Affectional Places

ART ESSAY

A wanderluster in her own city.

Words by & artwork by Paula Coraline


I grew up in Belo Horizonte, in Brazil. There are a lot of waterfalls near Belo Horizonte, and so my parents would take me to visit these almost every weekend. I spent a lot of my childhood in contact with nature; discovering new and beautiful places I’ll never forget. Naturally, I became a wanderluster from a young age. It’s no wonder then, that at just 19, I decided to take a long trip to Europe.

 

I got happily immersed in unknown streets. I felt amazed by the differences, the culture, the cities themselves.  From the beginning, I could already tell this trip would change me but, more than that, it left something inside me. Like a seed I tried watering every day thereafter.

Three years have gone by and I caught myself looking at everything I collected there: maps, tickets and even receipts. Inspired by psychogeography, (as Guy Debord once defined it “”the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals”) and determined to let go, I started creating this body of work.

 

The bonds of affection with these places were renovated through the deconstruction of  maps and the collage of photographs and other emotional memorabilia. As if, just now, am I undressing this experience and hanging the cloak of wanderlust in a dedicated display.

But there is more: in layering and mixing the affectional places with maps and photographs from the city I live in, a visual parallel was established between these two places: one of affection and the other of survival. One of exceptionality and the other one of everyday life. Although the city I live in does not present itself with an invite to wanderlust, I’ve learnt through contemplation and the feeling of letting go to deconstruct monotony and to create affectional places in my daily life. I am now complete when the two intertwine, and the sense of amazement and self-discovery of the once-in-a-lifetime event is carried within me in the city I live in.

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Paula Coraline lives in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. For her, photography is a way to reiterate reality. Her recent works explores memory and she's also doing a research around photography and transgression.