TIAGO CASANOVA

"______

 

I hope this letter finds you well.

You haven't spoken to me ever since you broke up with me almost two years ago. Even after a very intense and passionate relationship of over 7 years, you were not able to explain me why. 
One night you told me how happy you were with me, and that I was the love of your life, and that we would always be together. The following night we sat to watch a movie, but soon I felt asleep in your arms, comfortable with your love. But when the movie ended everything was different. You went into silence and introspection and ignored me for 7 days, as if I didn't exist. We never had a conversation about the breakup, and you didn't want to deal with it. 
You called the police and you told them that "a stranger was at your apartment". That's how you broke up with me, without even talking to me. All this time I never asked you more than a talk or a way to help me find closure and to be able to move on with my life. We broke up and came back a thousand times, and I was even affraid that you were addicted to it, as you told me several times that you broke up with me just to be able to come back. 
Sick love was mutual, but at least it was real love, the one we rarely find in our lifes. For a long time I had hope, specially when I got to know that you kept the rose I left at your doorstep in Berlin.

 

You used to complain that for me, work was more important than you. But you were wrong about it all along, and I think you actually knew that. Work was a huge topic between us, as you always felt diminished. You felt I was more successful than you, and you were jealous even when I had nothing, just my positive attitude towards life. You thought several times about applying to Emirates, and I always gave you my support. But you never believed I would ever actually change my life and follow you to Dubai. I think you didn't want to feel the pressure on the relationship by making me move to a new country once again for you. It had to be my own choice, and not because of you. That's why I decided to also apply to Emirates after the breakup, and tried 5 times (Berlin, Porto, Lisbon, Faro, Santiago). It was innocent and sick, but truthful. First because I still had hope, and second because I actually felt in love with the idea of starting something new, well payed and travel the world. But soon I became obsessed for the answers you naver gave me. I was sick for a long period of time without anyone's knowledge and I struggled with signs of depression and spontaneous thoughts of suicide. The more you disappeared from my life, the more I became obsessed for small informations that would help me find reality. The only thing I always refused was to watch that movie. I couldn't believe that a movie would change your love for me. Cinema, as photography, is still fiction and not reality. Meanwhile I even forgot what movie was it.

 

So I am writting you because I want you to know from me that I am opening an exhibition in Madrid next wednesday, where you play an important role. I was invited to "question society", but it was never my style to be an hypocrite, and as my artistic work is always cirtical, metaphorical and ironic, I coudn't do a critic of a society I was not part of. I decided instead to do a self-critic and analyze my feeling and acts towards you, and the image I created of you. So actually the exhibition is not so much about you, but about the way I dealt with the memory of you and with my quest for truth, without being able to find any so far. I believe that reflecting upon myself is to reflect upon society itself.

It will be an installation around the psychological and physical processes between what is visible and what is yet to be discovered, and how this creates an imaginary representation of reality throughout the captured images. There will be 7 photographs of you on your back, as a direct analogy to the way you turned your back on me, but also imposing an imaginary process to the audience, driven by curiosity. I want people to wonder how your beautiful face looks like. I want people to create an idea of reality with their imagination, yet a reality that they will never be able to find. Your face, intimate body or identity such as your name, will never be revealed in this exhibition, also meaning that your legal rights are protected.

About the memory of you, I am affraid to forget your face with time, and as I am absolutely sure you erased every single memory of me, I decided to organize my archives and create an encyclopedia with the complete collection of photographs I took of you during our relationship. I didn't censured any of the 1902 photographs of you based on explicit content or aesthetics. Following my current investigation around the meanings of memory through the documental function of photography, and the way we all use captured images to archive our personal moments, I am interest in the fact that every single photograph that we produce represent a memory we wanted to keep, meaning that even the photograph with some kind of failure or that are aesthetically uninteresting play an important role on the construction of our identity. Regardless the creation of this object, the audience will not be able to take it out and see it, emphasizing this thin line between what is visible or real, with the invisible and what remains in the shadow or unknown, imposing an imaginary process, an inherent concept of photography.

The installation will also include elements of information that I collected the months after the breakup, such as a report of the time you were online on facebook or instagram, trying to create an idea of your movements and from that trying to understand if you were dating someone else. Soon you blocked me everywhere possible, and instagram was the only way I could know anything about you. So I collected some of the images that you liked, as they were actually giving me an idea of your state of mind, and the new people you were meeting. You should know, and the audience too, that it can be scary what one could find and uncover, or at least imagine, with such small pieces of information on the internet and even 2000 Km away. 
I don't need to say that I feel ashamed for my acts and for this dark period of my life that drove me into depression. 
But now I felt it was the right time for this self-critic as I have finally moved on with my life. It's all about finding a way to archive my memories of you, as I refuse to erase them, and refuse to ignore what at least was real between us.

 

I wish you all the best,

 

Tiago.

Madrid 02-05-2016"

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