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Quiet, Haunting Images of Those Who Struggle With Self-Harm

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyLeannet’s Arm.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyCourtney’s Razors.

“I was 14 the first time I self-harmed. I took a Swiss Army knife and slit open the top of my forearm in short diagonal cuts. I was searching for something in that moment—exhilaration, consciousness, proof I had the strength to withstand pain.”—Kristina Knipe

It is with a deep honesty and powerful frankness that New York-based photographer Kristina Knipe creates a complex narrative of self-harm in her series I Don’t Know The Names of Flowers. Returning to her hometown in Pennsylvania, Knipe collaborated with others who struggle with self-harm by contacting acquaintances and posting on NYC’s Craigslist in an attempt to find healing. Through the process each person was allowed to share their story; Knipe capturing not only the scars but the objects, places, and memories associated with their actions.

The images are set in a surreal and haunted suburbia, each frame instilled with an innocence somehow askew. We draw nearer to the uncomfortable evidence, desiring understanding through the transgressions of others. Describing scars as a history, Knipe offers a conceptual biography of a hidden practice permeated with both the pain and beauty of destruction.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyAndrew in the Flowers.

Kristina_Knipe_a1Tin House.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyLeannet’s Arm Healed.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyAndrew’s Dress.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyExploding Beer.

Kristina_Knipe_photographyNicholas’ Mother.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographySmashed Birthday Cake.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyFallen Tree, Broken Slide.

Kristina_Knipe_photographyRaggedy Ann.

Kristina_Knipe_photographyNicholas at St. Vincent’s.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyCourtney’s Skin.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyLeannet in the Rain.

Kristina_Knipe_PhotographyShana’s Journal.