Recontres d'Arles Collection
 

MEDICINE MAN : I'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU - 2013

In 2012 my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Coming from a religious background the family remained optimistic in hope of a miracle that would defy science and come to stand as a true testimony to the power of God. However no amount of anointing oil or prayers could save her life and she passed away leaving behind many possessions including the box of medication that was used to treat her cancer.

Caught between fantasy and reality I would dream of having supernatural powers like that of the ancient medicine men that could cure my motherís illness. I visualised the ending playing out like a Nollywood film where against all odds a medicine man would find a cure and save her life and the repercussions of his actions could be saved for another sequel.

Using the remaining medication the Medicine Man takes his form providing a gateway to revisit a fantasy I once took comfort in. It is the hand of my partner that carefully applies my tribalistic face-paint, adorns me with sacred charms then records this intimate moment.

This final stage of becoming and documenting the 'Medicine Man' has acted as a joint mourning-ritual and act of closure for both of us, exploring the boundaries between cultures, collaboration and shared experience.


Medicine Man is a collaborative portrait by Ohiri + Kassinen.