Seeing Me, Seeing You 2020
“Seeing me, seeing you” is a video piece focused on trauma and internet usage/consumption. Through this project I’m trying to understand the relationship we have with the internet once we have experienced sexual and emotional trauma. We are fed idealized versions of how people should be portrayed on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. which makes me wonder, why do we tend to show and reveal ourselves on a platform where we can also hide and alter our identities? I want to reflect on my personal experience with social media if it has been a force of extreme positivity or of extreme detriment when sharing traumatic experiences. The relationship I have with the internet has helped me cope with reality but also distance myself in a way that I question the space I take up online.
“Seeing Me, Seeing You.” came into creation in 2016, where I began documenting myself on an almost daily basis using my laptop. This methodology of capturing images of myself comes from a place of not having the initial space for expression within my family or friends. Growing up in an abusive environment and experiencing multiple events of sexual assault (not experienced in the home), it made me dependent on the only way I found I could express my experiences. I resorted to the internet. At the age of 13 I learned about the dark depths of the internet. Having exposure to very explicit images of mental illness and sex work, it made me believe it was a safe space that I could belong in. I implicated myself into this community of people because I was searching for validation and acceptance from others that I didn’t find in the physical reality we live in. This personal experience with the internet was the start of my ongoing project that at the time I didn’t realise it would come to being what it is today. I have accumulated over a thousand videos and images of myself in different states of life. Through my self-portraiture I want to bring forward open conversations of mental health, trauma, sex, appreciating the naked body and our own fantasies. I’m using my laptop to capture the “truth” which is full of contradictions. The sexual body versus the natural. The sadness versus the happiness. The mundane versus the fantasy. I'm wondering, when you're watching me are you seeing yourself?
*These two images are meant to be shot in 4x5 but due to the restrictions of developing right now, iphone will suffice*