I want you to see me. No, really see me. Not just look at me but also see me. Pick me apart piece by piece and then put me back together. These are the subtleties that distract people when they interact with me, what makes them consider me in a new light when first discovered. Possibly these are the parts of my body that will cause judgment and reaction. Carolee Schneemann’s performance art as she uses her own body as a canvas has inspired the use of my own body within my work. I have selected what sections of my body to share with the public yet I have no control over how they will perceive it. The viewer is able to construct a character from these fragmented bits of my individual self. I am giving up control to those inspecting these smaller parts of what makes me a whole person.
These are various elements of my body that come together as I feebly strive to create an individual being in this sea of bodies wandering the earth. Nietzsche, among others, theorizes how humans place great importance on the gratification of being acknowledged as an individual yet we are abruptly halted by a tragic contradiction. Inevitably we can never be anything more than what others perceive us to be. As we all share an earth, the world that we know is only constructed through our personal experiences. In addition, we take into account how others treat us to help form our identities. It is a vicious circle in which we are playing the pathetic role of seeking successful identities that we construct. With the consideration that a person is limited to other’s perception of them, I acknowledge how I am bound to the stereotypes in which others place me. Through this acknowledgement I am free to let go of any concern of how I display myself. Ana Mendieta’s focus on identity and her simplistic renderings of the female form have impacted the humble images of my body. The small photographs force the viewer to get closer to the images creating a more intimate experience. In addition, the movement of the display creates an active audience rather than a docile viewer. Having an active viewer allows for the consideration that their perspective of me is what creates my identity, not just how I choose to present myself. I have used a reverse lens technique to take close up images of my skin to get better detail. This is not only a study of the body but it also reverses perspective of judging others. I am investigating my own body to allow the viewer to acknowledge how we construct an identity for those we interact with.