The Mothers


I will never see my mother past the age of 72. Theoretically, death is equated to photography; the action of stopping time. The aging, the relationship, the voice: the moment stops. Photography allows for the ability to burn, dodge, or alter the image to create the desired expression. We can print the same image over and over again with similar results as the time before. By using the obsessive actions photography instills: to search, explore, revise, repeat, The Mothers confronts my need to know how my mother would look six years after her death. Am I searching for a surrogate or connecting to her generation? Am I abusing my art practice to search for her in someone else? Within my process a boundary was crossed in asking each woman to emulate my mother’s proud, relieved smile in a photograph from my Bat Mitzvah. We see the women in a context-less black void with soft light framing their heads, meditatively suspended. The darkness envelops the viewer in the psychology of these moments, allowing a slip in the fictional and nonfictional bounds of this work. By interrogating the role of the mother, The Mothers is an abstracted narrative on loss, motherhood, sexuality, femininity and an aging but vibrant generation. The intimate relationship established in conversation between both parties causes that mask to hold, lift, and shift in momentary lapses that have a relationship to the light and movement of these photographs.