Lauren Taubenfeld began studying art and photography from the age of 16 and went on to Parsons The School of Design to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine art photography. During that time, she took a leave of absence to go to an addiction treatment center in South Florida. Soon after, she moved back to New York to go back and finish earning a degree. Taubenfeld was unable to stay clean, relapsing several times, coming in and out of 12 step programs. After graduating, she impulsively applied to get an MFA in fine art and photography from ICP-Bard. She was being crushed under the pressure of a graduate program and began self-medicating heavily, but never stopped making art. Taubenfeld found herself at the age of 27, writhing on the floor of her Harlem apartment, withdrawing from sedatives and opiates. She was dying quite literally and figuratively. This is how Taubenfeld propelled herself to continue making photographic work. She was eventually able to stay clean and realized she had a vast archive of work made all while being under the influence. Taubenfeld now works with this archive and continues to make non-linear edits of the work from the past 10 years. Her work consists of different metaphorical portraits and landscapes which depict intimate relationships, loss, pain and struggle, mental illness, addiction, darkness and the notion of seeking.
This body of work has taken shape over the course of ten years, consisting of images of landscapes, domestic scenes, my younger brother, various family members and people who have impacted my life greatly. It is an attempt to work backward and put back the pieces of a forgotten narrative back together in an investigative method. Years of self-medicating in active addiction effectively dulled my memory and was a method of evading discomfort. While working through an archive of my own past, I am giving the ability to recall repressed memories while also coming to terms with present realities. Using sequencing as a tool to move beyond linear chronology, the images in this work hold ambiguity, often through the contradictory impulse for fictionalized reenactments as well as conclusive truths. Making work has worked as an effective therapeutic tool in which I am able to speak my truth.
To view more of Lauren Taubenfeld’s work please visit her website.