The Paradox of the Cardiologist

Exhibited during Festival Circulation(s) at Centre Culturel 104, Paris, 2015; Finalist for "Prix Voies off" Arles 2015 (slideshow)

Lying between the anatomy of the heart and metaphors, drawings and photographs, this work is a journey originating from, and realised due to, personal circumstances. From micro to macrocosm, contraction to expansion, the project embraces life in its most complex form: the heart, as an organ and as an epository of desires, contradictions, sorrows and fears. But the path of «quiet tenderness» as suggested by the extract from a letter, lead me to transform the father into an architectural figure. The protective father, pillar, bearing wall. I use geometry as a symbol of emotional security, and abstraction as a means of revealing emotions and states of consciousness.

Skylarks, attracted by shimmering lights far below, descend in a deep rush onto the object of their desire, at times discovering that they have been blinded by illusions or ideals. Following one’s heart’s desire is in my case a family vice—we don’t go in for half measures. Since my childhood, I have always associated the heart with my father, a cardiologist. I realized this in November of 2012 when a heart attack nearly carried him into another world. The heart is a complicated machine, a motor of passions with perfect mechanics. It can also be a smokescreen. In its movement, we can be fooled but we can also be led to live passionately. To follow one’s heart is considered irrational; to follow one’s brain is a more rational thing to do. I began to draw cardiac malformations with near surgical precision while simultaneously photographing the mental associations that I attached to them. I attempted to metabolize that which was came to mind while working. Reflecting on this, I realized how much our imagination associates with the heart. As a symbol of divinity, the heart is the first organ that we can hear inside the mother’s womb. “Heart-felt words, to take something to heart, heavy-hearted…” The drawings were realized with Indian ink, mimicking the technique that is used for vascular angiographies. In this procedure, cavities of the heart are filled with a liquid that appears opaque on x-rays—a product that creates contrast fills the voids and allows one to visualize the anomalies in order to make correct diagnoses. The anatomy of the heart is thus drawn, with all its anomalies and malformations, and associated to dream-like images that are sometimes abstract. These provoke mental associations. The emotional implications at the origin of this project attempt to be remain discreet while also seeking to open up a sense of universal sentiment.