Fragmented Self (2015)

Fragmented Self metaphorically portrays the process of loosing one or more part(s) of one’s Ego.

This work explores the process of dissociation, whereby one is confronted with a distorted and fragmented identity, or split Ego. Pieces of the self split off, resulting in fragmentation; and these fragments we no longer identify with or hold onto, as they usually get suppressed. This usually happens when a traumatic event occurs.

When adversity strikes, defense mechanisms such as dissociation can occur to help us cope. Dissociation breaks the coherent sense of identity, usually because the person disconnects from some part of themselves or from the environment. The inability to integrate past and future Self into the present, even momentarily,  produces conflicting emotions and pain. Steinberg and Schnall (2001), define dissociation as “an adaptive defense in response to high stress or trauma characterized by memory loss and a sense of disconnection from oneself or one’s surroundings.”

This series of visual metaphors, which represent the process and effects of being ‘fragmented’, compel the viewer to explore and imagine what their own feelings of fragmentation might feel like. The objects are rearranged to create ‘assemblages’ which depict the painful process of the Ego being broken into pieces, split-off, discarded, churned, and/or re-arranged into a new Self. Many of the objects were picked up from the flea markets of Belgium; old mirrors, coffee grinders, knives, old wooden boxes… I was very influenced by the work of Surrealists and Dadaists.