quantum - Exploring the hereditary wormhole

“My grandmother was obsessed with mirrors; old, stained, cracked and useless mirrors. I clearly envisage her posing in front of them, tipping her chin upwards, sucking in her cheeks to enhance the arch of her infamous bone structure surrounding them, gazing seductively at her reflection, turning slowly and fixing the glance as she moved away from her framed mirage. As I began to reflect and take on my venture back to my true self, I knew some of the key answers were hidden within that image; her self-portrait. Behind the fetal membrane of milk- washed silver and cracks. Behind the veil. And the mirrors became my mediums, my witnesses.

Reflect – meaning


late 14c., “turn or bend back;” early 15c., “to divert, to turn aside, deflect,” from old French reflecter (14c.) from Latin reflectere “bend back, turn back”. Of mirrors or polished surfaces, to shine back light rays or images, early 15c.; meaning “to turn one’s thoughts back on” is c. 1600.

And so, standing in front of my heirloom mirrors as myself, in full earnest, and not in the way I had been shown by my stunning predecessor, requires a degree of honesty that feels almost intolerable. Self-respect takes on a new dimension. I was taught to regard myself through the eyes of the viewer, to envision my appearance as seen by others, not with curiosity or empathy but with awe and admiration. The essence I now thirst for is not to be found on the flip side of the mirror. To take my intentions seriously and act upon them, my route must go through. The crackled pellicle covering the once radiant surface of the looking glass now serves both as protection and obstruction. I am on the verge of dissolving, like chaotically fragmented chromosomes prior to assembling in the cell core. Afraid of letting go, of exposing myself, afraid of the echoes resonating from the speculums, my foremothers reverberate, scared of expressing my anger, bitterness, POWERS, contempt, scared of breaking and entering prohibited heartland, afraid of failing, being cast out, annulled, rejected. An acute and violent rush of blood filled with foul, old shame equals a deadly shot in the head... Bang Bang. Placing myself in front of those mirrors feels like repeated attempts of suicide. But I have longed so hard for falling and being received.

I then recall reading about stellar conception in far-away ancient galaxies, illustrated by an artist’s depiction of a supermassive black hole producing infant stars. The image shows an outburst from the darkest and densest of all known in the universe; an explosion of fragments of cosmic origin spewed out into space from both sides, forming two oppositely directed jet clouds of colored gasses and bright glowing elements with the dark matter as a vertically centered disc-shaped mirror between them. I saw a cosmic orgasm. It moved me and aroused me with hope and anticipation. And courage. Black holes stem from stars themselves; from stars collapsing, and in my mind the image of the circle of stardom takes form: an everlasting stellar Saraband.”

The book Quantum is the result of three years of active exploration of my self as a photographic territory, reflected in my late grandmother’s old mirrors. Available at Schilt Publishing and online bookstores.

Some limited editioned prints are still available.