Deedra Baker

www.deedrabaker.com

A Slight Hysterical Tendency

Connotations regarding the mental state of a female have historically and contemporarily been labeled. Inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper, this project investigates female hysteria, a mental disorder attributed to women. Through this notion, a female’s psychological state is conceived as directly related to her reproductive system. This 19th century fiction explores the subordination of marriage, domestic passivity, and the resting cure used for hysteria, which drives the lead character to the brink of insanity.

The photographs in this series use environmental still lives and self-portraits to navigate the literal and symbolic significance of one’s mental state. Common domestic items are used to portray a feminine nature. References to the womb and conception are interwoven with delicate items that represent domesticity and conception. Photographed in my personal space, the series becomes autobiographical because of my own experiences with anxiety and depression.

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