In August 2009 I wrote, about this image:
“Today I woke up feeling miserable and with a bad headache. My body felt tense as if I hadn’t slept all night. I was enraged at the whole world. I felt incredibly lonely, I desperately needed physical contact, tenderness, love. I went down to the basement and prepared my photo studio, even before a cup of tea. I didn’t want these feelings to go away or to lessen. I wanted to transform them completely into a photograph.
I took my clothes off and started to push out my rage, by imagining two people I was angry to, and I started to visualize myself hitting them hard with my fists, first one on my left, then the other one on my right. In the meantime I listened intensely to check if this emotion felt real and to find any other strong feeling I needed to express.”
I call this image “The Fury” , like the Furies or Erinyes in Greek Mythology, supernatural personifications of the anger of the dead, persecutors of mortal men and women who broke natural laws.
I can see my inner struggle coming out to light. I can see not one but two swords, as if I were King Aragorn cutting orks’ heads in the Lord of the Rings –I loved to see those scenes in the movie, and I dreamed being in his place…
I love my hair making the same shape as my right arm, both forming a diamond, with my suffering face in the middle. The diamond could make the rage and the pain precious, a concept Nietzsche knows too well -“My happiness has wounded me: all sufferers shall be my physicians to me”, and again “My enemies are too part of my happiness”, and one more “thus I do hunger for wickedness”.
In my tummy and my left arm I see two scars, with stitches –which I don’t have-, the wounds of previous battles. One is in the crease between the arm and the forearm, the place where I used to inject heroin as a teenager. The other one is just above my belly button, cutting my belly in half. That’s the region of the hara or guts, where all our energy comes from, where kids are conceived, nurtured and born. The area where all our passions and memories are kept, and where creativity comes from.
Using drugs means, to me, searching an epical quality which we don’t see in normal life. Normality is unbearable for drug addicts. Think about the name itself: heroin… pure epic. Teenagers need epic. We all need it, to give meaning to our lives. My daughter Diana says she feels desperately sad after watching movies like “the Lord of the Rings” or Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, because they are too beautiful and coming back to normality is very hard. But nothing, no drugs, no fancy cars or movies can really satisfy this deep need. We must find the epic in our normal life, in the many struggles and challenges that normal life brings, by making a homage to our own pain and suffering. By making a journey into ourselves and sharing it with a wide audience: this is epic.