This Photo Proves My Existence, 2015

This photo installation examines exclusionary practice.
It unfolded as I was manipulating the images and caught my own thought process.

***

I purchased these Victorian portraits of unknown women by the pile.

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Disappearing into nothingness but preserved.

I arranged them as individuals.

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Thinking about feminist identity historically,

I composited the many women into one face.

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But, in this stack of photos was the picture of a baby.

And, when I looked closer, a woman emerged from the background.

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 My heart burned with shame that I did not see this woman before;

just as the early photographers had intended.

I hear Sojourner Truth.

“Ar’nt I a Woman?”

1851

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