Exotropia Artist Statement
This photographic series is informed by sensory-memory retrievals from these moments of my early childhood, a time when I was afflicted by a severe visual impairment, a condition known as Exotropia. These images are an attempt to recreate the distortion as well as the feeling provided from exotropia's out of body experience. For the exotropic, both of my eyes deviate outward, preventing binocular vision and normative depth perception, interfering with the brain's ability to register a single, focused image of external objects to generate a continuous field of vision. My exotropia allowed me to look at the mirror and see a version of my self not returning my own gaze. This version is a self, removed from itself; a self that is both external yet integral; a soul that is outside of myself. This externalization enabled me to view myself from a third person perspective. For me this out of body experience is removed yet deeply spiritual. It is in these photographs I attempt to create the feeling from my phenomenological experience. Through curved and flat glass sheets and studio lighting, I attempt to capture the distorted and ghostlike presence of my exotropic self. These portraits of my close friends allow me to emphasize the aura I intend to express. While these are digital captures, the photographs were only adjusted in tone, color, and minor imperfections.