Castle of Innocence delves into the imaginative space of the Children’s Museum of Costa Rica and its cultural heritage as the former Central Prison to examine the power dynamics present in the control of narratives and perception of history.
By working with archive material from the prison period, staged reproductions of the prison’s cells, and symbolic objects and environments from the Children’s Museum, the project questions the historical use of photography as a document of truth, the role of memory in the reconstruction of identities, and the influence of the past in our relationship with reality.
The project uses a nonlinear narrative to confront the imprints of trauma and violence from the building’s past as a prison with the illusory environments from the museum’s current context. This strategy creates a new space for interpretation in which apparent reoccurrences and contradictions arise, the boundaries between reality and fiction start to dissolve, and a renewed sense of place-identity surfaces.
The imagery that constitutes the series develops an ominous atmosphere associated with the secrecy of information and the creation of myths; various leitmotifs are used, such as the repetition of artifacts related to the examination of knowledge or the analysis of gestures within the archive material through image juxtaposition and intervention.
The study of the Children’s Museum provides ground for a reflection on the passivity of our gaze towards images, the relevance of imagination in our understanding of reality, and the liminal space between protection and control in our current post-truth era.
All images ©Joel Jimenez