THE INVENTION OF HYSTERIA
In college I became interested in the notion that photographs could function as truth. The conflicting thoughts surrounding the idea of truth in photography inspired me to work with existing images that were already accepted as evidence, i.e. visual proof of an event. "The Invention of Hysteria," (taken from Georges Didi-Huberman book of the same title) is about re-contextualizing existing photographs, in order to reinterpret their meaning. By recreating the photographs of women considered insane and incurable who were committed to the Parisian hospital Salpetriere, I could question the validity of these historic images, and, in the case of hysteria, the disease as well.
Also photographing my classmates, I directed them in theatricalized spectacles inspired by the gestures and postures seen in the photographs of Paul Regnard, Albert Londe and medical clinician Jean-Martin Charcot from the late 1800s. This project emphasized the role photographers play in the making of evidence.