Beginning to die

Ana Leal

2019 - Ongoing

The work “Beginning to die” reflects on the psychological aspects that women go through when their fertility naturally comes to an end.

I started this project in 2019 when the first signs that I was entering the climacteric began to appear. Instinctively I photographed my last cycles, still not knowing what I was going to do with that material, perhaps in an attempt to save the last breaths of my fertility. During all this time I started to reflect on the meaning of this new phase of my life.

Amidst all the usual symptoms of the period, such as insomnia, hot flashes, irritability, and weight gain, several questions were arising. The idea of ​​death became frequent in my thoughts. If we go back to the beginning of time when the advances in current medicine did not yet exist, the life cycle of a woman was basically limited to: being born, growing up, reaching childbearing age, procreating giving perpetuation to the species, entering the climacteric and after menopause would die within a few years, giving way to those younger who are in turn starting this cycle. Menopause then would be a strong indication that your life was nearing its end. This thought coupled with the fact that from that moment on I would not be able to generate another life either, in addition to the very clear signs of time in my own body, made me realize that in fact, I would have already lived most of my life.

The work is made up of individual diptych compositions, as well as watercolor pieces and prints made with red ink on female absorbents passed through the press. The research continues and I keep on photographing and experiencing the subject.

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