Birth Death Psychedelics

Artist Blog by Marzena Abrahamik

BIRTH DEATH PSYCHEDELICS, is an experimental photographic series that draws from transcending experiences in birth, death and psychedelics. The photographs combine ordinary experiences that reference indistinguishable moments of clarity, connectedness, spiritual ecstasy and transformation. BDF, reflects an exploration of the intricacies within human relations that are rooted in high and low pleasures (bodily and intellectually), and how birth, death and psychedelics are revisited through memory, historically and culturally. I am interested in these ordinary experiences as they can set in motion a transformation or profound disorientation. The meaning of the photographs, morphs as the experiences travel through memories, attachments, dreams, and changing bodies; the significance is abstruse, pointing to what the details in a landscape, a point of focus in a still life or a gesture in a portrait can offer. My supporting research for the project includes the work of Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof and engages with a 2011 study by the J.Hopkins School of Medicine, which stated that 94% of participants who received psilocybin reported the experience as 1 of the the top 5 most meaningful experiences of their lives such as the birth of a child or death of a loved one. The sequence of the photographs study how a composition of a romanesco can function next to a portrait of a mother nursing a toddler, via a fractal consideration of a bond’s inevitable breaking.The patterns of the fractal also reference formulation of memory through the psychological concept of mastering trauma, in which we need to continuously re-create trauma in order to master it. Through images of water, the photographs render the empty feeling that you get when attempting to comprehend the finite universe, or how self-imposed othering creates separateness and isolation-or is it the other way around?

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