Phantom Limb

Concrete Tree

Untitled

Residual

Sunken

Chopped

Taped

Unrepairable

Dislocated

Posted on: May 3, 2019
Views: 472

Description

The work I make is often a direct reaction to things I face day to day in my personal life. My thesis body of work, Phantom Limb is a personal diary and narrative of my life. My biggest influence is the emotional confrontations I have faced surrounding my previous partner Elijah. I met Elijah six years ago and he has been the biggest influence on my life and on my work. On February first two thousand eighteen, Elijah had a nervous breakdown and decided to end his life by committing suicide. That morning my entire world shifted. Paramedics were able to revive him and rushed him to the hospital where he spent the next sixty five days hospitalized; in and out of a comatose state. This traumatic event completely changed my outlook on life and the way I made photographs. I started to make this body of work, Phantom Limb, as a response to not knowing what to do or how to react properly during the very early days of his hospitalization when we were not sure what his outcome would be. I was trying to find answers to questions no one seemed to have for me. I turned to objects that stood in as representations as myself and the inner feelings of trauma, guilt and death I was battling. I am drawn to these everyday objects due to the lack of normalcy I have been experiencing in my domestic lifestyle with my partner. I am looking to these items in search for some form of stability that has been lacking in my life since Elijah?s suicide. I felt as though I had been abandoned, left behind by the most important person to me, but these objects, even though most are imperfect and damaged, still remained in my life constantly. I choose to photograph these things all to show how common trauma can be and that I did not have to directly show myself within the photograph for others to understand what trauma can visually look like after experiencing a loss like this.




Rachel Suzanne Monegue

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BFA Student

Major: Photography

Graduation Year: 2019


Artist Statement:

I am using photography to navigate through personal trauma and grieving by exploring everyday mundane domestic objects and landscapes as representations of myself. I make very personal work, and use photography as a visual dairy and narrative of my life. The work I make is often a direct reaction to things I face day to day in my personal life. My thesis body of work, Phantom Limb is a personal diary and narrative of my life surrounding my previous partner Elijah's suicide this past year.
I chose to make this thesis body of work Phantom Limb, in order to navigate through my personal trauma and grieving by exploring these mundane domestic objects and landscapes as representations of myself and my soul. Most of the still lives I photograph are found objects in the world, and act as an analogy for the grieving that surrounds me constantly in my daily life. These things all represent how common trauma can be and that I did not have to directly show myself within the photograph for it to be seen as a self portrait as well as what trauma can visually look like.
I am drawn to these everyday objects due to the lack of normalcy I have been experiencing in my domestic life. I am looking to these things in search for some form of stability that has been lacking in my life since Elijah’s suicide.
For me photography was the thing I turned to in order to be able to speak out about such an emotional and challenging topic in order to begin to understand for myself as well as for others outside it. Making Phantom Limb offered me a way to grieve a tragic event and start to properly cope and move on, and to connect to others experiencing similar feelings.

https://portfolio.meca.edu/
https://portfolio.meca.edu/