Liss Platt

(Canada, 1965)

Liss Platt personal reflection:

I think of all the times I've said things over and over again, how I repeat myself. Maybe I think if I say it enough times it will finally mean something. But the opposite happens - words become nonsensical.

There's this excruciating pain in trying to cram meanings into words. It's so overly artificial. I think of too many things simultaneously. The words are always not quite right. The work has contradictions that can't be reconciled. The silence in this piece is a repression, but I also think it is very powerful. There is a point where something is so controlled that it begs the absolute chaos that is just on the other side of it. I think of these photographs in that way. They are so controlled that they are ready to fly to pieces... I think of the shattered glass as the moment after the explosion, the remnants. The pillow - the muffled cancelled scream that still contains the scream.

I feel compelled to talk, it's a struggle against being silenced. I talk to create/assert myself and to protest against disappearing. I identify with the hysteric. But I also feel that I am still able to keep it all under control, to repress that which threatens to blurt itself out. The experience I had of trying to assert my knowledge of my body and being told over and over again that it was all in my head. No one was listening. I was becoming convinced that I had no tolerance for discomfort. And why should I tolerate it? When the doctors finally found the problem all they could say was "Well at least now you know you're not crazy".

These photographs are so stylized and controlled and bigger than life. There's such a heightened attention to things. I got this from Surrealism and high modernist photography. But to use it I need it to serve my purpose and to tell my story, which implicates its original story.... Oh, all these stories. These master monster narratives. These discourses that aren't about me. What you need to understand is that I really just want to scream. My control issues are all about squeezing an absolute rant into an acceptable form.

Curator: Larry Urrutia
Venue: Southwestern College Art Gallery, Chula Vista
Organizer: Southwestern College Art Gallery