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Photographer Giselle Noelle Morgan's "Written On The Body" collection explores hysteria and chronic illness in women. Giselle's artist statement is below:

In the protracted course of hysteria — a disease akin to the waste basket of medicine —there lives a vexing intersection between this medical marvel and masculine artists from the expressionist, dadaist, and surrealist movements who created a commodification out of this sexualized illness which continuously suppresses women and still stigmatizes female emotions.

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This collection, “Written on the Body,” was inspired by the original albumen and lithograph images by Paul Régnard from the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris France in the late 1880s. These photographs are an homage to the incarcerated female patients who were deemed as hysterical for past sexual trauma, chronic illness, and epilepsy. The images are a link from Freud’s era of hysteria to the current stigmatization of women with disabilities as being haphazardly deemed as deranged or broken. My aim is to create a relationship to a historically fractured medical system and the technological advances that have been tested on females throughout centuries.

As a woman with the chronic illness of dysmenorrhea, I consistently have to fight for my disease to be recognized by the public. It has prohibited my life with magnifying and debilitating pain until impregnation or menopause. The use of double exposures was to imply clonic and tonic epileptic motions that were noted from the Salpêtrière. I used my body as the medium and the material, reinforcing this concept of the “exquisite cadaver.”

“Written on the Body” is a rejection to the fetishization of women as medical muses and I am motivated to demand space for disabled women in the art and academic realm, crusading to "taking up space."

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Giselle Noelle Morgan creates feminist photographic reflections in Los Angeles, California while simultaneously playing the harp and obtaining her Bachelor’s at California Institute of the Arts. Morgan was vexed by the lack of women in art history and began to study cyberfeminism until she found her home as a contributing member to the art movement online. Originally, she began her photographic career by shooting photo diary pieces, and transitioned into producing more conceptual collections revolving around gender and feminist theories or personal trauma. Morgan's work has been featured internationally in magazines and sites such as The Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, Girls Get Busy, Bitchtopia and has shown in museums and galleries including the Tate Modern in London, Feminist Art Conference, and Fulcrum. Follow her on  Instagram and Tumblr.

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