Six years ago, Elisa Miralles wanted to peer into a volcano, following the legend of the Greek philosopher Empedocles, inventor of the four elements. The impossibility of reaching Mount Etna from the Sicilian town where she was staying compelled her to take a different tack in a project she has pursued ever since—a change in course which, in my opinion, was not so drastic. The town’s history is founded on werewolf legends, and Miralles set out to hunt for the wolf-man, a search carried out through photography and mirrored reflections, which has led her to discover and ponder her own ferocity as a woman in an elemental universe made of water, skin, and fire. The wolf’s jaws, like volcanic craters, symbolise one’s entry into the kingdom of shadows. The wolf is a dangerous, infernal animal. In contrast, the she-wolf, as in Rome’s foundational myth, is linked to fecundity in the best of cases, and to sexual depredation in others (she-wolf in Spanish is loba, from the Latin lupa, “prostitute”).
“As the time went by, Man ceased to be Man in order to become a woman. She was the she-wolf, who represented connection to our deepest instinct, the one which has always been contained, dominated by culture, religion, and the social conventions engraved on our DNA from the moment we are born. We live inside a membrane, a second skin that contains the part of us that is most animallike. I want to awaken that instinct, to liberate fury and desire. To experience Woman’s metamorphosis into beast, to embrace that shadow, to demolish taboos, connect with what is sensorial and organic, granting space to the body while overcoming shame and external judgements.”