Photography is a mode through which I satisfy my desire to deconstruct reality and connect to my past. I engage in a process of visual excavation, exploring both landscapes and the body to address questions of belonging in the midst of negation. My work speaks to how these devices activate the imagination, inscribe our identity, and trigger what is hidden in memory. The images I create serve as visual meditations on loss, belonging, and obscurity.
In my recent body of work, I explore the experience of absence and the camera’s role in visualizing that which cannot be seen but felt. I explore the paradox of abundance within absence and the phenomenology of space. I present my body cloaked in my mother’s clothes, which act as a residual surrogate skin. In the series, I am looking at ways I can facilitate and construct a visual place where I can conjure her presence while using my body as a medium.
Brooklyn native and graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Keisha Scarville weaves together themes dealing with memory and transformation often photographing her family and common everyday objects. Her work has been included in exhibitions at several New York City venues including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Rush Arts Gallery, BRIC Arts Media House, and the Brooklyn Museum. In addition, her work has appeared in publications including Vice, Transition, Nueva Luz, ARC, Small Axe, Oxford American, and The New York Times where her work has also received critical review.
Keisha was awarded a grant through the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Community Arts Program. She has participated in artist residencies at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York; Light Work’s Artist-in-Residency Program in Syracuse, New York; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program. She will participate in a Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency program in Skowhegan, Maine and a Vermont Studio Center residency in Johnson, Vermont in the coming months. Currently, Keisha is an adjunct faculty member at the International Center of Photography.