WHAT'S KILLING ALISTAIR
Butterflies is a long term project on mental health.
In Ancient Greece, drifting souls were often represented by butterflies symbols. This was a direct link to Psyche, the soul goddess, who was similarly depicted with delicate Lepidoptera wings. When looking for a title for my work on the mental condition, I wanted a word that elevated the individuals I had met above the stale socially created traumas and stigmatizations, which had ruined their lives. The word “Butterflies” soon imposed itself as an image of a delicate but radiant state of being. A description of freedom constantly terrorized by the outside world and an unstable condition made splittable by a misplaced caress. This soul vulnerability constantly immersed in fear became my main obsession while photographing the men and women frozen in institutions or healing centers.
WHAT’S KILLING ALISTAIR
"What is to give light must endure burning" Viktor Frankl
Alistair: Brilliant businessman, eccentric millionaire, radiant personality, who had risen too close to the sun and fell in a roar.
Never since nor after, had I seen the life and death drive so confused and abandoned to one another.
He embodied the colonial history's brutality. The white man in Africa who had lost his mind, his money and body. who’d sold his soul to the desperate quest of an unknown matter.
In an impulsive act and for buried reasons, I wanted to preserve a man’s breath. I ran into a cruel society and to this self destructive and ungovernable force which evolved inside of him. Our time together left me with a series of pictures, documents and a documentary film.
Alistair or the precise description of bipolarity in manic phase: Megalomania, euphoria, laughter, unlimited money, power, emotional intensity, the totalitarian demands toward other and the unrestrained love of life and men.
The pain that follows: Insomnia, fatigue, attention deficiency, aggressiveness, hopelessness, paranoia, psychosis, endangerment, the unrelenting rhythm causing the body’s fall, illness and death.
Beyond the dysfunction, an illness’s naming must never deny a man’s complexity. Bipolarity doesn’t give Alistair a name. Alistair gives a name to bipolarity.