I am interested in anamnesis — the act of remembrance across our past lives. This concept evokes the tension we all hold between our deeply embedded personal histories and our present lives. Less abstractly, anamnesis is evident in the aftermath of trauma. Traumatic events mark us, change us, stay with us. Though time moves us towards recovery, there often remains a compulsion to act out that which was most painful.

My self-portraits contain physical metaphors that reference the concept of time — past, present, future. These tableaus are symbolic of the effect that trauma has on the psyche. They contain a persistent character that moves through dark spaces and ambiguous environments. The physical actions represented — bindings and contortions — reflect the conflicted interior, unseen workings of the self.

My photographic process consists of antique methods combined with composites (both Photoshop and transparencies), thus breaking down the boundaries between antique and contemporary processes.

Expanding on the theme of time, my image-making workflow mirrors the connection between past and present within the photographic medium.

—Michelle Rogers Pritzl

Editor’s Note: This series was a finalist in the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2014. Discover all of the winners and finalists — an impressive array of portraits from many points of view.