I have spent more of my life on medication than not for ADHD. The medication I take possesses an extended-release characteristic, causing it to cycle on and off throughout the day. Initially, this resulted less in gradual peaks and valleys in my attention, and more in aggressive mood swings that violently took their toll on my day-to-day life. As the years went on, the effects of the medication eventually led to a complete lack of emotional autonomy, and in a demonstration of anger, and perhaps recklessness, I ceased taking my medication in the Winter of 2013, after twelve years.
I restarted on the lowest dose in September of 2018.
The work I make allows me to confront my relationship to the medication and foster greater comprehension of how prolonged use of it throughout my adolescence affects my interpretation of memories from my younger days. By using my camera as a means of digesting the places where these memories occurred, and the people that they occurred alongside, I am attempting to determine whether or not my emotional associations with these years may have been warped by the medication’s effects. The purpose of this work is to foster lucidity, and reinterpret my adolescence in a way that I hadn’t before these photographs were pursued.
Rafael Concepcion (born in Danbury, Connecticut, 1993) is an artist whose work primarily deals with intersections between personal history and human behavior. His interest in photography as a primary medium stems from his curiosity with the concepts of chance and impulse. Rafael is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Photography program, and currently lives and works in Boston, MA. You can view more of his work here.