Dissociating

This piece was my final project for my photography class – technically “black & white” photography class, but these are monochrome, analog-made prints either way. It’s meant as a representation of dissociation with ones own body, but also led me to a feeling of further connection with my art practice. I once was detached from myself and my art practice. I struggled through my first year of school because my work was made by a body in conflict with itself, like the hand was sort of detached from the rest. I sort of knew what I meant by the work and how I might make it, but it always seemed to confuse and let me down. I took negative critique to heart but didn’t know how to let that information cycle out of the heart into oxygenic fuel for my brain and hands. I was an artist’s body in pieces: the head detached from the heart, the hands cut off at the wrist, the eye lying on a table without the muscles to move, to see something new. The foot firmly pressed on the heart, pulsing up and down when frustrated by failure. The hand repeating its motions over and over. The eyes dried out and glassy. The head utterly confused without a body, no sense of gravity or direction or change in the breeze.

This body now works in unison. The entire system has been pulled back into one and learning to work as a team. The eye may still not quite recognize the rest of its body in one piece, but the brain can finally catch the vibrations of everything. The brain and heart keep each other in balance: blood, oxygen, logic, pain. Perhaps by using the hand to create and combine, one day this patchwork body will understand itself as one whole. The eye still does not recognize the torso, the limbs, the skin as its own. Like it was popped into the empty socket of a strange, alien body. Not totally unfamiliar, but a little off. If scraps of cloth can be harmonious and cohesive, then why can’t something that’s been in one piece the whole time?

To see the making of this piece in action, I invite you to watch this short film I created and I hope you enjoy it:

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