Absent in Body

Absent in Body is a personal series where I question my own existence. This story tells about an existential dilemma where I see myself as both existent and non-existent, as an entity and a nonentity, as present and absent.

Each photograph is the source of a purposefully subjective narrative that I took when experiencing relapses, yet there is no attempt to fetishize or glorify mental disorder. There seems to be evidence of the unexplainable and the unknowable, marked by melancholy and anomalous visuals. My photographs portray the meeting of nightmares and reality.

Existential dilemma is a sense of confusion that arises from within. One of our greatest fears is losing our senses. But what happens when people's lived sense of the present is lost? Is it still possible for them to be considered human? What exactly are they?

Of the many perplexities, the most distressing question is whether one can doubt one's own existence, to wonder if one exists or not. Is it true that I am awake or that I am still sleeping in my bed? Is this real or is this a dream? Do I exist or am I just a phantom? Too many questions yet I have all the answers. That I am here but absent from my body.

I never felt truly present until the moment I stared at both of my hands, an extension of myself, for a second to an hour. Hands are proof of existence. Touching, feeling, and holding: hands are the most visible and utilized parts of the human body, performing a multitude of roles that allow human to choose how to interact with life: to love or to harm, to save or to kill.

Through photographic images, I could see a reflection of the world that seemed to exist at the same time as me. And at the fact that I was a part of such a life, a life that had entirely consumed me, therefore, I know I exist. But where have I gone?