Impaired consists of eleven large-scale color photographs directed by the artist. In each image we see one or two nude figures positioned in gestures that seem controlled by an outside force. In this instance the outside force is the artist with each image based on religious iconography or war photography. The artist is directing the subjects and photographing them in a way that expresses her ideas through their bodies. This is a reference to the history of image making where the artist has always had control over the appearance of the subject, weather it be painting or documentary photography.
Each figure evokes a feeling of awkwardness, isolation and vulnerability. As in Levy’s previous work the identity of the subject is hidden because the viewer is not allowed to see their face. We are left to identify the subjects by their nude bodies and the gestures prescribed by the artist. Also similar to Levy’s earlier work is the influence from her teenage years while her father was incarcerated. During that time she saw her father debilitated by the physical and emotional power of authority over him.
The images are aggressive and provocative but there are moments of tenderness and emotional connection. We see two men lying on an institutional gray floor, muscles tight, posture controlled, the scenario is unclear but could be understood as a moment of injury or intimacy. In another image, a man holds a lifeless body of a woman, his glance towards her face, while standing on a red square of fabric and a pile of sand.