The Journey of Flowers is a photography art-installation about the inner struggle to find acceptance and dealing with the limitations that come with age and illness.
This photographic project makes (draws) a parallel between the short-lived journey of rapidly withering of flowers and the professional life of dancers as performers in order to address the transcendence involved in human frailty. Thus the choice to use performers as the subjects of the series combined with the use flowers as structural elements to reinforce the message.
To add another dimension to the art-installation, buckets of paint are positioned in front of the main photographic images. These are used as vases for physical flowers that will wither throughout the time of the exhibition. This gesture underlines the importance of harmonizing nature and culture; but most importantly is one of many elements in the installations that reinforce the concept of time as illusion.
Another important element to this regard is that the images are meant to be projected in a non-sequential video; meaning that there’s no narrative to be understood yet it still creates the sense of time passing. The pace is slow, contemplative and it invites the spectator to slow down and project themselves into the idea of the installation, to reflect and connect with the image.
Performers of all ages collaborate in this project. They are invited to reflect on the physical implications of their practice over their bodies, how they feel when they confront those limitations; but most importantly, to think about how they might cope with the loss of abilities as they age or become ill?
Each image is the representation of their unique response to these questions; the images show the inner life of each of the performers as they go through complex emotions, rather than documenting the literal process of aging. Even though sensing the passing of time is essential for the project, the captured moment and the performers, the images themselves, have no past and no future, only present. There’s no need for continuity between the images and no sign of progression for the dancers.
The artist strives to make the performers leave their training aside to find the most direct movement to represent specific emotions freezing in time the body of the infinite now. Technique shows that all are inherently affected by their past, as their training, even though left aside, gives structure to the body and its movement.
Damian Siqueiros takes the way that non-narrative Dance is presented and incorporates its way of interacting with the public to reach and bond with a deeper level of consciousness and to offer an alternative to the intellectual deconstruction of the work. This idea has its origin in the conceptual art theories that argue that art should be experienced, almost inhabited, as it happens with the famous Penetrables of Jesus Soto or the installations of Olafur Eliasson.
What is expected from the public is to hold on to the primary sensations and feelings that arise on the first contact with the work and to allow themselves to acknowledge those feelings as something that has been awakened by external stimuli yet also as something that had already existed within.
For the artist this is a very personal project, since it comes as the result of his struggle with chronic illness, and the emotional and spiritual journey that has given him the tools to accept and transform pain into consciousness, distraught and frustration into light and happiness.
The result of this project is a group of ethereal images that reflect the artist’s spiritual pondering and his physical limitations, aiming overall for an emotional connection with the public that will develop into a memory of an image, the ultimate illusion of permanence.