On Monday 13th June at 7pm in the CCA, Glasgow, I will be talking about my work on epilepsy made between 1993 and now. I will discuss (printed) media representation, stigma and myth within a broader context of photographic representation of disability (specifically epilepsy). I will frame this within a narrative of the responsibility of representation that photographers have and discuss how this work has informed my practice in general.
The first stigma is the medical label and experience of an illness or condition. The 'secondary stigmas' are the ones that follow and are mostly socially enforced.
In the series Secondary Stigmas (Living-room Lessons) the room plays out the experience of an epilepsy diagnosis. Impact on employment, emigration, driving and medication side-effects are some of the issues covered.
The series dates from 1993 and was shown within disability arts environments as well as 'mainstream' galleries and locations, including the European Parliament. This work predates the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and the latter Equality Act of 2010. What has changed with time and improvement of rights? Has the stigma in epilepsy dissipated or found new (or even old) outlets?
This is a page from inside the book Personal Myths: Little Stories in Epilepsy that I have put together. It will be part of an upcoming show "Beyond Epilepsy" in the Intermedia Gallery in the CCA and part of Glasgow Science Festival.
An image of my brain - the seat of my epileptic activity - and the cause of the misconceptions and prejudice that the book relays through the stories inside.
Thu 9 June – Sun 19 June 2016 Tue-Sat: 11am-6pm // Sun: 12noon-6pm // Free Preview: Wed 8 Jun, 6pm-8pm
I'm quite excited to have received some prints back from the lab for an exhibition at the Intermedia Gallery at the CCA next month. The work deals in stigma experienced in epilepsy and is one of three projects I have contributed to a show on Art, History and Epilepsy.
A longer post will follow which talks about this work....pretty soon.