TRAUMA SALON

trauma salon is a monthly gathering of performers/musicians/artists that currently takes place at panoply performance laboratory in brooklyn, ny. in the simplest possible terms, this event exists as a platform for artists to collectively and individually process trauma or, if necessary, create it.

darkness is often channeled through creation.  however, if we do not radicalize the experience of living it by sharing the effect/affect, creation hides.  in personally connecting to other artists and audiences we have found that discomfort yields growth.  we share our pain as deeply as possible.  we have many lives to tell.

here is mine:

“physical wound,” medical Latin, from Greek trauma “a wound, a hurt; a defeat,” from PIE *trau-, extended form of root *tere- (1) “to rub, turn,” with derivatives referring to twisting, piercing, etc. (see throw (v.)). Sense of “psychic wound, unpleasant experience which causes abnormal stress” is from 1894.

there are many paths towards transposing this description.  this is the point.  while trauma may be at base a wound, we cannot claim to understand the implications of physical erasure without making an honest attempt to witness the injury from all sides.  in personalizing this event, we cease to experience so much as transform.  we rip apart knots, press out, peel through, scream as a means of echolocation.

about 7 months ago I resolved to follow the path of trauma in my own life.  I had unwittingly destroyed my own existence over the course of 4ish years.  I don’t mean destroy in the sense of implanting bombs.  I mean destroy in the sense of exposing the traumatic core.

as time cleared and cataracts lifted, I grew to understand that I would likely never again recall the self (myself) that I’d lost, destroyed in the sense of rendered invisible, removed. mostly, destroyed in the sense of “forever”.  a cognitive lack, “absolutely”.  a complete erasure of who one was and might as of yet be.

somewhere underneath/within an expansive process of abuse I awoke in blank space and while I can recall specifically traumatic events as basic memories, I cannot connect these mirrors to a living, knowing “me”.  what came before is not, what is is impossible.  I looked up and realized that I was not of my own making.  I hurt myself a lot and now I am an expression of unknown systems, a prolapsed event and I want to talk about it, I want to see past the concavity:

I developed a habit.  I used my flesh to support it.  I did everything I couldn’t do and I wounded what and who I loved.  I was locked in a cabin and probably joined a cult.  I admitted defeat and continued to shred my mind-body.  I struggled; relapse, rehab, psych wards.  I struggle; tongue, tape, rape.  there was an overhaul of sensation, feeling and in the end, hope.
in essence, I performed my own death.
this is why I started this series.  this event is the process of returning to connection as openly and honestly as possible. herein, trauma takes many shapes and incantations: observing social/political destruction.
revealing personal injury/disappearance.
attempting to express what cannot be expressed.
loss as/in.
creating trauma, art/work as trauma.
Interrupting context in order to witness and clarify trauma.
performing trauma as an intended effect/affect.
performing trauma as a means to save.
the point is to LET GO.  in loss lies the secret of growth.
  • V. Kuehne

8/8/15
written from within the 24 walls of a behavioral health unit.

(to access videos and writing pertaining to the series, hover over the TRAUMA SALON menu)

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