The clown of Ingierstrand
I haven’t taken any clown pictures in ages. More than a year has passed since I last took out my make-up kit and painted red, fake smiles on someone’s face, turning them into solemn clowns. Then I was in the metro of the busy, bustling city of Buenos Aires, but these clown pictures aren’t from a faraway or remote place. They are taken almost “in my own backyard”. The beach where we would go for family outings when the weather permitted it when I was a kid. Wading in the shallows, splashing around with floaters thinking I knew how to swim, later biking there with friends, feeling all grown up, sunbathing on the rocks. This is the place where I destroyed my first cellphone by dropping it in the water, and the place where I first defied my fears and jumped from 10 meters.
And now this is the place where I returned to my clowns.
I know a lot of people don’t like it, they don’t like clowns, they find them scary, or they just don’t understand why I have to keep going on with this project “forever”, why I don’t just take the same pictures without the make-up on. But I wont stop, not yet. Not only do clowns fascinate me, how big painted smiles can accentuate sadness and melancholy so very well, how something – in many cases – intended to make people smile and laugh can create so much anguish and scare people to death, figuratively speaking. And also, I like the process of it. Of pushing people’s boundaries, of giving them a mask and see them bloom in front of the camera. I like to see how people around react, how they engage, how curiosity trumps over shyness or cultural norms and people come over and ask what’s going on. I like to put smiles on people’s faces (pun intended).
Also, it’s the continuity of it, of having a project to turn to, something that unites the me on my travels and the me back home, a constant.
With that said, here I give you Cassandra the clown: