Alexa Wright
A View From Inside

This is a book of photographs and essays on the subject of psychosis. The ten digitally manipulated photographs that make up A View From Inside draw on the principals of historical portrait painting to give form to some of the chaotic and sometimes incomprehensible phenomena that are present for an individual during psychosis, but are not normally evident to anyone else. The people photographed here all look entirely ‘normal’, and yet their ability to function within society has, to varying degrees, been affected by the experience of a psychotic ‘disorder.’ The photographs in this book are the result of a year-long research project. During this time I worked closely with each of the people depicted to find a means of accessing imagery that would represent his or her personal experience when ‘not in consensual reality’. The symmetry and order of the eighteenth century settings, which refer to an age when logic and reason were paramount, offer a kind of stage set into which the elements of each person’s narrative are inserted. Each participant has also contributed a short written statement to the book, in which he or she has reflected on the experience of psychosis. The images are preceded by an introduction to the project written by the artist, and are followed by essays by the British psychiatrist, Professor Graham Thornicroft, and the Canadian cultural theorist, Jeanne Randolph. Visual, auditory and other sensory phenomena that occur during psychosis contradict accepted notions of ‘reality’, but for one person they are absolutely real. In making this work I was interested in the challenge of creating believable, if surreal, pictures that ask ‘what is real?’

Published by White-Card
ISBN: 978-0-9571558-0-0
27×21 cm, 40 pp, full colour offset, fine art print, hard bound, 2012
Edition of 800

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Alexa Wright is an artist based in London. She works with photography, video, sound, and interactive digital media. She is particularly interested in making work that explores the ways in which human identities are constructed and negotiated. Alexa often works at the intersection of art and medical science. Her work has been shown widely, both nationally and internationally. Venues include: the International Women Artists’ Biennale, Incheon, Korea; SESI Art Gallery, Sao Paolo, Brazil; Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Centro the Historia, Zaragoza, Spain; Compton Vernay, Warwickshire; BM Suma Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey; Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast; 21_21 Design Sight Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. An animated image from the ‘A View From Inside’ series was part of the inaugural exhibition, Born in 1987: the Animated Gif on The Wall at the Photographers Gallery, London, 2012. Part of the series was also included in Digital Aesthetic 3 at the Harris Museum, Preston in 2012. Alexa is currently part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers based at University of Toronto studying the psychosocial effects of heart transplant. The results of this project will be shown at the PHI Centre in Montreal in January 2014. Alexa’s book, Monstrosity the human monster in visual culture was published by IB Tauris in June 2013.

Joerg Hartmannsgruber (White-card) is a design consultant who also publishes limited edition artists books.

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