Family Affairs

Family Affairs was an installation that comprised 3 distinct parts: Dear Mom –  a group of 3 found family photographs (each one imaging a mother and child), and a correspondence about them between me and my mother, Family Affairs  – a series of 16 photographs I shot of my own children, and  Shooting Back – a group of photographs they shot of me. Together, they become a conversation about family affairs and love affairs, love, loss and longing. Layered over with another conversation – about family photographs, their power and deception,  and how they mediate our experience of ourselves in the world. 

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There’s a wonderful text that Richard Avedon wrote in the late 80’s, called Borrowed Dogs where he talks about his own family photograph albums. He says that his family took great care with their snapshots. They planned compositions. They dressed up. They posed in front of expensive cars, and homes that weren’t theirs. They borrowed dogs. He recounts how in one year of family photographs he counted eleven different dogs. His family never in fact owned a dog. He talks about the fact that in his family albums “all the photographs revealed a lie about who the Avedons really were, but a truth about who they really wanted to be”. This lie/truth paradox has always interested me when it comes to domestic snaps.