Artist Seeks Self-Injurers

In 2012 I posted an advertisement on the community section of craigslist titled, “Artist Seeks Self-Injurers,” and began meeting with individuals who have engaged in self-harm. Liberated by the knowledge of our shared transgressive behavior, we talked about this taboo without fear of judgement.

I asked each individual to share stories about self-harm. These photographs were generated from their experiences and our exchanges.

Self-injury is a visual practice that creates a physical record on the body. Photographs and scars both relate to memory, and can override memory, and jolt memories up out of your consciousness.  Like photography, the past is fixed upon a surface- the skin. The body becomes a record of emotions, experiences, and trauma.

The photographic sessions were meditative and intense. In public we were wary of being overheard, of being exposed. Secrecy is a characteristic of self-harm- and the act of photographing felt subversive. Ultimately, the process of photographing was a catalyst for my own and others’ healing processes. I found community and the belief that acknowledging difficult histories generates healing.

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Heathers_Van.jpg
       
     
8Erick'sArchive.jpg
       
     
9Leannet's Arm Healed.jpg
       
     
10Survivor.jpg
       
     
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7_lani.jpg
       
     
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17_shana.jpg
       
     
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19 Kathy.jpg
       
     
20Shirt.jpg
       
     
22Leannet close copy.jpg
       
     
6Cake.jpg
       
     
5Exploding Beer.jpg
       
     
13_erick.jpg
       
     
14_Train.jpg
       
     
23Hope.jpg
       
     
24Sarah'sBedroom.jpg
       
     
21Sarah1.jpg
       
     
26Dirty Dress.jpg
       
     
27Andrewflower.jpg
       
     
1Marisa.jpg
       
     
2Tin_house.jpg
       
     
3Leannets_arm.jpg
       
     
4Nick's_Mom.jpg
       
     
12Leannet.jpg
       
     
Heathers_Van.jpg
       
     
8Erick'sArchive.jpg
       
     
9Leannet's Arm Healed.jpg
       
     
10Survivor.jpg
       
     
11Broken_slide.jpg
       
     
7_lani.jpg
       
     
15_Box.jpg
       
     
16_andrew.jpg
       
     
17_shana.jpg
       
     
18_ragdoll.jpg
       
     
19 Kathy.jpg
       
     
20Shirt.jpg
       
     
22Leannet close copy.jpg
       
     
6Cake.jpg
       
     
5Exploding Beer.jpg
       
     
13_erick.jpg
       
     
14_Train.jpg
       
     
23Hope.jpg
       
     
24Sarah'sBedroom.jpg
       
     
21Sarah1.jpg
       
     
26Dirty Dress.jpg
       
     
27Andrewflower.jpg