Through photographs, video and sculpture my work focuses on issues of representation and materiality inherent in the medium of photography. I work with fabric photographs of my own body, cutting, sewing, stuffing and re-photographing. Through these physical manipulations of the fabric, the photographs become moldable, textural, and versatile objects. I attempt to reconstruct the original body from these distanced photographic sources, the product a strange convoluted reference to the body, their awkwardness more tangible than successful references to reality.
Through my work I fixate on this frustration, how can I physically manipulate two-dimensional images so they hold a stronger relationship with their original source? By privileging the flat mirror (whether as an object or as a mechanical component within a camera) and the flat photograph for our understanding of our bodies, we have created for ourselves a false two-dimensional body. I’ll never see my own body- in totality-through images. What does my body look like? I’ll never really know that. Through fluctuation between the object and image, I attempt to emphasize the extent of loss within these attempts to reconstruct the body in a flat form.
The performative process of my real physical body interacting manipulatively and in part aggressively with my represented body led me to make the connection between my work and a recurring nightmare I had as a child.
A doctor cut me up. He was trying to help me, supposedly, he then attempted to put me back together, but he sutured my body into an unrecognizable form. I was alive and cognizant, but my body no longer held the same relationship with what I had previously known.
I still have the line “A doctor is laughing, he’s done something wrong” echoing in my mind as a poetic explanation for a childhood horror. As a child I was haunted by the idea of a man attempting to suture my body back together, and failing in such a devastating wholehearted way, what now are the implications of the process of me sewing my own form? This painful delusion makes apparent an anxiety over the complete lack of control for what was happening to my own body. Within this context of illness I am interested in this connection between the physical body, and representations of the body. Considering anxiety over representation as a further perpetuation of anxiety over the real body, and the interconnectedness in these general sentiments of feeling as if others have control – be it of your image or of your physical body. By taking on the role of photographer, subject and orchestrator, I take agency over my body, the act, and the image.