Contagion Series: Lost Components
What happens to a civilian who becomes a military service member and then a veteran—how does deployment in the armed forces contaminate who you are? What are the physical and psychological wounds, and resulting scars, of experiencing perpetual traumatic events? Will everything be alright? Contagion represents a metaphorical disease that spreads from close contact during service in a war zone. The ravages of active duty deployment—combat, extreme anxieties, overwhelming fears, threat of death—infect the mind and body of the soldier. These innumerable physical and emotional effects act as an infectious disease that eats away at the surface, until nothing is left.
These Pate de Verre vessels refer to objects that hold old memories and combat stories, which have been transformed to investigate the various struggles of the veteran population. The hollow burned out internals of the glass vessel convey new stories—pain, struggle, burdens, mental weight, injury, recovery, and the complexities of re-entry into civilian life. A new understanding of these stories is introduced through these objects, instigating a dialogue about military service and veteran experience.