“An accident is sacred. Do not let it escape. Observe it, analyze it, use it and learn from it”
My name is Agus Prats. On February the 1st, 2001, my life completely changed. I was walking away from an ATM in Barcelona's Joaquim Costa Street, number 35 and, in the darkness of the night, an unknown person thought I was a policeman and attacked me. He caused me a traumatic brain injury with severe neurological damage.
I was hospitalized for 9 months in the Vall d'Hebrón hospital. When I recovered the mobility of my left hand, I felt the need to write a diary. I was unable to describe my own emotions facing the dramas of the other ward mates who were there with me. My mobility got better and I was able to handle myself with a wheelchair. I asked for my small 35mm camera, an Olympus Mju II. I felt the urge of creating images and, through them, try to release my own stress. Writing and making photographs have been my salvation.
In 2015, due to a move, I lost my hospital diary and a very important part of my life went away with it. Desperate, I hit the streets to see if I can find it and, in a psychomagic impulse, I returned to the place of the aggression. When I was close, I got surprised that the same ATM was still there. I wanted to see myself walking away from it once again. With my pinhole camera, I took a shot of my reflection on its door.
This self-portrait gave me an idea: to roam along the road to the place where everything ended and started at the same time. All the way down, I was able to see myself reflected on every door and store window. I've got myself immersed in the concept of the looking-glass: as if I were in another reality unconnected to time.
A JOURNEY THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS
After watching my reflection, I decided to get back on doing street photography from the wheelchair. Because I needed both hands to move around, I came up with a system of anchoring my camera to the wheelchair and shooting by remote control without looking through the viewfinder. I get inspired by Moriyama's stray cat instinct and Joan Colom's technique.
Without any distraction, I shoot the street while connecting with the surroundings. I pictured the street as a great mirror. While searching for reverberations of what my mind was projecting outwards, I let myself be carried away by the idea of going through that mirror to find my lost diary.
I was trying to find a light from the past, the light from 2001, the echo of its reflection in the streets. ¿Is it possible that the things that had happened to us can be, in some way, reflected in our present as if it were distant stars in time? ¿Would that be the human memory? ¿Is it possible to capture its light?
I should have invoked something because my diary finally appeared.
THE MIRROR CHAIR PROJECT. The book
I want to make a book with all the pictures of that personal experience and I'm gonna need your help to print it. If you help me, you will get a signed copy, cheaper than its future retail price, and my eternal gratitude.
Print run: 500 copies
Measures: 220 x 270 mm.
Printing: Nova Era
64 pages + 7 tissue paper (with quotes)
Interior a 3+3 (2 blacks + Cool Gray) + reserve varnish
Paper: Tatami White 150 gr.
Binding: Hard-cover book with a tissue paper dust jacket
YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS WILL BE USED FOR:
The money will cover the print run and the shipping expenses of the rewards for our patrons. If we exceed the required amount, it will be destinated to our collaborators and to print some more copies of the book.
TYPES OF REWARDS
Different types of rewards on the right side of this page. All of them include a copy of THE MIRROR CHAIR PROJECT book. You can also purchase original pictures and limited edition facsimiles of the lost diary from 2001 and the second one I wrote in 2015, when I returned to the hospital to visit a relative and I lived that situation again but from the other side of the mirror.
WHEN WILL YOU RECEIVE THE REWARDS?
We expect the book to be ready by the end of September 2018. The second week of October, we will have an exhibition at C.C. Pati Llimona in Barcelona. We will give the books by hand to those who can approach. The other books will be sent by post throughout October 2018.
To Txema Salvans for being the origin and engine of the project, for believing in it and making it grow from the very first day.
To Sergi Opisso and Laura Estragués for shaping and designing it with their sincere dedication and affection.
To Andrés Hispano for sharing his thoughts which uplifted the vision of the project.
To Miriam Mantolan for her efficiency in translations.
And to Paco Gómez for believing in what exists behind the looking-glass, and don't ever think twice.