the opportunity at rebuilding one’s personhood and reexamining prior notions of the self. This
rupture occurs at the site of the marks or signs (codified by Girl, Departed’s gaze); it occurs at
the level of the bruises on Goldin’s face and at the level of the unseen in Sheiferstein’s work.
These signs are loosely caught among the low-resolution digital web of pixels and begin to
function as a graphic document that reads in this new language of violence. These signs and
documents offer access points into an arsenal of weapons spiritually informed by violence and
portals into an arena that is seemingly inhabitable and unseen, but she walks down the same
street as you. She makes you question yourself before you question her, and you are scared of her
before she is scared of you. Girl, Departed’s photographic sensitivities depart from institutional,
aesthetic, and emotional expectations by unapologetically forcing her own on the viewer, giving
them no other choice but to “unabashedly confront” her reality
. A viewer is forced to then see
the violence in the signs as she does. Girl, Departed irreverently recodifies visual signs, bending
their semiotic dimensions to the logic of violence in her reality. She forces a viewer to regard her
reality as real and challenges them to unlearn conventional denotations of violence and abuse,
and the feminine.
Bey, Dawoud, and Latoya Ruby Frazier. "Latoya Ruby Frazier and Dawoud Bey: A Conversation."