I'm happy to announce the first interactive, multimedia Live Through This gallery exhibition, going on through October 2 at Freeman Space in Greenpoint!
The opening party was fantastic! I'm so excited to see the work exhibited the way I've envisioned since the beginning. I love that viewers can listen to the raw interviews as they look at the portraits, but there's so much more to it.
The press release is below. If you're local, please come out and take a look!
Freeman Space is proud to present Live Through This: a portrait and oral history project. On the heels of National Suicide Prevention Week, the exhibition showcases photographer Dese'Rae L. Stage's ongoing portrait and oral history series on suicide attempt survivors. Attempt survivors are a group forced into anonymity, shamed, and stigmatized by a society misinformed about emotional trauma and resulting preventable deaths.
By pairing portraits with curated transcripts of the life experiences of attempt survivors, as told to the artist, Live Through This illuminates both the inner workings of suicidal minds and the bodies in which they live. It reveals a depth and breadth of experience of a group not limited by age, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender presentation, professional/academic standing, or socioeconomic status. Live Through This is collaborative, socially engaged art, inviting attempt survivors to come out of the shame closet in an act of advocacy through story telling and own their experiences publicly, using their full name and likeness. Live Through This inspires compassion and underscores the fact that suicide affects us all—no one is immune. It encourages the viewer to look into the eyes of the subject, to fill their shoes and meet them in their humanity.
Stage began the project four years ago and, in that time, has interviewed and photographed 103 attempt survivors in 11 US cities. She has been invited to speak by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin, and the American Association of Suicidology. She has written for xoJane and Huff Post TED Weekends, performed her story for the Story Collider, and appeared on the Glenn Beck Program, Fox News, and BBC World Have Your Say. Coverage of the project has included The New York Times, NPR, Associated Press, The Guardian, and others.
This exhibition peels back the cloak of anonymity and builds awareness surrounding the taboo topic of suicide. It will reveal new portraits that have not yet been made public and prompt interaction around the issue with interactive elements and events, including a unconventional guided tour, an online game called “Depression Quest” (which simulates life with depression, for those unfamiliar), audio and video of subjects’ interviews, and talks throughout the exhibition run.
• September 16, 7P / Opening Party
• Sept 22, 7P / A conversation with the photographer and survivors
• Oct 2, 7P / Closing Party
ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS
Dese'Rae L. Stage is a photographer, writer, and suicide awareness advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from East Tennessee State University and is trained in crisis intervention. Her personal experiences with self-injury and a suicide attempt, coupled with the loss of friends to suicide and a lack of resources for attempt survivors, served as the impetus to create Live Through This.
Isabella Bruno creates pop-up exhibitions soup to nuts. Her mission is to bring amazing, educational, joy filled, interactive experiences to the general public. She curates subject matter that is hyper-local, timely, and relevant to make exhibitions with a unique sense of time and place. brunodesign.com
ABOUT THE PRESENTER
Freeman Space is an intimate space for work and play in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Our mission is to foster big engagement in a small space through unique topics under the umbrellas of art, culture and social science. We present creative nonfiction through exhibitions and events. We believe more can be done with less.