Herself and Other Difficult Tasks

Greeted by a hand submerged in the cold discomfort of ice, the body is seen subjected to a number of different states. It is shaken, wet and dried out, cold and warm, static and in motion, both hidden and exposed. Still life compositions display attempts to control the state of things, but it is a difficult task to compose oneself. It is a difficult task to find oneself in a place of blindness. The body walks around in the darkness with arms outstretched so that hands can feel for any reference of the space. Instead, it finds itself in the dark, so different from the way that it had been left just a couple of minutes ago. Something has changed. The lens focuses and suddenly all flaws are displayed under a magnifier.The ice cracks and it is the painful recognition that something is breaking from within. An inevitable process which ultimately gives space for the creation of water. To become smooth like water; to become water, freshness, and fluidity.


Val Schnack’s Herself and Other Difficult Tasks is a poetic visual diary that explores the photographer’s states of vulnerability and growing pains. It contains a selection of photographs taken between 2020 and 2022, which somewhat organizes a non-linear journey that she goes through during the lapse of time where her sense of self was cracked open and dislocated to create space for re-recognition.


Image by Val Schnack, 2020