BROKEN WHISKEY GLASS
what is this project about?
Over romanticizing life, thinking about how temporary everything is and how fast it’s gone are aspects of my personality that I’ve noticed throughout the years. I’ve always thought about how I’m going to look back at things that have changed as I have this nostalgic perception of the passage of time, life and everything in it.
Before creating this project, I was inspired by something I would constantly do at my maternal grandparents’ house. Before passing away, my grandfather Jorge had this wooden cabinet in which he would store all kinds of alcohol bottles, tobacco varieties and his domino set. Ever since I can remember, I would always crawl near the cabinet and would find myself there, smelling the particular smokey scent that the wood had caught from its contents. This is something I still do when I visit my grandmother but didn’t notice until a couple of months ago. I tried to figure out the reason why I keep coming back to that cabinet to smell it and reorganize the bottles, the tobacco boxes and the domino set, and I realized that it was just to remember when I used to do it as a kid and my grandfather was still around as the cabinet would smell of the vices and things he used to gravitate towards to.
The broken glass metaphor in the name of the project utilizes the “broken” concept of nostalgia as my melancholy is mostly premature since I focus on events that haven’t even happened yet, like me leaving New York and the life that I built here, even knowing I still have a year left in the city. The “whiskey” part of the name also works as a metaphor, utilizing this hard liquor that I could find not only in the wooden cabinet, but also in its distinctive smell to characterize how hard it is for me to digest and accept the fact that things change and that life goes on regardless of how you perceive it. This is one of the hardest pills I’ve had to swallow, as hard as it is swallowing whiskey for me.
To develop this project, I set myself some rules and restrictions. My main restriction was to not edit the pictures in any way, which was very difficult for me to do as a perfectionist since I always find myself adjusting aspects of images to improve the overall quality of the outcome. But, since I wanted these photographs to be as authentic, pure and raw as they could, I couldn’t alter the final result. I intended to strictly use polaroid photography as my medium to add the element of nostalgia as I also believe that, contrary to digital camera photographs, polaroid photographs give off a different tone of the moment that the camera is capturing. Also, polaroid photography is as spontaneous and unpredictable as life is. Being extremely careful to take the right picture and not waste any film, waiting for the picture to develop and see the final result is a process that you don’t have to go through when using a regular digital camera, which is why I believe that polaroid photographs are truly unique.
Also, there’s reasoning behind the particularities of the photos and the ways they’re taken. The reason why some pictures are taken from particular perspectives and awkward lighting, is all intentional to convey the imperfections of everyday life and to take into account the “good” and the “bad” aspects of it. The photographs provide an insight into my daily life in New York City, including some specific places and things I like to notice, some of them being ordinary or unnoticeable and others being wonders of the city. These photographs were taken between 2016 and 2019. The project will remain open/unfinished until my time in the city is over and will continue when I come back as it will be updated when possible.