"4 As for your birth, on the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water; you were certainly not rubbed down with salt, nor wrapped with blankets. 5 No eye took pity on you to do even one of these things for you to spare you; you were thrown out into the open field because you were detested on the day you were born." -Ezekiel 16:4-5
This bible verse speaks about the innate, condemned nature of man, and got me thinking about the symbolic uses of water and salt in the bible: renewal, purification, wisdom, cleansing, transformation.
This piece as a whole is a self portrait specifically dealing with the idea of cleansing, or rather the inability to figuratively cleanse myself. Through literal representation - being covered in dirt and mud, taking a "bath" in a bathtub that obviously is fake and removed from the context of a bathroom - I'm symbolically and visually addressing my present state of mind. I grew up extremely religious and have now strayed far away from my heavy, Evangelist upbringing; even still, much of what I was told and much of what I believed, which is now way in the back of my mind, still penetrates my life in a big way. It causes me to doubt my sexuality, the people I love intimately and my morals. So it's because of this that sometimes I still loathe my reality and wish to rid, strip and ultimately "cleanse" myself of the person I've grown into. Interestingly, this idea works both ways, because I also wish that I could wash away all of which makes me question whether what I am is "dirty".
16x20 gelatin silver print, self portrait
16x20 gelatin silver print
Installation shot of the piece
Close up installation shot of the bathtub
Bathtub: water, dirt, blue-green hair dye