Zana Wensel: The Thread That Runs Through Me
December 12, 2021 - February 28, 2022
Cell memory (sometimes interchanged with ‘body memory’), is the theory that memories can be stored beyond the brain, deep “in a psychosomatic* network [that] extends into the body” (Pert 1997). Due to the ways in which traumatic events flood the brain’s memory receptors, they are thereby “distributed along pathways to internal organs and the very surface of [the] skin,” (Pert 1997). As such, cell memory refers to the ‘imprints’ trauma makes on the psyche and soma, and the impacts this has on the mindbody** thereafter.
The Thread That Runs Through Me is a body of work that explores this notion of cell memory in relation to trauma. Through the pairing of text and visual form, the artist sheds insight upon what constitutes cell memory, and aims to bring consciousness to her own experiences. In doing so, she confronts and materializes her relationship with cell memory as a form of catharsis, and reveals several psychosomatic effects that arise as a result.