Las Flores mueren dos veces

“Las Flores mueren dos veces” is a project that explores a parent-child relationship filled with loss, silence, death, life, and reconciliation.

My father died when I was 15, but I was not told it was a suicide until I turned 30. It was then that I started to revisit the images, places, and memories that were left behind. Margarito, a gardener by profession, wrote a farewell letter in which he wrote about plants and said: "Forgive me and communicate with me."

After receiving this new information, I started to revisit my family archive and the last garden where my father worked using various digital strategies for altering the images. By revisiting family albums and manipulating the structural data of the photographs in them, I deconstruct the images and narratives associated with them using a glitch or digital error as a tool. From this experimentation, I create new images that serve as a metaphor for “corrupted memories”.

At the same time, a three-dimensional representation of the garden using photogrammetry addresses issues related to the plasticity of memory, represented in the plants that my father grew, which are still alive today. I seek to shape his absence through images and establish a dialogue between our worlds. Photography serves as a starting point to question personal narratives and explore a newly created universe where plants serve as a bridge.

My approach to photography is central to the production process. I'm interested in how technological interventions alter the primal meaning of an image, expanding the media to new ways of consumption; becoming a territory to harvest meaning, conjure conveyance, and claim heritage.

Although “Las Flores mueren dos veces” started as a photography series it has evolved into a Virtual Reality experience as well. The user is invited to travel through memory, fragmented thoughts, and the different possible versions of reality that arise from a change in the course of personal history. The images of plants and landscape plans that began as two-dimensional images become a new immersive reality, which raises questions about the new landscapes we inhabit and the discursive possibilities of photography through new languages.

Foremost, this is a personal story told in three chapters of imagery: I. a series of code-altered analog photos, II. a collection of digital plants made following my father's instructions, and III. an immersive garden accessible through Virtual Reality headsets.

This project is my answer to the last words my father wrote and an invitation to think about all the relationships that we once formed and that continue to develop after death.

Las Flores mueren dos veces by Cristobal Ascencio

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