In October we watched as floor after floor filled with patients. The increasingly overworked cleaners would tell us which floors had been taken over by positive cases. I continued to work in ciclos (paired shifts) of 12-hour days, 24-hour rest, 12-hour nights, 3 days-rest, another ciclo, four days-rest, rinse, repeat. This would be the worst month with at least one death most shifts, more than I’ve experienced in my career since. The experience has profoundly affected me and is something that I will always carry with me.
HUVR: octubre is the second instalment in the Virgen del Rocío series, and is an exercise in processing these experiences through photographic meditation, text, and repetition, an exercise in therapeutical photography. At times I have no words so I make photographs.
The images, and accompanying handmade books are an attempt for me to process major life changes thrust upon myself, my family, and everyone else on the planet by an uncontrollable universe, the daily witnessing of traumatic events and the miseries inflicted not just on the population at large, but upon healthcare workers in direct contact with the virus in their day to day labors. Daily meditations through photographic explorations of the environment that surrounds me have been uploaded to Instagram and catalogued by location, date, time and circumstances, and then reflected upon in an attempt to purge the artist of the horrors experienced in such a short period of time.
Each book is named after the month worked and is limited to 50 copies, consisting of laser-printed images and reflections upon the events at the time. The pages are printed on the same paper used in the hospitals, Xerox recycled 80g/m2 A4 stock and each one is handfolded, stapled, stamped, pressed, and stuffed into Zelatun cane A6 envelopes also used in the hospital.