Dermis is a series of photographs that depicts the physical and emotional world of my family following my grandmother’s near fatal heart attack. The images picture four generations – from my eighty-eight year old grandmother to my four-year old nephew – in their own homes and nearby settings. My family is portrayed in a state of flux and their vulnerability stands in relief to the structured and controlled environment. The backdrop of their suburban landscape offers a contrast to the fragility of the subjects
With my camera I searched for the underlying emotional experience of each family member as they responded to this traumatic event. The emotional turmoil within each of them – their sense of longing, their desire to feel connected to one another, and to something greater – is at the core of each photograph. While not every picture deals with the weight of death and mortality, these shared experiences influence each piece. Each portrait looks to uncover that which lies beneath the surface of a person and their fragile second layer of skin that usually lays hidden.
Brooke Berger received a Certificate in Photography at Nassau Community College, a BA in Environmental Studies at the Universityof Vermont, and studied with photographers Elinor Carucci, Christopher James, Andrea Modica, Mary Ellen Mark, and more as a 2004 Woodstock Photography Workshop intern. She has exhibited her photographs nationwide and shown her documentary project, Day and Life of a Woman, High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. In addition Berger was a portfolio coordinator and assistant agent for Art+Commerce, a freelance photography assistant, and served as a teaching assistant at the University of Vermont. She will begin work towards her MFA at Columbia College in Chicago in the fall of 2006.