Artist Interview > Nika De Carlo

Artist Statement

I am a survivor of the opioid crisis. My in-process series, “See You In Heaven”, started as a self-documentary. My camera first became a tool to examine and reason with myself and my addiction, which grew into a means of comfort, escape, denial, and desperation. While photographing myself, I turned my camera onto another person who was also entrapped in it: my partner. I chose to photograph ourselves together as an attempt to cope, to better understand the heart of the disease, and most importantly, to realize the power it had on us. Through photographing myself and my partner repetitively, I created a visual diary that traced the shifts of our intimacy and distance, which seemingly paralleled with our relapses and attempts at recovery. As the series grew, I found myself discovering a common theme: a sense of waiting and loss. In the manipulative heart of addiction, love for another is overpowered by this, emptying and refilling oneself with a venomous weight of loss of control. By creating these photographs, I found myself gaining some of that control back. After years of photographing our shared experiences, I am now continuing the series to also record our shared recovery. Laced with fragments of the past and hope for the future, “See You In Heaven” is a tender and honest depiction of our relationship with each other, the grip of addiction, and the journey that comes after.

See You In Heaven