We seek comfort and direction. During this search, we make clear distinctions between what is logical and illogical, normal and abnormal. In actuality, these distinctions are fragile, threatened by our dreams, hazy memories, and sleep-deprived visions – threatened unconsciously by ourselves. As a child of a mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, I am perhaps more invested in these issues than others.
I am compelled by how people idealize concepts such as wholeness and perfection when the possibility of their attainment is speculative at best. I find the ways in which we impose order on an inherently disordered world to be simultaneously absurd, melancholic, and hopeful; absurd, because no matter what the world will never be ordered, and thus our attempts end in failure; melancholic, in that despite this failure, we keep trying; and hopeful in this very gesture of endurance.
I approach these issues by creating a photographic world that, like the uncanny, is unnerving because of its familiarity. The uncanny hints at another world but its power lies in its closeness to our own, in its unsettling tie to reality and its expression of the otherness that is always present in our own world.
All images ©Ahndraya Parlato