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Tamara Staples
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Park Slope



ARTIST STATEMENT: Side Effects May Include Artist Statement Side Effects May Include is a photography-based installation, a "pill" bedroom that explores the disconnection between mental health challenges and medication; more specifically polypharmacy. This project was inspired when my sister took her life with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals after suffering with bi-polar disorder for many years. Following her death, I collected the contents of her medicine cabinet. The pills in the project belonged to her. I wondered if the medications were responsible for her demise and this concern led me in a photographic exploration that ended with experiential artwork in the mind-set of activism. This was a departure from the 2-dimensional photography of my past work; the subject matter guided the art form in creating this bedroom, the most intimate space of the house, where we retreat for comfort and rejuvenation. Additionally, I inventoried the 114 pills, both pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter, into a printed hard bound book. And lastly, a looped video of undulating water surfaces is included, to remind the viewer of the tenuous flow of our physiological selves.
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