Photo by Adolphe Pierre-Louis

Miguel Lastra

Hansei, coming from the eponymous Japanese practice of critical introspection or reflection, is an installation in which the very act of looking back is attempted. As I celebrate the month of my birth and the transition to a new saga in my life amidst a variety of crises, I challenge myself to gather objects of my present and past for reflection. I gather recycled objects from past work and knitted materials created in the present and form an archive that contains the voices of the objects’ innate histories and the history they carry as a result of my interventions as a maker. I ask myself, what do these objects mean now? How have the metaphors that I have prescribed to them in the past changed or hardened? What is wrong and what is right?

This visual instance of taking the past, deconstructing it, and presenting it as a personal history is a small scale exercise in accepting the triumphs and anxieties of what has occurred. It is a model for the ways in which societies should practice mindfulness in critiquing the deep past of ourselves, our communities, our governments, and the institutions that govern our bodies and minds. I am therefore proposing that perhaps change and progress begins in interior evaluations and branches out from the self.