What are you doing in front of the Saints?

Double Portrait n.1

Double Portrait n.2

Polka dots, Ribbons and Satin

The Embrace

Project Statement:


'Madre e Figlia' questions themes of parent / child separation, exploring feelings of rejection, shame, desire, projection and intergenerational gap that shape particularly the mother/daughter relationship. The work combines autobiographical texts, real life events, and re-staged family portraits.

Starting from my own experience of being a daughter, the ambiguity of the relationship with my mother is shown through two symbolic vantage points, highlighting both our closeness and distance; this is done respectively through the dresses and the saints. 

To fulfill the need to bond with my mum I recreate dynamics we had during my childhood. Moreover to find traces of the relationship with her, I look back at my family album, as personal images could display feelings essential for individual self- understanding. What I see is a disjunction between what is represented in the family snapshots and what is the remembered experience. Furthermore the project includes a series of self-portraits I made, some of which are in collaboration with my mother, that follow the convention of the family portrait. Yet the harmony between us is undermined by a perturbing sense of tension and unease that continues to define our relationship into the present day.

My interest is to subvert the codes of the representation of family photography portraiture in order to question the absence of records of unspoken feelings, that make the process of separation difficult between mother and daughter.
© Copyright 2020 Alessandra Rinaudo
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