Erin Rose Finkelstein

Girls Club at the Pointe-Saint-Charles YMCA

Artist statement:

This intermedia piece was inspired by the work I’m doing with the Girls Club at the Pointe-Saint-Charles YMCA. One of the things that really struck me about working with these people was the moments of vulnerability I witnessed and was a part of and how hard those moments can be to navigate when it is your first time grappling with such overwhelming experiences. Witnessing these people go through some really tough stuff for (presumably) the first time reminded me of my first forays with my personal struggles. It only felt right for me to reflect on my experience of being these people’s age rather than the things I witnessed because, at least for me, the best way I could communicate with them was to try and remember how it felt to be where they were so as to interact with genuine empathy and relate personally rather than as a distanced “adult”.

Mental and physical illness were both a big part of my formative years as I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, depression, social anxiety, adhd and crohns Between ages 8-15. Along with the onslaught of changes and challenges within the insulated world of my body the external changes that came with teenage hood were overwhelming. I wanted my piece to be movement based to show how it felt like things things were happening to my body while my self sat detached as a paralyzed witness. The feeling of loss of control also applies to how it felt to move through high school inside of this wayward body and mind, following myself throughout the day in a trance without ever taking real agency or processing what was going on.
I wanted to end on a note of personal resurgence and, still within my body, dance myself through space and experiences, actively engaging with the highs and lows rather than stumbling through pulled by the magnetism of “the bad”.
This video was the aural and visual backdrop for half of my movement piece and this song (an edited version of Rilo Kiley’s “Better Son/Daughter”) was the aural background for the second half.
I am indebted to Melissa, Chloe and Mark From the YMCA as well as the attendees of the Girl’s Club who I am excited to keep working with!! 🙂
Kintsukuroi: A Japanese practice of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with gold, silver, or platinum.

depressed high school video game from Erin Rose Finkelstein on Vimeo.