Maggie Stockman

I’ll Be Mother, 2012-2013

The camera and the mind act as parallel recording devices. From birth, our lives are documented as images alongside the memories of our experiences. The places where we gather and contain these images are the album. The family album asks us to intimately negotiate our own past. The photographs included are only fragments of life, affirming its presence while simultaneously affirming its absence.

I have encountered this experience in the analysis of my own family photographic albums, as I try to negotiate the lives of my grandmother, my mother and myself. The stories never quite match the photographs, and the albums became a container for lost information and memories.

In the act of looking into the past, my family photographs show me not what I want or expected to see. They simply show me the women I love throughout the years of their lives. They show me the event of aging and what responsibilities and joy it brings. They show me how as mothers and daughters, we share and pass on the experiences, the values and the traditions that made us who we are today.