Prick, Saccharine, Shatter

Michelle Peters

2018 - Ongoing

United States

Prick, Saccharine, Shatter is an attempt to grasp the spectrum of experiencing life through the lens of an anxiety disorder. The whole of the project is comprised of two working parts; the ebb and flow, the day and night, of laying bare the many facets of human sensuality and investigating the slippery landscape of the psyche. Drawn to the mysticism of the east coast landscapes I have grown up in, primarily New Jersey, I photograph to expose why anxiety vignettes not only my visual field, but my autonomy. I have always been amused by male photographers historically framing the open outdoors as spaces for mental clarity and transcendence, when they have been theaters of danger and harm since I was a young girl. Realizing my paranoia stems from my upbringing, I use photography to draw a circle around my relationships with my family to look in. How do I sit in my skin, how do I conduct intimacy with myself and others? I employ darkness in my work as a void and simultaneously everything that hasn’t come to light yet. I am interested in what transpires through investigation, and rather than succumbing to the darkness, I see it as my chance to relate to a haven, paranoia and all. The image plane enables a critique of gendered power dynamics, questioning who controls one’s history — specifically mine — and in turn allows me to rewrite it. Anxiety will never go away but it can be forced to reflect on the manner of its own existence, on the nature and role of its own capacity.

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