by Viktoria Binges   ︎︎

What once was will never be

This project navigates a personal route through sudden and extreme severe illness. The first image, a self-portrait, is taken just after receiving a brain tumour diagnosis by letter on 4 June 2018. The obtuse wording of the doctor’s note led to a search online for an explanation and to the realisation that the meningioma was a tumour on the right optic nerve. I saw this initial image as the first picture of my last story. There were several layers of trauma to come as the original shock of diagnosis moved through an invasive operation and extended healing process. Each phase brought up different emotions, during which photographs were created as a form of reflection and security within the uncertainty.

Following the operation, the sight in my right eye was lost, and most of the photos were inspired by this newly reduced vision.  Different cameras were used according to the context or event, from spontaneous mobile phone shots to a picture taken with a Mamiya RB67 medium format film camera, imitating the slow process of healing.

Screenshots of a six-hour performance video entitled Holding It Together show the grim strength needed to deal with severe illness. This piece was inspired by the art of Marina Abramović, who often brings the most tender parts of life into focus.

Since sharing these images, others have responded to the raw honesty within them, opening up about their struggles. Through this process, the images can bring some sort of relief to the viewer.

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