© 1995-2024_Cecilia Mandrile

The Translation of a Wound

Through traveling projects, I intend to portray impermanence.

During years of moving, I was performing and recording ephemeral installations, observing cities and their crevices through a portable reference: hand made sight-less dolls. Carrying and curing these vulnerable subjects in buses, stations, streets, airplanes, (the self and) the self-portrait was tinted by the crossing of borders. Revisiting the journey, photographs made evident how (even apparently unanimated) displaced subjects have individual responses to the new background imposed.

Photographs displaced and displacement photographed: visual ‘documents’ accompany travelers emphasizing our double position, as protagonists, as witnesses. Being informed by times where displacement becomes a global phenomenon and based in a more intimate frame, my own migration, I acknowledge transience as only certainty. In this awareness process, printed translations of photographic fragments appear as cohesive elements in the succession of passing installations, settling points for the continuation of the journey, documents from where to articulate another evanescent present.

The process of translation has a double significance in the practice of migrant artists: translation as a means to move subjects/objects from one place or condition to another; translation as a technical means to articulate an image in order to interpret its behavior in changing contexts. Through the dual translation of photographic fragments, I propose disjointed narratives rehearsing a dialogue between portable objects and found places.

Based on a process of construction, documentation, destruction and reconstruction of fragments in different scenarios, I intend to unfold a visual language that can translate my perception of -and adaptation to- different realities as a migrant artist. Gathering, capturing, re-presenting and recording transience, photographic traces unveil the process that lies beneath them, a process that ‘holds’ the metaphor of the passage, a process that based on the awareness of ‘incompleteness’ constantly searches for its own language, the one that makes possible the translation of a wound.