… i read a review of Oxiea Villamonte’s Next of Kin, by Brad Feuerhelm, highest recommendation he says… it is self centric, woman centric, so it is of interest to my woman in photography rabbit hole… the first photograph in the article is her looking remarkably like Nancy Grace, the lawyer personality on CNN… same intense and somewhat “I May Destroy You” look…
… there is another image of a young woman baring her breasts as she stares into the camera, is that a slight smile?, a smirk… it is, of course, the first image i think i should share, but that would be my male gaze talking and so, i decide not to… i check the book’s price and wonder if i should buy it, 35 euros which will translate into 40 plus dollars… probably 50 dollars with shipping… here is the description of the book from the publisher:
Next of Kin tells my story through three different generations of women. It’s not a linear one, neither a chronological one. It is an intertwining story where the past and the present try to connect with each other as well as disconnect.
My identity is deeply influenced by my mother and how she has raised me. When looking in a mirror I see my mother staring back at me. While embracing these similarities, there still runs a fear through me of repeating similar choices. This path of finding my own identity has lead met to Chicago, the place where I was born.
By using the archive of my mother when she was my age, I try to deceive the viewer into thinking we are one person. This feeling even gets reinforced in the similarity of the style and the people we choose to surround us with. In the meanwhile my grandmothers’ voice echoes throughout the book in the form of questions right before she died. My grandmother and mother shared also this almost identical relationship as I do with my mother.
Next to this search in finding similarities, I also try to find a way to distinguish myself. This distinction I find in my alternate self, that I call Zillah.
Dedicated to Virginia and Reina.