The Impossibility of stitching a body on a scale of 1 to 1

Sewn fabric photographs, acrylic, steel, 6.5’ x 2’x 4’, 2017.

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.  

The line “A doctor is laughing, he’s done something wrong” continues to echo in my mind as a poetic explanation for a childhood horror. As a child I was haunted by the idea of an authoritative figure suturing my body into an unrecognizable form. Now I perform these same acts on a secondary, false body, which exists through photographs. Do these processes replicate the violence of this nightmare, or through performative means negate it? Within this context of illness, I am interested in 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 her body, the act, and the image.