My practice centers on ideas of disordered eating, ritualistic consumption, and decay. The images created are intended to explore the idea of food as play and how that interaction is traumatic for me; as someone who has and still struggles with an eating disorder. Initially, the process of constructing these compositions served as a means of recovery yet, as I continued working in the studio, I became more conscious of the methodology for the arrangement that I had developed. While hesitant to show my body at first, I assumed a necessary posture of vulnerability. In doing this I am tying into the theory of mimetic desire. As long as we are not provided with a goal worthy of our emptiness we will copy the emptiness of others. The “other” I appeared to be copying was always the most complete version of myself. In constructing these images, I navigate between actions of severing and splicing to deconstruct my assumed attitudes towards eating and introduce new behaviors of seeing and chewing.
This project began as an earnest attempt to explore my relationship with food. It has since adapted to accommodate an exploration into how my eating disorder has preconditioned my body to develop life-long additional conditions I had not previously thought possible. As I believe my diagnosis is enduring, so too is the continuation of this series.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
My name is Jamie and I’m from Baltimore, MD. I am a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography and a minor in Japanese from Brown University. I have an emotional support dog who is a four-year-old Shiba Inu named Azuki; we go everywhere together. I am a lover of all food, but especially pastries and bread. I am also an artist who is obsessive in her efforts to define a capricious relationship between food and the body, as influenced by disordered eating and ritualistic consumption–in my case, Judaism.
Having always been extremely shy and reserved, photography has allowed me to be selective with how I express myself. To hone in on precisely what I want to show the world about me. My creative process has changed significantly in the past 6 months as I grapple with a new diagnosis, specialist visits, numerous prescriptions, and altogether way too much poking and prodding. As I gradually work through the symptoms of this autoimmune disease, I am exploring with my camera how best to understand my condition and honor my experience.
© Jamie Bernstein