The work Reflections was produced through three different reflective premises on what kind of meaning we give to hallucinations and what place they take in our culture and in our embodiment, since they are the basis of many of our folkloric traditions and the result of certain cognitive behaviours. I created a methacrylate screen where different reflections obtained from my research are laser-engraved: "To what extent have hallucinatory experiences given rise to our art, our folklore and even our religion?", "To what extent do closed eyes sleep, if not all open eyes see?" and "To what extent is it necessary to unveil the mystery of non-existent realities?". Each screen displays a text that is backlit by an LED at its base. Many of the phrases and ideas collected in this work are inspired by a paragraph from the book Hallucinations (2010) by Oliver Sacks, which reads as follows:
"Indeed, one must wonder to what extent hallucinatory experiences have given rise to our art, folklore, and even religion. Do the geometric patterns seen in migraine and other conditions pressure the motifs of Aboriginal art? Did Lilliputian hallucinations (which are not uncommon) give rise to the elves, imps, leprechauns, and fairies in our folklore? Do the terrifying hallucinations of the night-mare, being ridden and suffocated by a malign presence, play a part in generating our concepts of demons and witches or malignant aliens? Do “ecstatic” seizures, such as Dostoevsky had, play a part in generating our sense of the divine? Do out-of-body experiences allow the feeling that one can be disembodied? Does the substancelessness of hallucinations encourage a belief in ghosts and spirits? Why has every culture known to us sought and found hallucinogenic drugs and used them, first and foremost, for sacramental purposes?" (Sacks, 2013, p. 12)
All these phenomena occur during states of altered consciousness, either through hypnagogic states or activities that induce meditation or rhythmic patterns, although as we saw, they can also be produced by the ingestion of psychotropic substances inducing sensory enhancement or deprivation. According to David Lewis-Williams, such states combined with the capacity of Homo sapiens to recall images and sensations, may be a clear explanation for the emergence of certain social organizations and even religions themselves. In the paintings of the Lascaux cave, for example, where we can observe the adoption of a novel medium of communication, coupled with a corporeal embodiment of beliefs and their convictions (Lewis-Williams, 2015). Lewis-Williams further builds upon these notions, and argues that from the Neolithic perspective, religion itself may have its origin in brain functions triggered by altered states of consciousness (McKay & Whitehouse, 2015). Consequently, phenomena as the ones described above may be responsible for creating certain bases of art and verbal and pictorial representations that prevail in our culture.