Since the 1950s, we in the western world have increasingly come to understand our most intimate desires and
experiences, as the products of a so-called “chemical self”. We are able to explain moods, angers, and diseases
both physiological and psychological through an imbalance of substances in the body. All of this, of course,
takes place against the backdrop of a constantly shifting legal and political climate regarding the regulation of
different types of mood altering substances.
What all these substances actually look like when their essence is visually depicted?
Sarah Schönfeld squeezed drops of various legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures onto negative film which had
already been exposed. Each drop altered the coating of the film. Much like the effect
of some of these substances on humans, this can be a lengthy process – sometimes one that can barely be stopped.
She then enlarged these negatives including the chemical reaction of the particular drug, to sizes of up to 160 x 200
cm. All of the substances behaved very differently: the shapes and colors that appeared showed unique characteristics
and revealed unique internal universes. Schönfeld explores the possibilities of photography at the frontiers of what
can be visually portrayed– the interface between representation and reality.
”All you can feel”