Side Effects May Include: New Work by Chelsea Reeck
Saturday February 11, 2017 6-9PM
February 11 - March 25
On April 13th 2016, Chelsea Reeck was diagnosed with stage III Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Her oncologist told that her only option was chemotherapy or she would be dead in under a year. Side Effects May Include documents her experience as she began to feel the full weight of the effects.
Photographing personal trauma through the documentation of spaces and objects as evidence of her illness articulates the traumatic effects of chemotherapy treatment and the conflicts created by its current role as the immediate response to cancer diagnosis. Interrogating a world that is not often explored through the unique experience of being sick has allowed her an intimate view of the medical industry. Author Alex Jack, who specializes in macrobiotics writes:
The analogy between the war on cancer and the war in Vietnam is more than metaphorical. Since the rise of the cellular hypothesis - that cancer is a mysterious, tumorous condition of localized origin - the medical establishment has sanctioned only three methods of treatment: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. On a larger scale these are precisely the three major weapons (search-and-destroy, bombardment, and chemical warfare) utilized militarily against social problems...
The side effects of chemotherapy are many, some immediate, such as hair loss, immune deficiency, nausea and vomiting, and others long term, like neuropathy, infertility, and the emergence of other cancers, most commonly melanoma and leukemia. Macrobiotics is a nutritional philosophy centered around clean eating to treat ailments such as cancer and chronic illness, but alternative forms of cancer treatment such as dietary changes were not suggested or encouraged by her oncologist. With Chelsea’s first-hand experience of the horrific side effects that chemotherapy causes, she questions its place as a go-to method to treat cancer. Through photographic exploration, she documented public spaces within the hospital as well as her home post-treatment, as a way to develop these questions with this photographic series.
It is through her personal experience with cancer treatment that she created a photographic essay to visually represent spaces of healing and confinement to allow herself and the audience to question whether treatment in our healthcare system is correct in its methodology. As Reeck has been directly impacted by the limited choices offered by her oncologist, it is with personal interest, moral interest, and artistic interest that she investigates this subject matter.
Chelsea Reeck graduated from Montana State University in the photography program with a BA. Throughout her time in the photography program she has found a love for teaching, curating, and the production of fine art photography. As a young photographer she has explored many mediums of photography including; alternative process, film, and digital, in many different subject matters, but has always had a strong focus on contemporary portraiture. In 2011 she moved to Minnesota and took over an art gallery in White Bear Lake MN, The Art Preserve and Studio, then in early 2012 opened a second location for the gallery in Woodbury MN. Through the gallery she runs a commercial photography business strongly focused on wedding photography. She is currently in the graduate program at Minneapolis College of Art and Design pursing her MFA.
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