Decoding Bodhi

Mimi Fuenzalida

2020 - Ongoing

As a visual storyteller I am interested in Human nature. Having delved in Psychology studies along with my upbringing in Chile during a time of great political upheaval has greatly informed the way I see the world. I am very interested in the inner worlds that we, human beings, create as a response from the outer events and circumstances that deeply affect us and sometimes even traumatizes us. Through my current projects I aim to show a window into these aspects of our humanity.

After being in London for the past two years with my husband, we decided to return to the US to be with his daughters, who had stayed in Los Angeles with their mother. I had always been very close to my youngest step daughter yet upon our return, I encountered a full grown teenager that resembled little or nothing of the girl we had left a few years back. She had always enjoyed me photographing her and that still was our point of connection. I wanted to create a space to explore who she was becoming. My project - Decoding Bodhi - is an exploration of the mind of my 14 year old step daughter who is biracial, living in a time of great political and social unrest and change where being a girl transitioning into a woman, a person of color and a teen immersed in the world of social media affects and informs on a daily basis the way she is shaping herself. Through a dialog and exploration of various themes prompted by her- I aim to create a portrait of an adolescent that represents a very unique time in our history - The work will consist of a series of large scale photographs accompanied with text, audio and in some instances, her own extended input into the photo prints (sometimes painting over part of the photos, adding some art, or stitching over it) as a way to represent the inner world she is forging - I believe that tuning my lens on a micro-world such as hers, not only empowers those who see themselves represented by the subject but also opens a conversation about the inner world that exists beyond the external behaviors that, in many cases, are hard to decode on adolescents.

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