What led you to name your series “Fragility”?
The fragility of human existence, a beautiful concept despite its constant danger, is much like the fragility of a negative. These photographs stand as a reminder that at some point, we will break, but our bodies, no matter how “imperfect” we perceive them to be, are resilient, made to endure such difficulties. Even after sewing, the negative was never restored to its original state—it was still frail. Using a needle and thread to repair the deconstructed negative is a metaphor for our inevitable frailty as humans—it is a reminder that in the end, we are not broken, we are mended.
Are your techniques self-taught or learned from an outside source?
There’s no way I could have googled a lot of this stuff and learned it. I learned as a result of the resources that were available and the amount of time that I spent in the dark experimenting with obstructing my work. It was an escape. My teacher used to forge my mom’s signature and sign me out of class so that I could sit in the darkroom for 8 hours a day. The greatest part about my teacher is that if you fucked up, he would give you more paper, more tools, you wouldn’t get punished for it. He instilled in his practice that the most important thing he could teach students is to take risks. I would come to him with a crazy idea and he would say “do it” and then he would help me get the supplies for it. I felt a lot less free in college. I didn’t take my high school experience for granted because I knew what was going on. It was the only thing I was conscious of–I was obsessed. It was almost a chemical obsession. The smell was intoxicating to me and it made me focus. Especially when you don’t fit in, that chamber of solitude that is the darkroom is like no other.