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/ TRAUMA /

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2015 I Sculpture and sound installation. Caisa Culture center. Plaster, resina, text and sound.

Exhibition Sculptur und Klang during the German cultural week.

 

This work is about the event of mental separation represented physically during self-destructive event in masochism. The text is a selection from the book by Doctor Diana Milia; Violent Creation, Self-Mutilation and Art-Therapy. The sound is produced when flesh is being cleaned around bones. 

Fragmentation, non-existence and development of self

 

When separation and individuation begin to occur, the process is necessarily a painful one, because separation is experienced as a narcissistic loss of magical potency. To counteract the loss in self-esteem brought about by this predicament, an attempt may be made to master the experience of pain through its denial and conversion into pleasure. Mastery of pain may also take the form of assertion of power as in the defensive identification with the aggressor, through the self-administration of pain. To maintain the sense of dignity, suffering can become a preferential mode of feeling, rather than a form of victimization. Pain may also become familiar, and the familiar can be felt as pleasurable. Therefore, the self-administration of pain can be a method of coping with the greater pain of loss of self-esteem associated with separation and loss.

 

Self-administration of pain may be positively employed as a means of initiating separation. Autonomous healing achieved with the painful splitting off of an unhealthy part of the body. The self-inflicted pain and wounding is not an end in itself, but an attempt to promote healing and the achievement of healthier and more autonomous state of functioning. It might also serve to delineate the skin boundaries of the self, as well as the body image. The discomfort of separation may come to be seen as a good thing, in that it can represent separation that has become to a degree self-regulated. While the pain of wounding and the act of cutting may serve to emphasize and promote the separation process, body parts and features of the ritual may take on the function of transitional objects to ease the pain of separation. The wound may become invested with some of the love and connection that is transferred during separation from the mother, or from the original object of affection.

 

Wounds, blood and scars are common examples of self-mutilation phenomena that can be used as transitional objects. The products of self-initiated violence may be invested with meaning, just as the blood and the ritual objects used in sacrificial rites become imbued with sacredness. The blood is permanently available, efficiently stored, and readily released source of warm and brilliant envelopment. The appearance of blood on the skin surface may help to clarify the sense of boundaries between inside and outside the body, and thus serve to strengthen self-integrity. The scar tissue that forms over the surface of the skin creates another layer to the body, a second skin that in a sense may provide a measure of extra containment and protection. The scars provide evidence of the worthiness of the individual, in overcoming painful tests of courage on the path to growth and healing. Like medals of honor, the scars tell stories of hardship, suffering, struggle and heroism. The altered, battle-scarred body exists as a living witness to the power and triumph of the mind and spirit over suffering.

 

The skin is the primary container of the body, and the degree to which the body and its contents feel good may depend upon the earliest experiences of touching and holding. Communication with the outside world occurs through sensations of the skin. A good experience of being held promotes trust, and a sense of unity and wholeness. With a bad holding experience the skin may fail to contain the body, and deep distrust may combine with feelings of disintegration, and the terrifying sensation of falling into the abyss. To cope with the terror of disintegration, compensatory structures may develop as forms of substitute or metaphorical containment, identical to a second skin. In order to separate from another person, ritualized behaviors may develop to bridge the gap or the abyss of separation. Ritualized movements are intended to create an unbroken chain between the self and another person. The scar tissue created, is in reality a second skin that may provide a symbolic function of adding protection and extra containment to the self. The appearance of blood upon the skin surface is said to provide relief in terms of delineating the skin boundaries of the body, and giving reassurance of existence, through the sight of the lifeblood. Since pain sensations are often diminished or absent during these episodes, the shocking sight of the blood becomes an important visual clue of existence.