“The Difference Between Paper Cuts & Exit Wounds” is a multidisciplinary body of work consisting of a manuscript, a short film, and a set of photographs. As digital culture expands, there are increasing possibilities for cross-genre work within the literary canon. The adaptation of visual mediums alongside the written word supports different levels of reader, and viewer, engagement. This visual and written manuscript permits the audience to experience the project at varying levels of intensity. “The Difference Between Paper Cuts & Exit Wounds” explores the self through fragmented lenses. The poems alone work with white space and experimental forms to create new shapes, new considerations, and new wonders. When put in conversation with the visual art, a poem becomes even more layered—providing alternate entrances to the subject matter. This manuscript is invested in the framing of concerns, of questions, and of thematic obsessions. Through the integration of multiple mediums, the poetic self and the agency of the speaker become multifaceted, apart from the written word alone. With the project’s film component, the curation of vignettes encourages a resistance of a linear narrative. Multiple clips are put on top of one another, with varying levels of opacity, creating multi-layered exposures within a second long clip. This represents the same fragmentation and deconstruction of a linear narrative that is prominent in the written manuscript. The work investigates memory as it distorts desire, frequently returning to how the body holds psychological and emotional trauma. With hybrid approaches to the subject matter, the manuscript illustrates the potential for intimacy to be soft and tender while simultaneously abrasive, triggering, and painful. It allows space for uncertainties, for co-existing conditions. By fracturing the expected forms of both standard poetic lexicon, and standard video narratives, “The Difference Between Paper Cuts & Exit Wounds” complicates the tendency for audiences to dissect art in hopes of reaching a single, definite interpretation. Instead, the body of work builds new spaces for engagement and inquiry.
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