Coming to Terms: An Abecedarium

2012, 7.5 x 11.25 in., 58 pp.
Archival ink jet prints; hand bound edition of 10

The text appropriated for Coming to Terms is a lexicon of psychological terms entitled Psychiatric Word Book: A lexicon of terms employed in psychiatry and psychoanalysis designed for students of medicine and nursing and psychiatric social workers by Richard H. Hutchings M.D., D.Sc. published by The State Hospitals Press, Utica NY, in 1943. Its lengthy title belies its unassuming size (9 x 13.5 cm) but clearly describes the dictionary within. The vocabulary reflects the influence of Freudian theory on the field at that time, especially in the understanding of human sexuality. 

The portraits of me imbedded in the page spreads are matched to terms that appear imposed over my eyes. The terms have resonance to the time, place, posture or surface of the photographic portrait. I may seem to be looking through the terms, or the terms may seem to blacken my eyes. This melding of language and image is part of the ongoing autobiography project, reflecting the shifting views that culture and science have on the construction of personhood.