In a series of portraits representing the self, BECOMING UNMADE visualizes metaphorical themes inspired by the book Till We Have Faces. Exploring the subconscious veiling of the self for self‑protection and the ensuing internal disjunction, self‑deception, and erosion of personhood, Rachelle Foucachon Wagler traces the struggle of coming to a true self‑knowledge and identity, without mask or pretense. Recognizing what lies at the center of one’s being requires a stripping back of illusions, an act of unearthing, a descent into one’s shadows. It is only in losing oneself and being unmade that a true identity can begin to form.
All handwritten text excerpts reproduced with permission from Till We Have Faces © copyright CS Lewis Pte Ltd 1956.
I am often inspired by the written word, by discoveries and insights which come through reading. Throughout this program I've been incredibly inspired by my professors and fellow students, who have shown me such a powerful diversity of ways to creatively express ideas.
For each new project there is a long immersive phase of active thinking, researching, processing through writing, and conceptualizing. I have to let my ideas mature, evolve, and effervesce before giving them a visual form. I then think through how I might best visualize those concepts. In the act of making, the creative process takes over, always teaching me and leading me unexpected places. It is a generative process where thinking and making continuously feed into each other.
Absolutely! I chose to study because I felt the need to evolve, and it opened a whole new world for me. It has been a time of intense growth, which I hope and believe is just the beginning.
I chose this program because it was so specific (staged photography) and yet offered a rich variety of possibilities with an emphasis on finding your own voice. I really wanted to delve into the medium and learn from other creative people. I was especially excited about a program offering a strong mix of theory and practice, and culminating in both a written thesis and personal project, something not offered in every photography program.
With the people I've had the pleasure of growing alongside for the past year and a half!