Maternal Mitochondria’s project “Original Face: In the Water” is a part of the 19th Edition of the Pollux Awards, which will be followed by a show at FotoNostrum’s gallery in December of 2023. All of the winners in various categories can be found here. Look for us in Non-Professional: Nude and Figure!
“Original Face” is a long-term photography project documenting the female members of my family and placing them in collaged environments which speak to the sublime, the doors of life and death opening and closing, and the perspective of the hidden v the seen. When the male gaze is removed, what is left? Is this the female gaze, the gaze of the self-portrait? Who is the subject and who is the object. What does it mean to have a self, a no self, an existential void within an embodied subject.
This project was made in collaboration with my mother, the poet Miriam Sagan. We work together as “Maternal Mitochondria,” handing the camera back and forth, writing back and forth. Therefore the patriarchal hierarchy of artistic endeavor is broken, and the matrilineal line is strengthened. This is how we see ourselves and each other. This is how we see.
Since the world has changed pretty drastically since December, a few of my shows have been suspended. Others are extending their online presence. You can view the Women’s Works show in Illinois here, and On the Edge with Art League Rhode Island here. Support artists and stay safe!
My “Original Face” photography series will be in 3 shows this spring: On the Edge with Art League Rhode Island, Eros and Thanatos with Buckham Gallery in Flint, MI, and Women’s Works at the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, Illinois 📸🎨
This photocollage series is part of an ongoing investigation into the body as self. Two of the three photographs were in gallery shows themed on the topics of women & gender, Art as Advocacy: Promoting Equity and Social Justice for Women (Illinois)and enGENDERing Change (Colorado).
This project addresses certain existential questions about the female
body, ranging from using the “selfie” format to photographing dementia.
Simone de Beauvoir speaks of “the strange ambiguity of existence made
body,” so this exploration hopes to address that ambiguity by exploring
the relationship between the viewer and the viewed, between the face and
the camera lens, the audience and the photograph. Each person who was
photographed was also struggling with an invisible disability. Issues of
the body and the self are compounded when that body is seen as a
betrayal, through the lens of body dysphoria, or as antagonistic to the
spirit. What is hidden v. what is shown is a theme that runs throughout
the work. What does it mean to be who you were before you were born?
What does it mean to have a female body? A disabled body? A body with a
familial lineage, within a societal context? We hope to address these
questions while remaining open-ended.