Chiara Ernandes
Still Birth
10 March - 17 March 2020

“This work is meant to be an investigation, a search for another dimension in which my body has lived for three minutes.

I was born dead on the 8th August 1989.

Cyanotic and hypotonic, I was intubated and resuscitated by a cardiac massage.

After five minutes, my vital values stabilized.

Over the years, this event has taken on different meanings for me. It has always been hidden in a corner of my body. Abody that kept its secret, its absolute reasons and its unanswered questions. This very first episode of my life legitimized my oddities, defended my limitations, exasperated my desesperation and my being different and distant from the rest of the world. It supported my disobedience.

Then I felt the need to search for myself, to declare to my own self that I existed. I began to ask my body to attempt to remember where it had been, what language it had spoken while trying to begin its journey. I put myself in the shoes of a speleologist, an astronaut, a diver, a scientist, a researcher. I entered my sidereal craters, in my rocky calcifications, in the fusional dimension that time takes on when it does not exist.

I saw myself scattered in the light, I confused myself for a stone, I hid inside my mother’s from whom there could be no separation.

I started from death, by contradiction.”

Extract published by Yogurt Magazine in Conflitti e Rinascite anthology.

‘Still Birth’ will become a book published by Yogurt Magazine in 2021.

Chiara Ernandes (b. 1989, Rome, Italy) relationship with photography is a cathartic, conflicting and indispensable relationship: it is the tool that allows her to exist in the world most of all, the one that translates her perceptions and frees her memory, in a continuous exchange of signals and representations that build her emotional reality.

For almost a year she has been working intensely on a long-term personal project, still under development, which has clearly outlined the territories that she want to explore in her visual and artistic research.

The work is structured, in its debut, on what conditionings and consequences, real and imagined, have had a particular episode in my life. She was born with an emergency caesarean section and severe fetal pain that caused 3-minute death, forcing doctors to intervene promptly to save her life. For years she has considered this fact as an echo, part of a distant story, considered absentmindedly and unrelated to her personal story. Then, over time, this event began to take on a paradigmatic meaning, which gave rise to profound reflections, to big questions about her personal and family history, always so fragmented, discontinuous, painful. It has become her private allegory with ancient and universal roots, a personal cosmogony. She therefore began to investigate my past, to look for myself and to have the need to affirm her own existence, to register her passage in space; together she started to deepen different disciplines such as anthropology, neonatal psychology, medicine, astrology, declining the theme of birth and, implicitly, death, on different narrative levels to build a story that would allow the experimentation and freedom of expression of different media.

Hence the goal of her research, understood in a macroscopic sense, is the investigation of man, the personal construction of a literature that dwells and deepens the moments in which the primordial and archetypal human being became aware of himself, acquiring the awareness of existing.

Chiara is a content contributor at Yogurt Magazine and member of Funzilla Fest, a photo-zine festival based in Rome, Italy.