the mechanics of fate
Childhood trauma can leave people with a subconscious hope they continue to cling to as adults. This hope tells them if they can change themselves into a more adequate person by being good, nice, flawless, pleasing, voiceless, accommodating, etc. they will gain love and acceptance and fix their trauma by getting the emotional needs met denied them in childhood. But this hope is a distorted childlike hope, and can lead people to unconsciously seek out familiar, but emotionally damaging friend, work, or partner situations with people who have similar traits to those who originally caused the trauma. Believing this time things will be different, they ignore the truth of the situation, and cope with the familiar subconscious narrative the way they’ve always known how.
Through a combination of color, materials, print, and collage, this work takes a look at the idea of repetition compulsion and the subconscious employment of unhealthy hopeful childhood coping mechanisms within it. Using personal photos from childhood and adult life for the abstracts, and found photos for the figurative, every piece in the work is created from silhouettes of figures, outlines of those figures, or cut up pieces of both. Black and white is used to represent the past, while color represents the present. The pieces are either printed or mounted on two separate clear sheets (abstracts), or paper and clear sheet (figurative), forming separate layers of past and present that look like one. These layers come together to create a meshing of the often invisible past and present at play in repetition compulsion. Forms of plastic are used as a reflection of the lasting childhood wound and its enduring effects. The white background represents the vast underlying well of hope, while chaotic and distorted collages, with reminiscent childlike color, are a window into the fragmented thought and feeling processes of the naive wish for a new happy ending.