The work Tracing Entities - Aftermath of War is a collection of different segments from a greater body of work created by Christel Pilkaer Thomsen, during her time at MA Photography at the Royal College of Art, 2017-19.
Tracing Entities - Aftermath of War explores different issues of identity, memory, and representation centering around contemporary political problematics and how photography can represent and visualize these issues.
In the first chapter, the presented work deals with trauma and healing from war - especially, the psychological complications that people who have been exposed to traumatic events are faced with and the issues they are encountering on their return back home. In this first chapter the work is focusing on people who have served in war and/or warlike situations.
The work is based on personal stories and encounters with Danish veterans who are dealing with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and on collective responses to trauma. In relation to this, the work wants to explore how photography can be used as a tool to visualize the non-visible and non-verbalized woven together by the personal narratives of the subjects and abstractions created by the artist. Through different strategies by working collaboratively and having conversations with the subjects involved in the project, through traditional analogue portraiture, documentary photography, and through abstract and alternative photographic processes the work creates a constant shift between figuration and abstraction.
The project is still ongoing and more segments and chapters will be added to the project in future.
© Christel Pilkaer Thomsen