As if the Sea should part - PhMuseum

As if the Sea should part

Erica Canepa

2020 - Ongoing

Buenos Aires, Argentina

“As if the Sea should part” is a photographic project about nostalgia and mental health during the pandemic. Research shows, in times of trauma and overwhelming stress, our brains often take us to places we subconsciously designate as ‘safe’, like memories of a joy-filled vacation or a happy childhood moment when we felt loved. Originally, when first studied in 1688 by the Swiss doctor J. Hofer, nostalgia was considered to be a mental disorder. In the past century, this emotion has been understood anew; the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a sad feeling mixed with pleasure when you think of happy times in the past.”

“As if the Sea should part” is a personal story that wishes to reflect the universal emotion of nostalgia which people often go through in challenging moments.

The project explores different layers of nostalgia: a search through the past prompted by the pandemic and the sentiment of being an Italian immigrant, currently unable to visit my family.

I will accompany my audience in a poetic voyage exploring how nostalgic daydreams are journeys through time, melancholic but not dragging: they take us back to smells, music and images, plunging us into a pleasant vortex that helps us navigate this extraordinary time of life.

The project reflects nostalgia onto each who views it and encourages this emotion, a catalyst increasing self-awareness; a portal to enhance coping, well-being, and the context of life's meaning: past and present, dark and light.

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