Treated for a rare tumor, the young photographer of Polish origin has transformed her illness and her body, scrutinized by science, into a remarkable work of art.
In this work Izabela Jurcewicz deals with traumatic memories written in the body on a cellular level. She was an interorgan tumor patient, one of 300 cases worldwide, where science had few answers to the cause and how to proceed.
This experience of a patient being ‘on view’, researched and scanned, coined her relationship with the camera and ways of seeing a human. These medical experiences, especially surgeries, live as a photographic negative in her body and life, which henceforth produce images, including the ones that form this book. In the act of return, Izabela replaces the invasive surgical instrument with her camera as a receptive device to register, merge and enable a ritual of healing.
To synchronize the level of knowledge in her body and mind, she reperforms the trauma under her conditions and rewrites her memories, aiming to change them at a cellular level. At the same time this work gives her perspective to see and support her father, who at that time is going through intensive cancer treatment. The project highlights the process of emphatic engagement that brings dimensionality to the body and self again and grows a capacity to join with the suffering of others.
"By rewriting her story in a photographic face-to-face, by taking back her body and telling the story on her own terms, by creating a link with suffering but also a link with life and with others (in this instance with her own father, treated for cancer), the work of Izabel Jurcewicz deploys the full power of enhanced auto-fiction.” - Dior Photography and Visual Arts Award for Young Talents 2020
“Unlike others, Izabela Jurcewicz directs her camera inwards, portraying the most intimate and mysterious parts of the human psyche. Based on personal, embodied experiences, Jurcewicz’s work reflects on a body as a living archive. Her intimate self-portraits in combination with the meticulously designed sets and photographs of people around her, open up a conversation about identity, body, memory, trauma, and the relation between a healthy and not-healthy body and mind." - Contemporary Lynx Magazine
“Photography as an artistic medium has always involved the inscription of light onto a form of physical form to create images. In Izabela Jurcewicz’s Body as a Negative, she uses this relation between inscription of light in photography and cellular memory as a therapeutic method of reflection and recovery from a rare medical condition that she had, as well as a way to empathize with her father’s own illness” - It’s Nice That Magazine
"With both strength and sensitivity visible in her work. Izabela’s work is particularly poignant considering the health concerns confronting humans everywhere.” - Canvas, Saatchi Art