This artistic research scrutinizes how sickness has been represented in art photography and examines new ways to approach, think about and create photographic art about sickness. The dissertation combines theoretical research and artworks. The theoretical part shows that while scholars have concentrated on the ethics of what kind of images of sickness or suffering ought to be shown or on the psychology of why some images of sickness bother viewers, most art photographers have concentrated on depicting personal illness experiences.
The research applies anthropologist Arthur Kleinman’s definitions on sickness, illness and disease in a diagram to examine how photographic artworks approach the topic. To understand the functions and the meanings of the different approaches, the research draws especially from Julia Kristeva’s writings on the abject. The main results of the research, artworks Leftover and White Rabbit Fever are intertwined with the theoretical part.