Emily Schiffer

2021 - Ongoing

At 16, six people in my family died and I followed an all encompassing drive to make photographs. I didn't think in words as I worked: photographing friends underneath huge plexiglass sheets splattered with dirt and leaves, or using projected images to light portraits. When I looked at those finished images and saw I’d created the illusion of being buried alive, or ghosts inside people, I realized I was releasing emotions I couldn't articulate.

Twenty four years later, during the Covid-19 pandemic, I've started following a similar wordless drive to paint, draw, sew, and collage on images I've taken of my family over the past decade. Altering my images enables me to hold space for the histories and struggles and triumphs my family members have lived. I am exploring the space between connection and disconnection; youth and aging; health and sickness; community and individualism.

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PhMuseum Days 2023 Open Call

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