Regina Parra

But I Truly Fear It, 2018, oil on paper, 30 x 22 inches, photo credit: Everton Ballardin

‘Truly I do Fear it’ is one of Ophelia’s lines from the play Hamlet by Shakespeare. Ophelia’s passive, drowned body returns in this series of self-portraits, challenging canonical and reductive notions of beauty and female identity.

I chose this work because it somehow translates a series of ambiguous and almost uncommunicable feelings that I have been experiencing during this Covid crisis. Ophelia is a character surrounded by this terrible threat:  the threat of losing control. At the same time, during all the play, she tries to remain calm and lovely — as she is often described — despite being so close to death. In this series of paintings, there is a certain flirting with death, a consciousness of mortality. And of course, the silence that comes with it. This silence has been my companion since this crisis started. And I am pretty sure it will stay with me when this is over.

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