Directly Above the Centre of the Earth, 2012: Artist Statement
This photographic series explores society's attitudes surrounding the definition of normalcy. Our lives and identities are constructed by a complex matrix of societal beliefs and customs defining what it means to be “healthy” or “normal”. These judgements delineate the limits of our being: our sexuality, our behaviour, our mental health - essentially, our willingness or ability to function as expected in Western democracy.
Instead of depicting a human form, these tableaux are constructed on a hospital bed, using found objects: a portrait series constructed of symbolic debris.
Directly Above the Centre of the Earth poses the same question that artists, writers and philosophers from Bacon to Whiteley, Burroughs to Bataille and Foucault to Deleuze have asked themselves for a century: how do I make myself a body without organs? Who has decided for me that my mouth is for eating, my anus for defecating, my blood for carrying oxygen? All these prescriptions restrict and delineate the “normal” use of our bodies and subsequently the locus of our thoughts and actions.
The series is an attempt to explore humanity at the boundaries of normalcy. Its title hints that it is possible to accurately describe one's position scientifically and rationally, whilst failing to resolve a single, “correct” meaning amongst a choice of interpretations: we are all directly above the centre of the earth, no matter where we stand: here, now, forever.