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Exhibition: Exploring Erin Solomons’ ‘I’m going to carve the truth out of you’

Text by CLOT Magazine

Credit: Erin Solomons, selected from I never had anyone fight for me (2015 - 2017).
Glass plate, silver nitrate, collodion, urine, stomach acid. Photo: © Erin Solomons
I never had anyone fight for me, Erin Solomons (2015 – 2017)

Erin Solomons is an artist who uses bodily performance and analogue photography to investigate childhood trauma by emphasising boundaries between the body and nature. Her artworks concentrate on embodied abuse, interpersonal power dynamics, generational trauma, and behavioural patterns.

In I’m going to carve the truth out of you, on view until October 3 at Nunnery Gallery in London, consists of a range of works that cross mediums yet have a photographic and performative core. Solomons’ series of works concentrate on self-injury (NSSI) as a means to cope with overwhelming feelings from childhood trauma and explore the skin’s boundary as a battlefield where trauma is negotiated. 

For five years, the artist Erin Solomons collected archival materials from the American Civil War, such as photographs and letters. As a part of her research, she creates metaphors from these materials to assess generational trauma linked to behavioural patterns critically. She embedded endurance performance in her practice-based research by being dragged through dense undergrowth and eventually an American Civil War battlefield, collecting her bodily fluids and combing them with the collodion process (an analogue photographic process); and the audio and visual documentation of animal carcasses being butchered. 

Non-suicidal self-injury is intentional harm towards a person’s self without the intention of death. Particularly, this behaviour can be used as a method to cope with feelings that are linked to childhood experiences of abuse and neglect.

(Media courtesy of the artist)
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