Title of the document

Mark

Fading Senses

Title of the document

Photography

Master Project

2019-2020



What happens if we lose our senses? In times of multispecies extinction and devastating effects caused by climate change, environmental anxiety is a rising problem affecting societies. Solastalgia, a relatively new name describing an emotional distress caused by the loss of ecosystems, is characterised by a perspective of a fading world, a lived experience of the loss of the present. Described as an earth-related state, it reflects the zeitgeist of our time. A perspective of a fading world and a state of fading-away is close to sensory deprivation. Absence of senses, one of the biggest human fears, can lead to intra-mental perception, echolocation and memory flashbacks. ‘Fading Senses’ is a research project and a photographic essay where I examine how Solastalgia affects our mental and emotional health and research the implications of the absence of senses on brain mechanisms. As I have temporarily lost one of the senses in the past, this deprivation became my intuitive leading guide, which I have applied to the working method and to the visual language. Turning my research into a speculative narration, I aim to create a mental image of an ungraspable sensation to underline human disconnection from the natural habitat.

Fading Senses

Research

Publication

2020



Self-published booklet containing thinking process and research behind ‘Fading Senses’.

Smelloss

Scent

Master Project

2020



Amygdala and hippocampus in a brain are responsible for storing smell memory and emotions, therefore smell memory is a deepest and most saturated that we have. How do memories smell like and how an image can trigger our senses? After experiencing losing a sense of smell for half a year (pre-pandemic), I recreated this sensation in an olfactory installation. Smelloss in a shape of an industrial dust, resonate with a scent of forest. But for everyone the smelloss scent would be different, becase we all have different memories. My experience of losing smell, although abstract, in 2020 became a common dread and an indicator of Covid-19. Scent applied on ceramic powder.

Empathetic Storyteller

Interview

Geert Goiris

2020

Title of the document



Interview conducted by me with a Belgian photographer Geert Goiris on his PhD project World Without Us (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp 2019), for my master thesis: Visual Storytelling Beyond Anthropocene: Geert Goiris and ‘World Without Us’ (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp 2020).︎Find out more about the artist’s project ︎︎︎here.

Silent Signals
Photography
Project
2020



In ‘Silent Signals’ I reflect on uncertainty. It is a story where the elements marked by the brokenness of the Anthropocene fuse with fantasy and the ambiguities of the viewers memory. I treat photographic experience as an encounter of temporary stabilisation which provokes senses through synesthesia.


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Ligia Poplawska
All rights reserved
2021

Mark