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Serena Jara is a multimedia artist making work about the effects of familial dysfunction and the process of rebuilding herself as an adult. Through photography she searches for honest human interaction, having learned to do the opposite growing up. Jara looks beyond her gender identity as the sole source of familial conflict she experiences, instead focusing on how apathy and love can become intertwined in the long-term. She portrays her desire to live openly in any capacity as disruptive to her family’s facade, which is permeated by underlying dysfunction. This dysfunction shifts between superficial acceptance and underlying rejection, staying together or falling apart. 

The imagery in her recent series, I Love You, Go Away, describes Jara’s compulsive behaviors that often led to interpersonal conflict and the lack of boundaries in her early adulthood. After receiving love during childhood as mixed messages, she looks at her own family members in relation to this narrative, exploring home as a contradiction of comfort and emptiness that follows her regardless of physical location. The artist’s self portraiture in this project reflects feelings of validation seeking, loneliness, irreverence toward the approval of others, and ultimately, her search for deeper self love.

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