Rachael Jablo

The Hysteria Project by American artist Rachael Jablo is a one-on-one storytelling project dealing with menstruation, reproductive, and pelvic disorders, illustrated by individual ‘portraits’ of their reproductive organs based on their stories. These life-size, intimate works start in a traditional darkroom where I use lace instead of negatives to make color prints that I cut up and collage onto a gold leaf background. The process of actively listening to people tell their stories, sometimes for the first time, is as vital as the actual artworks. Many have suffered silently for many years. Some of them were taught by their mothers that their pain and excessive bleeding were normal, because that’s what their mothers, in turn, were told about their own bodies. Some had never talked to anyone, because in many cultures menstruation just isn’t talked about. And the thing that virtually all of us share is having our experiences dismissed by the medical community. People need to be heard. Breaking this silence means breaking this cycle of recurring trauma for future generations. The Hysteria Project bears witness to stories of people who menstruate about this crucial aspect of our lives

Rachael Jablo is a chronically ill Berlin-based US-American artist who works with photography, installation and collage. Dealing with issues of the feminine, the body and mythology, she joins analog photographic techniques with collage, as well as the occasional traditional photography. Her work has been seen recently in Collagistas Festival in Brussels and Milan, the Analogue Now Photography Festival in Berlin, and at the Museum für Fotographie in Braunschweig. Her work has been featured in Ever-Emerging Magazine’s Berlin issue, Booooooom, Lensculture and Migraine.com, and her book, My days of losing words, was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2013.