msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush
To leave is a bit like dying. And to be reborn again -I would suggest- as I experienced many times under my skin. We have this ancient saying in Italy, a country that -like Portugal- historically experienced a large hemorrhage of souls going abroad, tired of their own country for too many different reasons. All these new aliens were plunged into totally different emotional and cultural shores, which started to mirror back, almost instantly, broken images of their once almost established selves. As the reflections on a multiple, shining surface, this photobook by paula roush reverberates of meaningful fragments aiming to pair into coupling doppelgängers, following the farewell journey from Sweden of her friend, Maria Lusitano, stretching along the past (Portugal), the present (Sweden) and the future (UK).
What comes out of it are quite humorous, original and scary pieces of contemporary Swedish reality, intermingled with personal and political memories. Ghosts from the past and the present macro and microcosms seem to populate this trip between Malmö and Stockholm. The migrant and/or trespassing identities present in the images separate alchemically into halves to be found and reconstructed as in an exciting treasure hunt of meanings, involving intimacy, current Sweden affairs and social policy, eerie landscapes. You can certainly recombine freely the photos and create your own personal path within the book, like skilled and imaginative hands playing Tarot. Or just sailing linearly through the pages and let the fragments speak their language to you.
I let myself merge and separate, again build, again overlap and stratify and decompose the images and the coupling doubles I kept on finding in the book and...I had to start again. And again. And again. What have I found? Nothing to undo. Each time a sense of wonder and discovery. Each time, irreversibly, a new piece of my alien self, attaching emotionally to paula and Maria’s double and fragmented journey. Have a good voyage into it, then. I am sure you will enjoy the whole trip(s).