Ruin, decay, chaos, darkness, pit of perdition where martyrdom meet with darkness and decay. Abyss that is the vortex of chaos and the underworld of hell itself. Barathrum is the thin line between fiction and reality, fear and delusion; consciousness and subconscious. Desires and actions that lead to places never imagined before; or doomed in the company of dying bodies and minds. Would be then a condition created and guarded by ourselves in the eternal labyrinth of the mind?

Before being a visual narrative and, Barathrum emerged in words at a moment of extreme confusion. Words from my personal abyss came out at once, dramatic and anguished. This text was the kickoff for what later would be visually translated to an obscure narrative, labyrinthine, which sought to alleviate a confused and troubled time living at the period.

I shoot mainly in digital and edit in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I think my work is more about walking and finding the images I really need for a project than editing it. When I’m out shooting I already have an idea, a feeling, a texture of the image I want to capture. For Barathrum I wanted to find that darkness and agony around me, and with an old school film visual like photographers Josef Koudelka, Machiel Botman and Michael Ackerman.

Every project that I’ve done or I’m doing is a way to understand my work and myself. Barathrum is a moment of my life and a project that I’m glad doing it, I needed to do it. I really don’t know why people like it so much; maybe it talk to then in a certain way that they never imagined, unconscious, or it’s only about the mystery around these photos and the publication itself. People might just dig into the strange story or just the unexpected images.

Barathrum is not only about the images and the text, it’s a texture and a feeling. In response to that I wanted to print it and trying to make alive. It can be viewed as an ordinary print, as well as a visual narrative in which the folds form new stories, such as walls of a labyrinth.

Rafael Roncato

Rafael Roncato (b.1989) is a Brazilian photographer and visual artist from São Paulo.