Possession (n): the condition of having or owning something; something that is owned by someone
1. law: the crime of having something that is illegal (such as a drug or weapon)
2. the act of having or taking into control or occupancy of property without regard to ownership
3. an instance of having control
4. something that is owned, occupied, or controlled
5. domination by something (as an evil sprit, a passion, or an idea)
6. a psychological state in which an individual’s normal personality is replaced by another; self-possession/ self control
7. a territory subject to foreign control
“It would be wrong to say the soul is an illusion, or an ideological effect. On the contrary it exists, it has a reality, it is produced permanently around, on, within, the body by the functioning of a power exercised on those that are punished”
Possession: A Selection of Souls is an interdisciplinary exploration of the body, “soul”, or essence, and identities that exist within the human experience. It questions ownership of our bodies. Do we posses our identities or do our identities possess us? What aspect of our being truly defines who we are? How does our soul exist in reflection to our body and mind? Using narrative fabrics and reframing the human body through photography, I wanted to draw attention to the ways in which society imposes stories on others and express the difficulties of personal expression and understanding with these expectations. I chose the word possession to bring attention to the physical and metaphysical ownership of the self and the body as well as the outside, unknown entity that has this ownership.
The final piece consists of a series of printed fabrics and photographs:
The fabrics shown are narrative prints divided into two categories; the souls and the skins. The souls reflect various stages of my awareness, starting with birth/rebirth (creation) to soul/skeleton (physical awareness) thrown/crown (mental awareness). The skins reflect different representations of how I see my black body understand it at different times in my life in accordance to the world around me.
The photos shown are apart of a performative exploration of the human experience. Each volunteer, coming from a different race, sex, gender, orientation, and background was given a series of questions and tasks to perform while being photographed. In this process, they were wrapped in two fabrics, painted clay to remove their identities, and asked to perform different emotions and sensations they were feeling while they were going the experiment. My goal was to capture movements solely unique to that individual as opposed to a movement mimicked or performed.