The Delirium Constructions (as a titled photographic series) was born in 2003, though its thematic content has figured in Small’s work since she began photographing at thirteen. Up-close examinations of emotional authenticity resonate throughout Small’s images as a teenager, in her life-long diaristic Polaroid-of-the-Day project, and through her past and current endeavors in fine art, fashion, advertising, and editorial photography.
Throughout two decades, Small has developed a unique process for directing photography, involving high-energy interaction and the encouragement of unmediated playfulness and emotional reveal. Through this process, Small has amassed a body of photographs that feature amplifications of distilled affect, ranging from elation to rage to sorrow, to lust, fear, joy, anxiety, confusion, and peace.
The Delirium Constructions grew from Small's experiments with layering these previously discrete experiences together into a simultaneous scene.
In building The Delirium Constructions, Small explores unlikely combinations of characters and themes to investigate the tensions and resolutions of unexpected close proximities and interpersonal connections. Though these improvised scenarios are initially staged, the resulting emotions are spontaneous and authentically experienced; the scenes examine the social and graphic contrasts of youth and experience, hysteria and discipline, tragedy and hilarity, and sexuality and desexualization.
Where in optical illusions, the viewer shifts back and forth between opposing visual perceptions, in The Delirium Constructions, viewers are invited to grapple with psychological paradoxes, rocking back and forth between projection and introspection.