The desire to become pregnant, with child. To be inhabited by an alien, perfect body. To give birth, breasts filled with milk. The delirium of those first few months, a timeless, formless space, day and night overlapping seamlessly. The pleasure of that small body stuck to mine, to my breast, nursing every three hours. Dozing off, delirium, exhaustion. A body sustained by my own. So many intense, contradictory, startling emotions. And at some point, sliding into another scene, an imperceptible, radical transition.
Insomnia, circular thinking. Suddenly, I find myself in a place that terrifies me. A slow and tortuous passage through a dark tunnel. My body urges me to enter, to listen. Memories crowding into my body. Motionless, I listen to that voice inside my head. Alert. Withdrawn, pensive, suspended between two times. Paralyzed with fear: one false move might trigger collapse. Horrifying, unsuspected monsters could be released. My childhood fear. Fear of what lies within.
Games, affection, contact, photographs return me to the present for a while. Intense, pleasant sensations that govern all. And yet, my children are the ones who summon me back to that other scene.
I have erased nearly all my childhood memories. Those that remain are anchored in my grandmother’s photos. Kinderwunsch, children and desire. The desire to have children. Recovering that desire from the girl in those snapshots. The intensity of affection, passion, depression.
Desire as an inward and outward journey. A vital process.
(fragment from Ana Casas text in the book Kinderwunsch)
Kinderwunsch is currently in the process of being a book in which texts and photos construct a narrative that approaches maternity as a setting of complex interactions, where my children’s identity is created and my profound transformations as a mother are explored. Motherhood as an identity is one that is not fixed and is grounded in daily acts and sensations.
Kinderwunsch has been developed over seven years and has grown increasingly more complex. We come up with scenarios in which to carry out actions. Some times they're my children's ideas, some times they're images that come out of my fantasies. The photograph depends on the action, and it's always a discovery. As in my previous work, the body and the home are fundamental axes of this project.
Kinderwunsch will be published in 2013 by La Fábrica, Spain, and Fundación Televisa, Mexico.
I am interested in working with experiences where the everyday and actions carried out in front of the camera come together. Photography therefore becomes a vital form of intervention in a reality, which holds the tension between the recreated action and spontaneity, where reflection and intuition converge. It also acts as a space that reveals the fundamental connections in relationships. It is a search for apparitions of a reality that is not always visible. I am enthralled by the threshold between reality and its photographic image, that enigmatic space that eludes interpretations – unique for each spectator.
Ana Casas Broda worked for the proyect Kinderwunsch from 2006 to 2011. Kinderwunsch is currently in the process of being a book in which texts and photos construct a narrative and it will be published in a photobook in 2013 by the Spanish editorial La Fábrica and Fundación Televisa.
Born 1965, in Granada, Spain to an Austrian mother and Spanish father, she spent her first years between those countries. In 1974 she came to live to Mexico City with her mother. Here she studied photography, painting and history and has dedicated to photography since 1983. In 1983 she worked as an assistant for Mr. Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Between 1989 and 1993 Ana lived in Vienna and Madrid and came back to Mexico in 1993 spending long periods of time in Vienna, taking care of her grandmother until her death in 2002.
Ana worked for fourteen years on the project Álbum. First on the series of images with her grandmother in Vienna and later on the development of the book and exhibit, including texts, diaries, images about her ancestors, her grandmother, audios, videos, etc. In 2000, the editorial Mestizo published Álbum in a book of pictures and text, which had the support of the Austrian Department of Culture and the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts. This book has been printed in Spanish, German and English. In the year 2001 an exhibition of Álbum was presented at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City to accompany the book and in 2002 it was presented within the context of the PhotoEspaña festival at Casa de América, traveling later on to Murcia and Tenerife, Spain.
Since 1991 she has carried out several individual exhibits in Spain, Austria, Germany and Mexico, in museums and galleries like: Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City; Casa de América, Madrid, PhotoEspaña Festival; Railowsky Gallery, Valencia, Spain; Michael Pabst Gallerie, Munich, Germany; Fotohof Gallery, Salzburg, Austria; Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain, among others. And since 1983 she has participated in group exhibitions in Mexico, Austria, Spain, Italy, Finland, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Hungary, China and others, in museums and galleries such as: La Kenyérgyár Art Center,Hungary; La panera Art Center, Lleida, Spain; Guangdong Museum of Art, Pekín, China; Studio Marangoni, Florence, Italy; 7th Internacional Triennal in Tampere, Finland; Feria Internacional de Arte, Arco, Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, Spain; among others. Her work has been included in collections in Germany, Austria, Spain and Mexico. She has been awarded several prizes in Mexico and Austria. From 2008 to 2011 she has been sponsored by the National System for Art Creators, FONCA, in Mexico.
Several biographical outlines have been written about her work in Spanish and English language speaking newspapers such as: The British Journal of Photography, Art in America La Jornada, Reforma, el Financiero, Milenio, El Nacional, El País, and others. She has been interviewed on several radio and television shows. Her photographs have been published in several books in Spain, Austria, Mexico, Argentina and others, such as: C-Photo, The new Latin look, editor Martin Parr, Ivorypress 2011; No sabe/no contesta. Fotografía desde América Latina, Proyect for the Gallery Arte x Arte, Argentina 2008; Conversaciones entorno a la fotografía, Claudí Carreras Guillén, Gustavo Gili editorial, Spain, 2007; Mapas abiertos. 1991/2002, Fotografía contemporánea Latinoamericana, Lunwerg Editors, Spain, 2004, among others.
She works for the proyect Kinderwunsch since 2006 and is finishing in a book. In 2010 part of Kinderwunsch was included in The selfportrait in Contemporary Art, by Susan Bright, Thames and Hudson, London, England.
Along with the development of her work, she has dedicated part of her time since 1990 to the coordination of several activities related to photography, such as: study programs, seminars, workshops and conferences among others. She as well works as a tutor/advisor for the Seminar of Contemporary Photography at the Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City.
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