliefs away so we could seem more sophisticated, which is an odd contradiction in my opinion.

Overall, this photograph serie tries to observe and challenge the stigma that surrounds scars, combining the kintsugi philosophy on the scars of the models. I found it interesting, how people relived the situations where they got the scars in the first place, while they were ”repairing” them. It became a very therapetic and performatic way to do portrait photography. It created exciting perspective for the models to see their own scars, finding them again, and most of all ( in their opinion)make real use of them besides being just a hidden memory.

Wound is human’s precondition of freedom, not only as an accountability for self-identification and going outside the skirts of bio-cosmic ensemble, but blood is the proof of bodily contact. Proof of choice, possibility to do otherwise (to be more careful) and finally a remembrance to transit towards indipendent movement of the body and forces. It’s an experience of a battle against your own fears, actions against nature. Wounds that you gather together form a continuous chain, which surrounds you like a medieval moat around a castle and draws the line between familiar and strange, danger and safety, will of power and stern imperative, freedom and tabu. Scar incisions are the walls of being a human construction.