Pinch me

© Doug Dubois
© Timothy Archibald
© Phillip Toledano
© Tierney Gearon

Another piece of news I'd like to share is that some of my work is in the feature Photographing Family curated by Aline Smithson for Too Much Chocolate. The other artists included are Phillip Toledano, Doug Dubois, David Newsom, Timothy Archibald, Jack Radcliffe, Tierney Gearon, and Dona Schwartz. Aline asked all of us what it’s like to be a "participant observer: to be a child or a parent, and at the same time, reveal something extremely personal through [our] art, often exposing and tarnishing an idealized concept of family." The photographs and writings contributed create an amazing portrait of what it means to be involved in such artistic intimacy.

My inclusion in this line-up is a bit surreal for me--I'm having one of those pinch-yourself moments. (I mean, Dubois' All the Days and Nights has a permanent place on my night table. Deep breath...) About a year ago I was in a bit of a crisis of faith concerning my work: I felt I had so much to say but that few were listening; that recognition was hard to come by and fleeting; that maybe the tenuous balance between my art and raising my children involved too much sacrifice. And now I'm in that place I wanted so much to be in last year, and I haven't quite adapted yet, I have to say.

I know, I always kind of hate it when people who are getting some press act like little fish, but I still feel like the little fish who's alongside these people whose work I admire, wondering what their secret is. I don't know if part of it is that my day-to-day life is so different from the concept of the continually creative artiste with an added "e." As a mother my kids don't care if I'm in a show or online or what--they just want their cereal now and a treat now and another TV show now and won't leave me alone when I go into the bathroom. Sometimes I essentially forget that I'm a photographer when I'm trying to block out a tantrum or untangle the rat's nest out of Edie's hair (when I'm not training my camera on these moments, of course). Yet that's precisely the point of Photographing Family--that day-to-day ordinary people are photographers are ordinary people; that it's all mixed up together, these parts of our lives, and this work that we're doing as children and parents and artists is simply part of who we are.

So for me really it's just a matter of getting used to being asked to participate in things rather than sending images out and hoping for the best. And I'm very, very grateful. And as simplistic as it sounds, humbled. Still, I wonder if Tierney Gearon ever looks in the mirror and goes "holy crap, I'm famous!" and doesn't quite believe it. All I know is she was as vulnerable as any of us in The Mother Project, and I admired her for that vulnerability, and now you can see her work with mine and we're all just human after all.

Comments

kate said…
Congratulations! I love the collection of photographers included in that selection.
All such well-deserved attention as of late, Elizabeth. Keep making beautiful pictures!
Emily said…
you express yourself beautifully, be it through image or words. congratulations on your recent show!

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