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          In 2021, I initiated a project called "Empty Room". This project adopts an autoethnographic approach, and seeks to map and construct the psychological space as if it were a room: a room which I must empty so I can decide what to put inside. 

The project is informed by the “method of
loci” or “memory palace”, a mnemonic technique that recurs to the visualization of spaces for memorization. Following this technique, one must imagine a familiar space, and allocate specific locations within it to the informations they wish to remember. The focus of this project is to develop creative tools for self-analysis and self-consciousness, approaching the psyche as an empty room and memories/emotions as the objects within it.

Converting written outbursts and the abstraction of emotions and memories into shapes, lines, materials, and movements, "Empty Room" began in the format of an artist book and is now evolving into other dimensions (first, into drawings, next, into sculptures, and at last, into performative outputs).

"Human life - or at least mine - advances in elliptic cycles. Elliptic for although it is of constant movement, it travels at different altitudes. The summer months of 2021 were bred on the tighter part of the ellipse, where energy, interest and motivation runs at the lowest point of the cycle. During this time, in the midst of an existential crisis, I was venting with my close friend Angela, whom I told I had been having recurring feelings of purposelessness and emptiness. Angela’s words of comfort stuck with me in the visual tissue of my imaginary. She said: “Perhaps you need to think of yourself as if you were a room”.

As we sat on my bed, Angela proceeded to tell me about how, despite my sense of dissociation, as she looked around at my room, my objects, my makings, she saw that some part of me was inherently materialized in my environment, proving that I existed, and had something to give. The way I arranged my personal objects — the yellow-painted brick hanging on the windowsill, or the Alentejo ceramic houses I carefully placed over it — attested to some hopeful remnants of care. The green cotton curtains blocking the window immersed the room in a soft green light that travelled through the crooked stitches sewn by my hands. My hands, and my intention over my hands, shaped the entire environment of the room. The small framed drawings made and given to me by my friends, then hanging on the wall in the most arbitrary, non-aligned manner, spoke of each laugh once shared. All the space around us stemmed from an intention that testified to my identity. It testified that I have an identity; that I can not be hollow for I act, create and exert effect and affect in everything that I touch.

Although these words by themselves had already brought me the reassurance and comfort I needed in that moment, Angela’s next advice was the real catalyst towards the highest point of the ellipse. “You might feel like you don't know who you are, that the room inside you is empty,” she said, “maybe you should see that as an opportunity to choose what to put in that room.” Emptiness can yield an opportunity for excitement, as it opens space for new insights. Angela advised me to assign a space in my room for the dark viscid mass pulling me towards the lower curve of the ellipse. Perhaps in that moment the black mass mass occupied the whole room, as a black hole consuming all that existed within it. Angela reminded me the importance of acknowledging this. Even though I can not deny my dark mass, I can decide how much space it takes and where it goes in my room, just like the yellow brick I placed on my windowsill. According to Angela, that is the ultimate remedy for my quest for self-identity. Once I assign a space for the mass, I can finally begin anew."

Excerpt from the artist book “Empty Rooms”, Section 0: “The Room”

Accidental meditations: the term I use to legitimate my depression-induced vegetative states. I lay on the bed, with my eyes piercing aimlessly though the dusty ceiling, and my mind utterly bare and void. Not one single thought in mind, or deep reflection. In those moments, all that prevails inside the carcass of my body is an invisible rock swallowed down to my stomach. A rock that anchors me to the spring mattress, heavy as dead weight. A rock that keeps me from floating away.I feel as a shell who was never a clam. With infinite capacity to contain, born hollow and lifeless. I blame it on myself. I am thirsty for thirst, but passively thirsty. I dream to crave for all, to want desperately and grab as much as I can. Instead, I simply lay. I allow minutes to pass, with no insight walking beside them. I allow for my body to rot, to melt and fuse with the fibers of my cotton sheets. I allow for no will, no drive, and no action. Time passes and I acquire nothing. Each day I fall deeper into the depths of my own hollowness.I look back into my 26 years of age and contemplate the waste of hours. For each tick of the clock, a missed piece of knowledge. Oh how grand and full of a shell I could be, if I had only grasped what was at my reach. Oh how I regret letting those fruits slip through my fingers. Each word I could have read, each note I could have heard, each skill I could have mastered. Instead, I simply laid, accidentally meditating my life away.

Excerpt from the artist book “Empty Room”, Section 1: “Identifying the Black Mass”

On arrival, I fought the poison of the frostbite by thriving in abundance. An antidote transforming the piercing ice in ecstasy. And yet, unavoidably so, I sought for what lies beyond the comfort of sanity. Left hollow, drifting in the empty vacuum of my amorph guts, I materialized out of my invisible form. Either as the promised fruit of wishful thinking, or the curse of a dream too large. Torn and split between the promise of being found whole. Torn and taken from the nest that cradled my carcass body into fulfillment. Only to realize that we are not born in halves, but in ones.

Excerpt from the artist book “Empty Room”, Section 2: “Spring Cleaning”