PROJECTS

The Thread in the River: Becoming & Being Family
A project in multiple parts, 1992 - 2017

 
Twelve Summers- Montage.jpg
 

We enter the river when we are born, and leave it when we die.

Over the past three decades, I have photographically studied my family’s evolution as it has grown in size and complexity. Out of this has emerged a multi-faceted psychological portrait of the family as a group and as individuals. Who are we at different ages? How well do we know ourselves? In what ways do we connect with one another? The six bodies of work that comprise this project seek to answer these questions.

While creating images over a long period of time, I constantly re-evaluated how I was portraying my relatives. I got to know them in a way that at once exposed the ties that bind us together and those that differentiate us. In the process, I recorded them in a way that reveals and conceals, mapping the private geography that makes us family.

Click here for more information on the traveling exhibition, installation views, technical specifications, and related educational programming.


The Wind Telephone
2012 - 2017
9 black & white archival pigment prints; each 13" x 20"

How well do individuals in a family really know each other? How can we get to know ourselves better? To find out, I posed questions to family members, requesting that they respond only with numbers.

Pairing the questions and answers with images of power lines and telephone wires creates the sensation of urgent communication, as if the information contained within them has to be released for all the world to know.

Click here for a complete list of the questions I posed to my family.


Twelve Summers
1999-2014
Video; duration: 2 min. 32 sec.

Photographing my children in the same location year after year enabled me to reflect on how they were evolving both physically and psychologically. Utilizing translucency and overlapping to shift from one photograph to the next heightens the sense of the passage of time.


Unearthing the Roots
2012 - 2017

34 color archival pigment prints; each 15" x 15"

How much richer would our understanding of our families be if members were asked about things from their childhood that otherwise might be ignored or forgotten? What do family members have in common (or not) across the generations?

For this series, family members provided handwritten information about their pasts that was enlarged and printed. They then sat for portraits that were made in such a way as to make their identity ambiguous. These two groups of photographs offer different paths towards answering the above questions.

Click here for a complete list of the questions I posed to my family.


The Long Arc
1995 - 2017

27 black & white archival pigment prints; each 40" x 9"

Throughout my pregnancy with twins, I charted the transformation of my physical self. Afterwards, I continued to record the changes that my postpartum body underwent as it sought its new “normal." I have kept up that practice every year on the twins’ birthday, reconnecting with the creation of my immediate family and confronting the truth of aging.


Senior Year
2014 - 2015
Video, duration: 5 min. 1 sec.

The start of my children’s senior year in high school signified the final stage of the morning ritual to which we had become accustomed. Beginning on the first day of school and ending on the last, I photographed the twins as they left home again and again, gradually accepting that one day they would be departing for good.

The erratic and unsettled pace of this video underscores the highly emotional state that teenagers and parents experience as the inevitable, final leave-taking draws closer.


The Primitive Streak
1992 - 1999

12 black & white archival pigment prints; framed size 16" x 26"

Every summer throughout their childhood on a farm in Vermont, my nieces and nephew collaborated with me to create photographs that reflected who they were at the time.

Photographing with an Al-Vista Model 5D panoramic camera that had belonged to my great-grandfather created a cross-generational link. An artifact from the family's past was used to record the present, offering future generations a visual reference to their own past.