On April 22nd, 2010 a young man of seventeen attempted to rape me in the woods along the outskirts of Jerusalem in Israel. Over the first three years following the assault, I suffered from numerous symptoms that affected me both psychologically as well as physiologically. My startle response was heightened and extremely sensitive, illusions of danger occupied the corner of my eyes vanishing the moment I looked, anger and aggression would erupt in the face of conflict, my limbs experienced random muscle spasms, and an abnormal level of heat constantly emanated from my body. The list goes on, but over the last three years, the symptoms have lessened, decreasing both in frequency and intensity, yet still continue to intrude upon my daily life. Upon entering graduate school, I realized that the time had come for me to address in my work how my life continues to be affected by the lasting manifestations of this event.
Informed by my own personal experience of surviving a sexual assault, Residual Affect is a multimedia series incorporating still photographic images and video to communicate ideas about the aftermath of trauma; a trauma that has long-lasting psychological ramifications; turmoil that doesn’t end with the completion of the traumatic event itself. The images and video within this series explore themes of perception, disorientation and restriction to create a larger dialog about the enduring psychological effects of a perceived life-threatening event; effects that bleed through into everyday life.
While the actual traumatic event is the catalyst for the shocked and stressed mental state of anyone who suffers a psychological trauma, it is the effects, how they manifest psychologically and behaviorally, and the continued impact on the lives of those who suffer that this work addresses. With that being said, over the course of a lifetime, most people will experience some sort of traumatic event, whether it be the death of a loved one, a serious accident/injury, a natural disaster, etc. Regardless of the actual event, everyone will endure moments in their lives that dramatically alter their sense of reality, their sense of security. Residual Affect explores the physical and psychological landscapes of this altered reality.