PhotoSummer: Artist's Statement

Arista Slater-Sandoval

Parable of Hysteria

The threat, and eventual demonstration of physical pain is a strong coercive act. We may not be able to trust the confessions given but the pain is real.

Parable of Hysteria is an introspective examination on culturally conditioned aspects of femininity within the domestic sphere. Contrasting the realm of the home with images alluding to torture, the two fold nature of domesticity in contemporary life is exposed as oppressive, yet one self-enforced. With no one else present, I become my own judge, jury, and executioner.

Aptitude in traditional feminine faculties are tied to the ability to maintain hearth and home. The ideal of 'True Womanhood' may have been abandoned or radicalized for many, yet we are still indoctrinated with ideals held from the 1800s. Self-imposed expectations learned from the dominate cultural subconscious is louder than my feminist inclinations. I am not told what to do, but am compelled. Like a captive, I fall into my own Stockholm syndrome; agreeing to go along with domestic duties to pacify the psychological distress and waning self-worth that goes along with too many dust bunnies left under the couch. The work is not an impulse for martyrdom, as that implies a self-righteousness within every action of the domestic sphere, but a desire to pick apart the cacophony of contradictory voices speaking all at once.