1000 words: Tiah Bullock

David Hume has started a series entitled 1000 Words and he has allowed the series to be cross-posted to Light Paths. The idea behind this series is simple. David selects an image that interests him from a local photographer, and he uses that image as the basis for a conversation. He kicks off the conversation by asking a few questions about it, and then asks about the photographer themselves, their history with photography and how photography fits in to their life now. The second person David has interviewed is Tiah Bullock

Tiah Bullock

DH: Tiah – thanks for agreeing to the chat. Can we use this image as a starting point please? It’s one of a series of images that features blood. I’m hesitant to say the series features young women because I don’t now how your subjects would identify themselves – perhaps you can tell me that but in this work I recognise an echo of a certain 80s fashion aesthetic in which women were exploited in violent images with the aim of selling clothes. It seems to me you’ve flipped that; that you’ve given the power to your subjects.

Tiah Bullock

TB: “Of the two subjects in this series one is female and one is non-binary. In these pieces I wanted to explore the abject; and one way of understanding the abject is that it’s opposed to the object; something that exists within a liminal space, not quite one thing nor yet another; the in-between of two things. Things like piss, vomit, shit, and yes, like blood. A lot of people argue that if we’re going on from Post-Modern terms, if there’s no sense of subject any more, then the abject is what is understood to be the true sense of self. It’s the stuff that we can’t help ejecting. It almost seems comical; that stuff that we can’t help; it’s a true, strange sense of being.

For the most part men are empowered by the abject, and for women, or for people who lie between or out of gender, that’s not the case. Period blood for example is taken as being embarrassing, while if a man shows blood it’s violent and powerful. So I wanted to explore it this visually, by having these people being completely unapologetic and confrontational about blood without being too on the nose about it. It wasn’t about being scary with blood, it was just being calm and empowered by it.”