Some of my photography from the past few years expresses themes of self-erasure.
Here I have collected some images from the past few years that express feelings of self-erasure in different ways. It was not my conscious choice to continually return to this theme, but it was just a way to process difficult experiences that I was having during those times. It is notable that, in all the images, the faces (and sometimes bodies as well) are hidden, obscured, or manipulated in some way. This echoes the loss of self or soul death that results from trauma or abuse. The images express the feeling of being in relationship with someone who does not see one's inner existence.
𝘚𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦. 2017. 120mm film.
Clouds of white tulle mimic the effects an eraser would have if taken directly to the surface of the photographs.
𝘞𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥. 2017. 120mm film.
Black paint is blood-like, a tactile and visual experience of pain and wound.
𝘞𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥. 2018. 120mm film with digital manipulation.
Subjects physically manipulate their own bodies, deforming them, mutilating them, disemboweling them. The digital manipulation of these shot-on-film photographs echoes the manipulation of the self that one experiences in harmful or abusive relationships.
The grief toward which these images point is actually the locus of healing. We need to go deeper into our grief and give it our loving attention in order to heal. Although these images tell of the obscuring of the spirit, the light within is never lost. No matter how many dark clouds obscure the sun, it is always still there, even if we can't see it yet.
Note: Alan Robarge's videos on attachment trauma have greatly enhanced my own understanding of abusive or unhealthy relationship patterns and trauma - if you are looking for more information about that, please check them out.
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