I wondered when my body would deflate
PLATFORM Centre for Photographic and Digital arts, Winnipeg, MB, 2018.
Every time she had a procedure she picked out a pencil as a prize. The size of her collection made visible the enormity of the illness. They joked that when they turned their backs she would sometimes stuff her pockets with more, an act of defiance in the face of something so imperceptibly large.
When I was eight and my hair was falling out I asked my dad if he would shave my head. He remembers this moment with vivid and painful detail. I do not remember the experience of him shaving my head. I don’t even remember asking him to do it. But I do remember not having hair. I remember the sense of loss and I remember longing for it. Afterwards, my hair was never long enough—a subconscious yet visible refusal of illness.
Through video, photography and sculpture I wondered when my body would deflate explores our relationship with our changing bodies within the context of illness. Specifically exploring hair as a site of strong emotive significance, the work contemplates the contradictions that exist within the societal constructions of hair and health. The exhibition highlights subtle, poetic and futile gestures of resistance to illness, while simultaneously wrestling with enduring bodily anxieties and complete lack of control.