Stabat Matter

may 2014, Central Saint Martins, London

Chicken wire and aluminum

    My practice involves a return to the roots of trauma and affect, experienced during childhood. It is about selective memory and how we recreate our own images of the past, by cutting and editing what we have been through before. These souvenirs are either sublimated or worsened. As a result, through this process of selection, rejection and assimilation, they gather in a multitude of symbols and allegories.

    During a nice family breakfast, aged of 10, I witnessed my mother holding the lifeless body of my autistic brother in her arms. He had had one of this frequent epilepsy crisis that made him convulse, distort, fall and drool. However, something came up with this one. Something unusual. My brother was not reacting to our calls and our light slaps to wake him up. Time had stopped. I was sitting at the white round table, in our kitchen, a bowl of cereals in front of me, starring at the scene. My sister had found a shelter under the table, grasping the dog and sobbing in silence.  My father seemed, as usual, so calm and skinned from all feelings, as cold as the floor of the room.

    The most striking vision came from the behavior of my mother. Her gesture and her position were the ones found in the Pieta ( Mary cradling Jesus’ corpse after he has been taken down from the Cross).

    She was holding her son’s body, as if it was as light as a feather. She was standing, in the middle of the kitchen, grabbing my brother’s head and kissing it, lulling him at the same time, like if she was accompanying him in the unknown lands of the  crisis  process.

    Anti-epileptic medicine boxes were spread on the table, valium syringes too. I could read, Lorasifar, Depakin, Tegretol and Circadin.

    Later, the names on the drugs boxes grew into four wild horses, acting as the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at once, and sometime, as glowing angels bringing light on this odd mother-son couple, taking them away from the earth. The kitchen’s tiles became a sea of clouds, the clothes of my brother, a shroud, the light entering the room, God’s aureole. My mother had turned into the brightest marble sculpture. The benevolent brilliance of her fixed gaze nursing her son, resting within his heavenly guardian’s arms.


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